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Friday, January 13, 2012

National Tea Month

If you have a hobby, food, or event that you love, there is likely a holiday for it. Like to scrapbook? Then the first Saturday in May is for you! Ever wanted to say "thank you" to the newspaper-delivery person? Sept. 4 is the day to get it done if you want to be official.

Most of these holidays I am able to ignore with no thought, as they have no meaning for me. But when I learned that January is National Tea Month, I knew it was going to be a good 31 days.

I love to drink tea. When I gave up caffeine after getting pregnant, I was a coffee drinker. Not a lot of coffee, but enough that I had a headache for a few days when I went cold turkey. After my son was born, I started drinking green tea with regularity. I was living in Northern California at the time, where the weather is typically perfect for a cup of tea in the morning. My husband bought me a great teapot, and we invested in a hot-water kettle. I would put one bag in the pot and steep it, drinking it over the morning. Usually it required a heat-up by the last cup or so, but it was perfect to have it there and ready to warm me up.

That was almost five years ago. I still use a teapot but have now upgraded from the kettle to a water boiler. You know you drink a lot of tea when you add a water boiler to your life. Instead of turning on the stove with your kettle, or pushing the button on your electric kettle, the water boiler gives you the correct temperature of water at the push of a button, no waiting. Of course, if you have instant hot water on your sink, you may not find this quite as cool, but I have never been so blessed. I still have to fill up my water boiler, but am rewarded with 195 degree F water whenever I am ready for my perfect cup. While coffee should be brewed with boiling water, doing so with tea will cause a bitter cup, especially with green teas.

So why should you give up the coffee habit for tea? Well, it's National Tea Month! Still need convincing? How about weight loss? January is well known for being the month of resolutions, many of which focus on weight loss. There is actually science behind the green tea weight-loss claim, which I won't bore you with, as I don’t understand it myself. Essentially, green tea boosts your metabolism just a little bit. Don’t offset it with calorie heavy sweeteners. Use Splenda, or learn to drink it plain.

A cup of tea is also a great way to wind down at the end of a busy day. Instead of choosing a glass of wine, which not only has plenty of calories, but alcohol will also disrupt sleep patterns, a cup of warm chamomile will calm you down and prepare your body for sleep.

Black tea has been shown to reduce heart attack and stroke in men. So National Tea Month is something you can do with your significant other!

The next time you need a pick-me-up or want to warm up a bit, reach for the kettle, and brew a cup of tea. It’s good for you.

More information about tea:
http://www.foodeu.com/articles/top+ten+tea+facts.aspx

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