Are you a coffee addict? You probably know that too much coffee means too much caffeine, which means that it is not good for you.
Why not change to tea? Your answer is probably very simple – I don’t like tea. It is bitter, boring, and bland.
Not being a tea drinker myself, I set out to try some different teas and see if I could deal with drinking them daily. The results were surprising! There is certainly a choice of exciting and exotic teas that don’t taste at all like unappetizing lukewarm milky tea.
Many of these teas claim to have health benefits from boosting your immune system to calming bad digestion. They can help with headaches, relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and promote strong bones and teeth. There are many reasons to consider adding tea to your diet.
Here is my list of 10 teas that you can try. I am sure you will find at least one enjoyable enough to replace a cup of coffee now and then.
1. Peppermint Tea
One thing to consider when trying different teas is that they are not necessarily made using tea leaves. Peppermint tea is one of these. It is made using the leaves of the mint plant infused in water.
Peppermint tea has a fresh, minty taste that gives you an instant wake-up feeling. For those on a diet, it is calorie-free. And, for those overloaded with caffeine – it is caffeine-free.
Peppermint tea claims to help bad breath, aid digestion, and reduce headache pain.
Making peppermint tea is easy – follow these simple steps
- Wash and tear up five peppermint leaves
- Add 2 cups of water to a pot
- Bring to the boil and turn off the heat
- Add the leaves to the water and cover the pot
- Allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes
- Strain the liquid into a cup
- You can add honey for sweetness if you are not watching your calories
2. Black Tea
If you still need your boost of caffeine and enjoy a strong, robust taste, Black tea is a great option. A cup will give you about half the amount of caffeine that you get in a cup of coffee.
Black tea covers a huge range of both exotic and familiar teas. Irish Breakfast tea and English Breakfast tea are two well-known examples. More unusual are Chinese black teas like Keemun Black Tea, Assam Black Tea, Golden Yunnan, and the wonderful Champagne Rose Black Tea.
Black tea is made from tea leaves that are harvested, dried, and crushed. The leafy bits are then oxidized, turning them a dark brown or black color.
Black teas can be made with the addition of milk and a sweetener. Some tea fanatics prefer not to add anything as they want to retain the original flavor.
3. Ginger Tea
Do you remember that spicy warm taste of a gingerbread man? Now you can experience that in a hot cup of tea. Ginger tea gives you a cozy feeling that you can feel from your head to the tips of your toes.
It is very easy to make by simply grating up fresh ginger and allowing it to steep in hot water for a few minutes. Strain off and sip. For some sweetness, add in a spoon of raw honey.
Ginger tea has a host of health benefits. It is great to ward off symptoms of colds and flu. It can aid digestion and reduce nausea.
4. Mango and Lemon Iced Tea
Tea can be enjoyed cold as well as hot. It makes a refreshing and cooling drink to sip at the beach or by the pool. I love an exotic mango iced tea and it is very easy to make. Try it instead of a smoothie and you will soon have the family asking for more.
This is what you need
- 2 medium sized ripe mangos
- 3 teaspoons black tea leaves
- 4 cups of water
- Organic sugar or raw honey for sweetening
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Mint leaves for garnish
Follow these steps to make it
- Wash, peel and slice up the mangos into small pieces
- Place the slices into a blender and blend on medium until it is a purée
- Store in the fridge
- Heat the water in a small pot
- Add in the black tea leaves and stir well
- Allow to steep for around 10 minutes
- Place in the fridge until cool
- Pour the tea into the blender
- Add in the puréed mango
- Add in the lemon juice
- Add in the sweetener of your choice
- Blend until smooth – only requires a few minutes on low speed
- Pour into tall iced glasses
- You can pop in some ice cubes to keep it cold for longer
- Garnish with mint, lemon wedges, and a small decorative paper umbrella
5. Green Matcha Tea
Japanese Matcha Tea is the on-trend tea for jet setters around the world. It has become immensely popular in recent years and is the drink to show off your skills in the kitchen.
Matcha tea is produced from specially-grown green tea leaves that are finely ground using ancient stone-grinding techniques. The leaves are covered with black film three weeks before harvesting. This causes the plant to produce more chlorophyll which gives it a unique, exquisite bright emerald green color.
When you drink matcha tea, you consume the leaves, rather than removing them from the water. In this way, you get the added benefit of the amazing antioxidants and other healthy ingredients in the plant.
Buy your Matcha tea at a tea store that specializes in rare blends. Look for exotic names like Organic Tencha Matcha tea or Organic Japanese Matcha.
To make two cups of Matcha tea in style you need
- 2 small clay pots
- A fine sieve
- A bamboo whisk
- Authentic Japanese tea cups
- 1/2 teaspoon Matcha tea
- 4 ounces just-boiled water
- 12 ounces additional just-boiled water or steamed milk
- Organic honey for optional sweetening
Follow these steps
- Sieve the Matcha tea powder into the clay pots
- This causes the clumps to break up and allows the tea to dissolve into the water
- Pour in a small amount of boiling water
- Now, take your whisk and whisk by moving it vigorously from side to side in a zig-zag motion
- Don’t whisk using a circular motion as this won’t allow the tea to froth
- Whisk quickly until the tea starts to foam
- Add the remaining water or steamed milk and whisk again
- Add sweetener if desired
- You can serve it in the bowl, or gently pour into your cups
Matcha has a rich taste that will bring to mind thoughts of a regal Japanese tea garden. It has a slightly bitter tone that is offset by a lingering sweet aftertaste.
Matcha tea contains caffeine and will give you a burst of energy and a focused feeling. However, it is also calming and won’t create that anxious buzz that coffee does.
6. Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is another traditional Japanese and Chinese tea that has its root in ancient cultures. It is used in traditional tea ceremonies in the royal palaces of East Asia.
Oolong tea leaves are partially oxidized, giving them a twisted shape and a dark color that can vary from brown to black. They are less potent than fully oxidized black tea leaves and have a less intense flavor.
Oolong tea has many health benefits and is thought to aid in brain health and prevent heart disease. It also reduces inflammation and promotes weight loss by aiding digestion. Oolong tea can also help to reduce eczema.
In specialist tea shops you will find different types of Oolong tea. Look for names like Charcoal-Baked Black Oolong Tea, Ginseng Oolong Tea, and Anxi Tieguanyin Oolong.
Make your Oolong tea by steeping 1 to 2 teaspoons in 8 ounces of just-boiled water. Steep for 3 to 5 minutes, or longer if you prefer a stronger brew. Oolong tea has a strong aroma, with a deep rich, roasted taste. It is both soothing and calming.
You can also drink Oolong tea as an iced tea, sweetened with organic honey.
7. Peach Tea
Another fun, fruity best tea for non-tea drinkers that you will love is Peach tea. Think of it as a summer peach fiesta to be enjoyed by the pool, on a picnic, or at the beach.
To make peach tea, I make an easy peach syrup and then blend it into steeped black tea.
- 2 ripe peaches
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 to 3 teaspoons black tea leaves
- 8 cups water
Follow these steps to make it
- Place 1 cup of water, peaches, and cane sugar into a small saucepan
- Bring it to the boil while stirring constantly
- Lower the heat
- Use a wooden spoon to crush the peaches and release the flavor
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool
- Strain it to make a smooth blend
- Brew your tea by adding 2 to 3 teaspoons black tea leaves to 8 cups of water
- Add the peach syrup to the tea and stir well
- Allow to cool
- Pour into chilled tall glasses filled with ice
- Garnish with edible flowers or slices of peaches
8. Rooibos Tea
Rooibos Tea comes exclusively from the Western Cape region of South Africa. It is pronounced as Roy-bos for those who are unsure.
Rooibos Tea has a glorious bold red color and a rich, tempting taste. It is usually served with no milk and no sweetening, but you can add milk or sugar if you desire.
Rooibos tea offers an array of amazing health benefits. It is thought to aid heart health and strengthen bones. It can control diabetes and improve digestion. It is packed full of antioxidants that fight free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.
Simply steep the tea leaves in boiling water for up to 10 minutes. The longer you leave it, the more health benefits you will get.
9. Chai Tea
Chai tea is another tempting treat that will get non-tea drinkers loving tea. It is made of rich, earthy black tea and spiced with loads of exotic herbs. In the mix are ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and fennel. Some people also throw in star anise and coriander seeds.
Chai tea is made with milk and can have lots of sugar for those with a sweet tooth.
To make your own Chai blend, follow these easy steps
- Use one part of milk to two parts of water
- Put milk and water into a pot
- Add in all your spices as you wish – experiment to see which blends you enjoy most
- Allow the mixture to heat up and simmer for a few minutes
- Reduce the heat and add in two teaspoons or two tea bags of black tea leaves
- Remove from the heat and allow it to steep for 10 minutes
- Strain the mixture to remove the whole spices and tea leaves
- Pour into cups and sweeten as desired
10. Baking and cooking with tea
If you are still not convinced that a steaming cup, or iced glass of tea is for you, why not try some scrumptious baked goodies that use tea as a base?
Earl Grey tea is a well known breakfast tea that contains bergamot. It has a unique floral, citrus taste with hints of grapefruit. Here is a great recipe I found to make Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies. My family loves them!
You can also use tea in smoothies in place of water or fruit juice. It adds a richness of unique flavors. A delicious fruit smoothie that I make uses bananas, Chia seeds, frozen berries, milk, and yogurt. I also add in steeped black tea that I make using tea bags. Blend all the ingredients together as you would for a normal smoothie. You will notice the difference in taste that the black tea gives it.
Crispy chicken is a great family favorite for any meal. Why not try something different and add tea into the batter mix? Here is a great recipe that I enjoy making on a weekend. It uses lapsang souchong tea leaves that you can get from a Chinese market or buy online. The crispy chicken is delicious as a hot comforting meal. I also serve it cold with a salad if there are any leftovers the next day.