Not just because it tastes great.
These are our favourite reasons for drinking tea – reasons we’re coming back to more and more as we navigate a new normal…
1. It stimulates and relaxes
Caffeine plus L-theanine. It’s a unique combination found in tea and nowhere else in the natural world. Caffeine is a stimulant that works by blocking the production of our sleep hormones. L-theanine is a relaxant that’s known to have a calming effect on us. Consume them together in a cup of tea and the caffeine will stimulate, while the L-theanine relaxes you. The L-theanine slows down the effect of the caffeine, so no caffeine highs or shakes – just the feeling we like to call ‘calm focus’. This feeling is the reason why tea has been used in Buddhist meditation rituals across the world for millennia – and why it is really helping us to get stuff done in our makeshift home offices.
2. It’s a chance to pause – and connect with nature
It’s the simplest of ceremonies, but making loose tea can give you the space and opportunity to pause. Most of our teas take three minutes to infuse; taking this time to watch as the leaves unfurl and the colours develop will have a calming effect and connect you to nature, even when it seems far away. Ed, who set JING up, has taken to making tea in his garden during lockdown, building a small stove on a couple of bricks and using a camping kettle – for him it makes the connection of the simple tea leaf to nature even closer.
3. It’s full of antioxidants
“I drink green tea because it’s good for me.” We hear it time and again. But it’s not just green tea. Black tea is also good for you, and so are all the other types of tea. That’s because the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant contain plant-based compounds called catechins. The type of catechin that ends up in your cup of tea will change depending on whether the tea is green, white, oolong and black. In green tea, you’re consuming a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is known to stabilise free radicals in your body. In black tea, the catechin is an anti-inflammatory called a thearubigin. So drink a range of teas that you love.
4. It’s hydrating
It’s mostly water, after all.
5. It tastes great
We couldn’t leave this one out. Tea offers the simple pleasure of something delicious that is also good for us. Rich in the distinctive flavours of the place that the leaves have grown and the people who have crafted them, high quality tea offers as much complexity and interest as a fine wine. Even better, the best tea really can be made at home. No complicated equipment and no chef needed. Just your leaves, a teapot and a cup.
And finally… A note on Matcha
If we’re talking about the health benefits of drinking tea, we cannot ignore Matcha, a stone-ground green tea. Once it is ground, the powder is whisked and suspended in water. Unlike a regular infusion, this means the tea leaves are ingested, so Matcha teas deliver significantly higher concentrations of caffeine and antioxidants. Our Matcha comes from bushes that were shaded before the leaves were picked. This shading means it has an even higher concentration of certain amino acids and compounds, including L-theanine. So, for the ultimate in calm focus, whisk or shake yourself a Matcha.