For hundreds of years, tea has been a drink of choice because of its herbal medicinal factors. While there are several theories surrounding tea’s origin, the most popular is the story of Shen Nung. It was claimed that tea was first discovered in 2737 B.C. by the great Chinese emperor, who was outside boiling water when some leaves from a nearby bush fell inside his open kettle of water. Intrigued by the sweet aroma of the mixture, he tasted it and, just like that, tea arrived in the world.
The leaves and buds of the camellia sinensis plant produce the white, green, black and oolong varieties. While they come from the same plant, the way in which they’re processed are what differentiates them.
Black tea is the most processed and the most commonly consumed in the United States. Because of its tannins and flavanoids, black tea helps to increase metabolism. Oolong tea is a bit more processed but it has shown a 50% reduction in oxidative stress.
Green tea is the least processed and boasts the most health benefits because of the increased amounts of antioxidants. This variety is popular in Japanese and Chinese cultures, where some drink eight to 10 glasses a day. Even drinking three cups a day has shown decreased hypertension, increased HDL (good cholesterol), and less LDL (bad cholesterol). Its antioxidants also help make your skin look brighter and healthier and help with wrinkles and signs of aging. Studies even show that green tea has topical benefits, helping to reduce sunburn and heal wounds.
It’s important to note that if you want to increase your tea consumption to take advantage of its health benefits, you should check with your doctor first. Some of the compounds found in tea can interact with medications like blood thinners, anti-depressants and chemotherapy agents. Also, to avoid extra calories and sweeteners, choosing brewed teas is preferred over bottled teas.
From medicine to beverage, tea has traveled the world, conquering the thirsts of every country and becoming the most popular and healthiest drink on the planet.
The Arnold Palmer Beverage
One of the most beloved beverages is the Arnold Palmer – a refreshing mixture of iced tea and lemonade created by the legendary golfer. He would often ask his wife, Winnie, to prepare it following a day of golfing at Latrobe Country Club.
When a woman overheard him ordering his namesake beverage at a restaurant in Palm Springs, she asked to have what he was having. His fans took it from there and the drink’s popularity spread.
Of course, you’ll want to make your Arnold Palmer the right way when pouring a glass at home. Simply combine two parts iced tea with one part lemonade and enjoy.