From ancient times to modern era, tea has been celebrated for its health benefits for centuries. It is known to energize and hydrate and is packed with antioxidants that aid in our immunity. Be it mindfulness or helping us stay alert, tea has it all.
When it comes to the end of a long stressful day, we all need to wind up and give ourselves some TLC. Do you agree? How about brewing yourself a rich creamy, soothing cup of tea. Steep thoughts, anyone ?
With so many different flavors and so many choice blends, does the world of tea overwhelm you with not knowing what to choose ? This Beginners Guide to the perfect cup of Tea will walk you through each step of the process before you brew that soothing, delicious cup of sweet tea. Ready to discover everything you never knew you needed to know about tea? Brew on….
What is Tea?
Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves or by infusing the dried crushed leaves of an evergreen shrub(bush) known as Camellia sinensis. This evergreen shrub is native to East Asia and is grown as a major cash crop.
Camellia sinesis– The evergreen tea shrub-
Camellia sinensis or the tea shrub as it is commonly called is part of an evergreen family.The leaves are glossy green with serrated edges. The plant produces small white flowers with bright yellow stamens when allowed to flower.The hard green shelled fruit that develops has a single, round brown seed ( The fruit is what is used to make tea oils)
Flowering of the plant is prevented during cultivation, by harvesting young green leaves regularly, thus forcing the plant to constantly make more buds.
There are two principal varieties of Camellia sinensis or the Tea shrub. The small leaved plant from China (C. sinensis sinensis) usually used to make green and white teas and the large- leaved plant from Assam, India (C.sinensis assamica) usually used for strong malty black tea and pu’erh tea.
Anatomy of a Tea Plant
Bud Leaves are the two uppermost tea leaves, along with leaf buds located at the tips of the stems are used for making finer teas like the white teas.
High Grade Leaves are the one’s situated just below the bid leaves in a plant and are used for making premium teas.
Lower grade leaves are slightly older leaves situated along the stem of the tea plant. These leaves are used for making tea bags.
Where do the tea plants grow?
The tea plant grows best in loose, deep soil, at high altitudes, and in sub-tropical climates.
The best tea is usually grown at higher elevations, and often, on steep slopes. If that sounds crazy, keep in mind these methods have been around for several millennia. Many of the teas produced for large scale commercial production are grown on flat, lowland areas to allow for machine harvesting.
Tea plants thrive in tropical and subtropical climates, rooted in well-drained soil. Depending on the variety, they enjoy high or low elevations. Plenty of rain is good, but slightly less than ideal is also okay, as the stress makes the leaves grow more slowly and develop deeper flavor. Actually, the stress of high altitude is one of the factors, which make Darjeeling teas (grown at 5,000-7,000 ft. in the Himalayas) so unique. Some varieties do well in direct sunlight or slightly shaded for part of the day.
The small leaf variety, known as Camellia sinensis sinensis, thrives in the cool, high mountain regions of central China and Japan. It is commonly grown on higher elevations and steep mountain slopes, producing a sweeter, gentler taste indicative to both green tea and white tea.The terrain requires these premium teas to be hand-plucked.It takes around 2,000 tiny leaves to make just one pound of finished tea.
The broad leaf variety, known as Camellia sinensis assamica, grows best in the moist, well drained soil, plenty of rain filled tropical climates found in Northeast India . Less than ideal rain is good too. The stress makes the leaves grow more slowly in higher altitudes and develop deeper flavor.A good example is the unique,Darjeeling teas (grown at 5,000-7,000 ft. in the Himalayas).
The Szechuan and Yunnan provinces of China, Sri-Lanka and some parts of Africa grow the broad leaf variety too. Some varieties do well in direct sunlight or when slightly shaded for part of the day. Under perfect conditions with proper fertilization, the C.s assamica plant can be harvested every 8 to 12 days throughout the year.This variety is used for robust teas like black tea, oolong, and pu-erh.
In the United States, tea (the broad leaf variety) is grown in Hawaii, the subtropical region of the Southeast, and in the cool, mild climate of the Pacific Northwest.
How did the words “Cha” & “Tea” come to be?
This is about the word “tea”, not the origin of tea. In China, tea is most commonly known as “cha”. The reason we call it by another name reflects an interesting mix of history and geography. When tea first reached European markets in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, it came from the trading port of Amoy (present day Xiamen) in Fujian province of China.
In the local Fukienese dialect tea is called “tey” rather than the more common “cha”, so in Western Europe, and later the United States, it was the word “tea” that stuck, while other countries, such as India, Russia, and Turkey, were introduced to tea as “cha” by traders traveling over-land along the Silk Road.
What are the different types of Tea ?
“Tea” is anything derived from the evergreen Camellia sinensis plant. There are basically 5 different types of tea, in the market, all others are derivatives of these five primary forms. They are :
White Tea is derived from the fuzzy white “down” that appears on the unopened buds or the newest growth on the tea bush. It is essentially unprocessed tea. White tea is simply plucked and allowed to wither dry. White teas produce very pale green or yellow liquor and are the most delicate in flavor and aroma. Most of the white tea in the world comes from China, some regions in India and Sri Lanka also produce it now.
White tea: Steep at 175 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-5 minutes.
Green Tea is plucked, withered and rolled by applying heat thus preventing oxidation.The liquor of a green tea is typically a green or yellow color. It’s flavors range from toasty, grassy (pan fired teas) to fresh steamed greens (steamed teas) with mild, vegetable-like astringent taste to it.Green tea is primarily produced in China and Japan, where it is a celebrated beverage.Some of the more popular varieties include Dragonwell (also known as Lung Ching), Genmai Cha, Macha, Gyokuro, Gunpowder, Hojicha, Pi Lo Chun and Sencha.
Green tea: Steep at 175 degrees F for 45-60 seconds
Oolong Tea “Oolong” means Black Dragon.It is one of the most time-consuming teas to create. All 5 steps of processing tea is done its production with repeated rolling and oxidizing. It is most simply described as half-way between green and black tea.They have smooth, rich floral and fruity flavors with soft astringency , hence perfect for beginners.While preparing tea with Oolong it is important to note that they need legroom to swim, they don’t yield good flavor when crammed into a tiny infuser or tea ball. Traditionally produced in the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China.It is also produced in Taiwan & in small amounts in India (Darjeeling), Malaysia, and Korea. Some well known examples include Fancy Formosa Silver Tip (‘Formosa’ is the former name of Taiwan), WuYi rock oolongs, Tung Ting, Ti Guan Yin and Pouchong.
Oolong tea: Steep at 195 degrees F for 3 minutes.
Black Tea is processed in a linear fashion in 5 basic steps . it has a strong flavor and, in some cases, the greatest astringency. The flavor varies greatly from flowery, malty, spicy, and some nutty.It is regularly consumed with milk and sugar and are the most popular bases for iced tea (most popular in the US) .Tea merchant Thomas Sullivan invented the first tea bag in 1904 where black tea was used. Black tea is grown mostly in China, India, and Sri Lanka. Famous varieties produced in these countries include *Darjeeling, Nilgiris, Ceylon, Keemun, Lapsang Souchong, Yunnan, and Assam. Recently Kenya, Argentina, Thailand, and, yes, even the United States have started producing tea. Bigelow Tea in Charleston, SC, the Pacific Northwest, Washingthon & Hawaii are some tea plantation areas in the US.
*Darjeeling of India, is unique ,delicate and the flavors vary depending on the time of the year it is picked in. First Flush Darjeeling is picked in spring. It has a fresh and floral flavor. It’s sometimes called the “champagne of Darjeeling”.Second Flush Darjeeling has a strong, rich flavor that tastes similar to grapes. It’s harvested in summer.Third Flush Darjeeling is coppery in color and sweet in taste, with a mellow, floral, and smooth flavor. It’s picked in autumn.
**Masala Chai of India is a global favorite and is made with a blend of black tea with spices like black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.A dash of milk is added for a creamier texture.
Black tea: Steep at 195-205 degrees F for 2-3 minutes
Pu’erh Tea (pu-ARR or pu-ERR) is a unique and rare tea with a connoisseur following .It is typically made with the large leafed C. Sinensis assamica .The leaf is dried and aged either as loose-leaf tea or pressed into dense cakes of decorative shapes. It is a fermented tea.The aging process lasts anywhere from a few months to several years. Just like fine wine, very old, well stored pu’erhs are considered “living teas”. They are prized for their earthy, woodsy, musty aroma (like a damp forest after rain reminiscent of mushrooms) and rich, smooth taste. Pu’erh is only produced in the Yunnan province of southern China and is one of the oldest forms of tea. It’s not unusual at all to pick up notes of tobacco, musty leathery smell of an antique store,or hay in the barnyard when you experience the refreshing smooth softness of pu’erh. Your palate gets it!
Pu’er tea: Steep at 200-210 degrees F for 3-4 minutes.
How are teas processed?
Teas are processed in two different ways :
- The Traditional Fashion (the Orthodox method)
- The CTC/Crush-Tear-Curl (The Unorthodox method)
The Traditional Orthodox Method:
The top two tender leaves and an unopened leaf bud is plucked carefully by hand in this Traditional Orthodox method and then processed using the 5 basic steps, creating the multitude of tea varieties we know today.
Most Orthodox tea production these days involves a unique combination of age-old methods, such as bamboo trays, to allow the leaves to wither on, and modern, innovative machinery, like leaf rollers carefully calibrated to mimic motions originally done by hand.
The CTC or the Unorthodox Method:
Among the Unorthodox methods, the most common one is CTC (crush-tear-curl) method. This faster style of production was specifically created for black tea.For commercial production, large machine harvesters are used to “mow” the top of the bushes to get the new leaves.Sometimes they are hand-plucked too.
Crush-tear-curl is usually used primarily in the tea bag industry, as well as in India to create Masala Chai blends (due to their strength and color).These teas will brew very quickly and produce a bold, powerful cup of tea.
What are the steps in Tea Processing?
There are 5 basic steps involved in Tea Processing. They are :
- Withering (allowing tea leaves to wilt and soften)
- Rolling ( to shape the leaves and wring out the juices)
- Firing (Drying)
What is in tea?
The three primary components of brewed tea (also called the “liquor”) are:
- Essential Oils – these provide tea’s delicious aromas and flavors.
- Polyphenols – carry most of the health benefits of tea and provide the “briskness” or astringency in the mouth
- Caffeine – found naturally in coffee, chocolate, tea and Yerba Mate, caffeine provides tea’s natural energy boost.
What is Liquor in tea terms?
The liquid that results from brewing tea is called the liquor.The range of colors may vary depending on the processing and the tisanes added.
Tea bags vs Loose Tea
How did the first tea bags come to be ?
The first tea bags were actually an accident. Thomas Sullivan, a tea and coffee merchant from New York City, tried to cut sampling costs by sending loose tea in small, hand-sewn silk pouches (instead of costly tins, which was what most merchants used at the time). Potential clients, confused with this new packaging, threw the tea in hot water– bag and all. Thomas started getting many requests for these “tea bags” and realized that he had struck gold. The quick and easy clean-up of the leaves (since they were still contained in the silk bag) made it enticingly convenient. Tea bags first began appearing commercially around 1904, and quickly shipped around the world.
Unfortunately, this convenience came at a high price: flavor. Using bags created the problem of improper expansion of leaves. In order for a tea leaf to fully release its flavor, it needs a great deal of leg room to expand. Because teas in bags had less leg room, the quality was diminished. What was the solution? Smaller leaves. This way, they needed less room to enlarge. Due to the fact that they were hidden behind a silk screen anyway, little concern was paid to this fact.
With this decision, the slippery slope of tea began. Because size no longer mattered, merchants could purchase much cheaper grades of tea known as “fannings” or “dust.” These are the lowest rankings that tea can achieve; the bottom of the tea barrels. This “tea” will certainly add color to your cup, but not nearly as much flavor. After this, companies began to wrap the “leaves” in paper filters, a much cheaper alternative that didn’t allow water to flow through to the cup as easily, further reducing quality.
But this is a far cry from the abundance of flavor and intoxicating aroma found in a cup of full-leaf premium tea.So please think twice, when you dip that tea bag in hot boiling water, the next time, you could be missing out on much of the flavor that the original leaf packed for you.
What are the top 10 tea brands in the world?
- The Republic of Tea
- Yorkshire Tea
- Celestial Seasonings
- Harney & Sons
What is Herbal Tea?
Tea is anything that is derived from Camellia sinensis plant. Anything else, is more accurately referred to as Tisanes( tih-ZANN) or Herbal Tea.Tisanes include chamomile, rooibos and fruit teas.
What are Tisanes?
Tisanes (tih-ZANN), a French word for “herbal infusion”, are usually dried flowers, fruits or herbs steeped in boiling water (there are no actual tea leaves). Historically consumed for medicinal reasons or as a caffeine-free alternative
Some of the most common herbal teas or Tisanes are listed below :
- Herbal Tea/Chamomile Tea -Used to honor the gods, embalm the dead and cure the sick, chamomile has come a long way, from its roots in ancient Egypt.This sweet, light, apple-like floral beverage is revered for its calming effect.
- Peppermint Tea– Dating back from the Greek era, peppermint is known to aid in digestion & is often used in a caffeine free home remedy for stomach ailments. (Less known fact- Not all herbal teas are pleasant.Socrates, the father of modern thought, was sentenced to death by drinking a brew known as Hemlock).
- Fruit Tea – Caffeine free teas containing dried fruits, blossoms (hibiscus, most commonly used for its high Vitamin C levels & deep red color)spices and herbs.
- Rooibos – This caffeine free, sweet and rich tea was discovered growing in South Africa when the tea addicted western world went crazy scouring for tea during World War II( when Japanese & Chinese supplies became unavailable)
- Yerba Mate -The South American newcomer on the block is known to energize and remedy the body.This plant is from the holly family and is added to the list of caffeine containing plants like Coffee, Tea & Cocoa. This herby beverage traditionally drunk from a hollowed-out gourd is consumed throughout much of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and the Far East.
The flavors and aromas of tea
Taste it like a Tea connoisseur
- Astringent : The finest teas (like the first flush of Darjeeling tea) have the best astringent effect. What does that mean ?The polyphenols present in tea are natural antioxidants, they not only provide the taste but are responsible for most of the health benefits of tea.These polyphenols bind with our saliva giving a dry sensation on the tongue and sides of the mouth along with a brisk tannic bite to tea. Astringency may take some time getting used to.
- Vegetal: This is the proper descriptor for what makes a green tea green. Synonyms include herbaceous, crisp, green, and grassy.
- Briny: Most often associated with steamed Japanese Green Teas, briny is a good synonym for the seaweed-like taste of these wonderful teas. Briny evokes notes of asparagus, spinach, kelp, and the aroma of the sea. Often, in finer Japanese Green teas like Gyokuro this taste is accompanied by a refreshingly sweet, fruity, finish.
- Floral: This term evokes a warm, bright, sweet, pleasant aroma something like perfume Example, the high-mountain green Oolongs like Ali Shan. Look for the exquisite notes of lilac blossoms with a smooth, buttery finish when cupping these teas.
- Roasted or toasted: Especially common among Chinese Green teas is a unique flavor that lies somewhere between roasted chestnuts, walnuts, or almonds, or sometimes even straw/hay. Sometimes called nutty, this flavor is generally created by pan-firing or certain tea drying techniques. Cup a Dragonwell for an example of this flavor.
- Umami: If you consider yourself a foodie at heart, this is a term that may already speak to your palate. Umami is the fifth taste component (in addition to salty, sweet, sour and bitter). It is the physical experience of taste; the mouthfeel of the tea. Consider chicken broth: it is salty, certainly, but it also has a rich, savory, buttery taste to it that is far from salty, sweet, sour or bitter. This savory flavor is umami.
- Muscatel: What does a tea from Darjeeling taste like? A connoisseur will immediately answer “muscatel”. This term is borrowed from the white, muscat grape used for making certain sweet, sparkling wines. Muscatel is brisk, astringent, bright and floral with a dry finish.
- Strong: It has a lot of taste! Common synonyms include full bodied, bold, rich, robust and heavy.
- Earthy: Earthy may overlap at times with strong, but it is also savory, woody, musty and sometimes sweet. Think mushrooms and potting soil. Example : Cup a good Chinese Yunnan to taste this.
- Malty: The word is borrowed from the rich, caramel sweetness of fermented barley or wheat. While the process is completely different in tea, some strong black teas like the Assam Harmony offer this honeyed, brown sugar richness. Often malty teas are also highly astringent, but not always. Chinese Keemuns are sometimes malty without astringency (smooth).
- Smooth: Teas with a full body but without the astringent “bite” often associated with tea may be called smooth, soft, mild, mellow or round. Chinese Keemuns & Oolongs may also be regularly characterized as smooth.
What is the Tea drinking culture around the world?
Although tea is one of the most enjoyed beverages worldwide, its culture can be very “local”. For example, most tea drinkers in Darjeeling, India have never had (or even heard of) a Taiwanese Pouchong. In China, most people do not drink black tea. The centuries-old Japanese tea ceremony uses powdered, rare Matcha tea, which most folks in black tea-loving Sri Lanka have never tasted.
The British drink a black tea like Twinings and add milk and sugar. Drinking tea is also more of a formal and social event that occurs throughout the day. Afternoon Tea is usually served with tea sandwiches, while High Tea is served with scones topped with butter and preserves. America is pretty new to the Tea culture and enjoys all different varieties, iced tea (black Tea) being the most common.
Tea vs Coffee
How the two “hotties” came to be ?
Both Coffee and Tea have legendary pasts. Tea, was discovered by the ancient Chinese ruler Shen Nung, when a fateful leaf fell into his boiling water. A similarly serendipitous story of Coffee dates back to late in the first millennium, when an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi noticed that his goats began to act unusually frisky after eating berries from an unfamiliar plant (coffee “beans” are actually seeds from coffee fruit). He wanted to try it too & when he did, found the same effect on him. Soon word got around & the rest is history .
Amazingly, the history of the two followed nearly identical paths. Coffee and tea were introduced to England around the same time. Both were first enjoyed under the reign of Charles II (nicknamed “Milk and Sugar Charlie” for his fondness for these additions to both the drinks). In 1652, the first coffeehouse opened in England – the same year the first tea samples arrived to the country. Tea, became the favorite due to the ease of making it.Thus started the era of high tea and scones!
While the caffeine in tea and coffee are, technically, identical, the experience is different due to three key factors:
1. There is significantly less caffeine in the average cup of tea – especially when including green and white teas brewed at shorter times and cooler temperatures.
2. L-theanine, an amino acid found only in tea, reduces stress and promotes relaxation. It works with caffeine in a synergistic way to calm the body without reducing caffeine alertness.
3. The high levels of antioxidants found in tea slow the absorption of caffeine – this results in a gentler increase of the chemical in the system and a longer period of alertness with no crash at the end.
List of Teas with low and high caffeine :
|Relatively low caffeine|
Genmai Cha (Green)
Relatively high caffeine
Silver Needles (White)
How is tea decaffeinated?
Tea is decaffeinated by two methods , namely
- Decaffeination by Ethyl acetate, a chemical solvent, which is passed through the leaves. leaves only 20% of the antioxidants in the leaf.
- Decaffeination with pressured release of Carbon dioxide.CO2 bonds with the caffeine, the caffeine is removed when the pressure is released . A more expensive method, it uses no chemicals and yields much better flavor. This carbon dioxide decaffeination leaves roughly 90% of the original antioxidant content intact.
Health Benefits of Tea :
Fact : All teas come from the same plant (and therefore have the same basic composition), so we expect the benefits to be similar.Being aware of this fact helps us in not getting sold on some marketing strategies the health and wellness industries sometimes employ.
Health Benefits of Tea
- The xanthines present in the tea, stimulate the brain while relaxing the body. These xanthines are metabolized more slowly which is the reason why there is less of a “crash” than caffeine
- The disease fighting polyphenols present in tea contain phytochemical compounds called flavanoids that provide the antioxidant effect of tea (helps fight heart disease & cancer) and tannins that contribute to the flavor of tea.
- Tea is the ONLY way to get L-theanine, the rare amino acid in our diet. This powerful amino acid boosts alpha wave activity in our brains, which promotes a state of relaxed concentration(“quiet alertness”). The calming effects of L-theanine actually counteract the extreme highs and jitteriness that can result from excessive caffeine intake.
- Weight loss-Tea causes a slight increase in metabolic rates and encourages the body to burn lipids (fats).
- Tea is a no calorie beverage.More importantly, tea replaces other calorie rich drinks or foods in our diets
- Tea increases insulin activity thereby moderating blood sugar levels
- Stimulants in Tea-Caffeine appears in much smaller quantities in tea when compared to coffee, than theanine and theobromine which give tea drinkers the lift and energy they can feel.
Does adding things to my tea affect its health benefit ?
In some cases.
Lemon, in addition to containing vitamin C (an antioxidant) itself, actually increases your body’s ability to absorb the antioxidants in the tea. Other citrus fruits have similar impact.
Milk or cream MAY reduce the body’s ability to absorb the antioxidants in tea. To this point, the research is offering conflicting reports.
Tea alone cannot fight disease or improve health. Tea must be complemented by a lifestyle that incorporates regular exercise, enough sleep, a diet with anti-oxidant rich vegetables and fruits, high-quality proteins, and small amounts of fats and sugars.
Common FAQ’s on Tea :
What does steep mean to tea?
“Steep“essentially means soakIng. To steep something means to soak it, which is what we do when we prepare tea. We take dry tea leaves, add them to hot water, let them soak, pour out the tea and then drink it. So, when someone says steep your tea, all you are doing is preparing a cup of tea.
How long is tea good for?
Tea, if properly stored away from air, light and moisture, will never spoil, however Tea will gradually lose its flavor over time. Most teas are seasonal and therefore picked during a specific growing season each year. The further they are off plucking date, the less fresh they become.Green and white teas depend on their essential oil content for flavor and will fade the fastest, generally within six months to a year. Black teas however rely on complex polyphenols for flavor, which atrophy at a much slower rate and are good for a year or two
How do I store tea?
The key is to avoid moisture, excessive heat, light, air, and strong, competing aromas. Place it in any opaque, airtight container in a cool, dry place. The spice cabinet or next to the coffee beans, while common and convenient, is probably a bad place for tea because of the danger of scents.
Should I refrigerate my tea?
A good rule of thumb may be that long-term refrigerated storage of a sealed container is a great idea, but daily storage of a tea you access regularly is discouraged.
How does temperature affect the brewing of tea?
Brewing tea at an improper temperature can drastically affect the taste of tea. To manifest the right flavors from the dried and rolled tea leaves it needs to be exposed to a certain temperature depending on the type of leaf. Too much heat can release tannins that cause the tea to be bitter
What is the difference between brewing and steeping tea?
Brewing and steeping are both part-and-parcel of the same process. Brewing is the act of making tea, while steeping is the process involved. Brewing the perfect cup of tea requires carefully steeping loose tea leaves or tea bags in fresh water that’s heated correctly.
What causes iced teas to “cloud”?
Clouding occurs when the polyphenols (antioxidants) in tea bind with the minerals in the water. The effect is heightened when hot tea is iced quickly. This cloudiness has no impact on the taste, and is actually proof that your tea is chock-full of healthy stuff
Can I brew with the kettle? Do I put the tea leaves in the water as it’s warming up?
There are two separate implements for tea brewing: a kettle and an infuser. Kettles are strictly for water and warming it up.Strictly speaking, you want to keep your leaves out of a kettle. Infusers (tea pots, strainers, tea balls, tea bags etc.) are for steeping tea. Warm your water to the correct temperature with a kettle, then pour that water into your teapot or cup with infuser
Should I cover my cup when I make tea?
Since a significant portion of taste is actually smell, keeping a lid on it will usually stew the flavor of those first few precious sips
How do you brew Iced Tea?
Iced tea can be brewed two ways: -If you want to brew tea instantly, you can brew it like any normal cup of tea. After that, just add ice. -Another way to brew is to cold brew it. We have instant iced tea pouches, but you can use tea bags, or loose tea. That way makes a whole pitcher of tea overnight. Just throw a pouch into a pitcher of water and put it in the fridge. You have your tea the next morning!
Does tea contain fluoride?
Yes. Tea is a natural source of fluoride, which improves tooth and bone health. That said, tea contains much less fluoride than is added to the water in most municipalities. Even consumption of 10 cups per day of most teas would not lead you to take in more than the recommended daily allowance of fluoride.
Can tea cause iron deficiency?
Because tea causes a minor disruption in the body’s ability to absorb iron, individuals with iron deficiencies may want to limit tea intake.
Should pregnant women avoid tea?
The antioxidants in tea cause a minor disruption in the body’s ability to absorb folate and iron, both important for fetal development.
Now that you are equipped with all the knowledge you needed about Tea, go on brew yourself some. Remember the best teas are the ones you enjoy the most, it does not matter which type.They all are packed with health benefits since they come from the same plant.
Be bold and experiment with the different flavors and before you know it your favorite flavor would be in your next cup.If you are a beginner, this is as good a day as any to start your first cup of tea , after all it is the National Hot Tea day!