Tea is one of the most-loved beverages in the world. People drink tea for so many reasons. Whether they want to start their morning with a sweet and hot tea or enjoy a warm afternoon by drinking iced tea with friends, tea is here to bring its unique taste and enticing aroma to make our lives more colorful.
We know tea. We are familiar with its taste, colors, and some of its notable health benefits. We are aware of its types, variations, and recipes.
But with the knowledge that we have about tea, how much of those are really true? Fake news is everywhere, and unfortunately, tea is not an exemption to that.
Do not worry though! Because in this blog, we'll be breaking down the common myths of tea and paralleling them with facts.
Myths and Facts of Tea
Myth #1: Herbal teas are TRUE teas
Herbal teas are pretty popular worldwide. There's chamomile tea, elderberry tea, rooibos tea, hibiscus tea, blue butterfly pea tea, and many others. They taste delicious and are very healthy for the mind and body/ However, no matter how good they are, they're not really "true" teas. These are made by steeping fresh or dried leaves, flowers, roots, or plant barks in hot water. Instead of teas, they're rightfully called "tisanes". Tisanes are water-based infusions of herbs, spices, and others.
Fact #1: Teas made from the Camellia Sinensis plant are the TRUE teas
The "real" teas are the ones made from the Camilla Sinensis plant. This includes black tea, oolong tea, green tea, and white tea. Camellia Sinensis plants are usually found in tropical and subtropical areas.
Myth #2: Tea is dehydrating
Since tea is a diuretic, many believe it has the capability to dehydrate us. Drinking tea causes our kidneys to excrete extra water and sodium from the body. Therefore, is tea not safe to consume in large doses?
Fact #2: Tea can provide your daily fluid needs
Indeed, tea is a mild diuretic, but it doesn't necessarily dehydrate us! As a matter of fact, it actually hydrates us more than we think. Medical experts stated that we won't be losing more fluid through urine than the caffeinated beverage that we take in. Furthermore, studies have also shown that tea can provide us with the same amount of fluids as water can.
Myth #3: Drinking tea burns a lot of calories
Tea is one of the factors associated with weight loss. It's a magical weight loss solution that helps increase our metabolism significantly, causing our bodies to burn more calories.
Fact #3: Drinking tea can aid in weight loss (along with other factors)
Thanks to the stimulant in it, drinking tea does help boost your metabolism but only in small amounts. This fact is closely associated with green tea. However, you can't just solely rely on drinking green tea over and over just to lose weight. Green tea also contains caffeine so if you're sensitive to caffeine, consuming it more than the recommended amount might leave negative effects on your health. You can drink tea to shed some pounds, but make sure to accompany it with regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Myth #4: Decaffeinated tea is caffeine-free
Decaffeinated tea means that there is no caffeine in the tea. This means that even though you're sensitive to caffeine, you can drink it without any worry!
Fact #4: Decaffeinated tea still has caffeine
Just because some teas are decaffeinated, doesn't mean they're caffeine-free. Decaffeinated means more of "decreased caffeine". It still has caffeine content but it's a lot milder than real caffeinated ones like black tea or oolong tea. So you still need to be careful of how much of it you drink so as not to trigger any side effects. If you want to know more about the caffeine content level in teas, click here.
Myth #5: Steep black teas longer than green teas
Green teas and white teas should only be steeped for not any longer than a minute or two. Meanwhile, black teas should be steeped for 3-5 minutes.
Fact #5: Tea is brewed properly depending on the heat
Black tea and green tea can be brewed at the same time, which is 3 to 5 minutes. However, the difference would be found in how hot the water is for each tea. Black tea needs to be steeped in water that’s heated to 100 degrees C while green tea should only be steeped in 80-degree water so as not to burn the green tea leaves.
Myth #6: Tea leaves are the same as tea bags
Both tea leaves and tea bags are equal in terms of quality, taste, and effects. The only difference is their packaging.
Fact #6: Tea leaves are better than tea bags
Tea leaves are usually whole leaf teas. This means that they're genuine whole, unbroken leaves of a plant. This makes them a much healthier and authentic alternative to tea bags which are mostly composed of dust and fannings of tea leaves. They do not have the same quantity nor quality of oils and aroma that tea leaves have. You'll be able to tell the difference once you brew tea made from the two types.
Myth #7: Tea expires
Teabags and tea leaves go bad. So after many years of storing them on your shelf, it's best to throw them away.
Fact #7: Tea doesn't expire, but they lose their quality
Tea leaves do not expire per se. They aren't like other food or beverages that have expiration dates on them. However, they do lose their aroma, flavor, and color as time passes by. This is mainly due to the tea leaves being sensitive to temperature changes and their moisture lessening. The best thing you can do to preserve the quality of your tea is to store it in a cool, dark place.
Myth #8: Hot tea is better than iced tea
Isn't tea originally hot? Hot tea is better than iced tea because it's got better health benefits. Plus, a cold drink might not be good for your throat.
Fact #8: Both hot tea and iced tea are awesome
Hot tea and iced tea are both great in taste and in providing the same number of health benefits. No one is better than the other. Probably it will just depend on the weather or your taste on whether you'd like a cup of hot tea or an iced cold one.
Myth #9: Tea is only for sipping
The best thing that you can do with tea is to drink it. It's a beverage, for goodness sakes!
Fact #9: Tea is a chameleon
Tea is a versatile thing. It can be your beverage, an ingredient to culinary recipes, or even used as a healthy component in various beauty products. Some even use tea as a healthy rinse for their hair! Thanks to modern-day studies and research, tea can become or be a part of almost anything.
There you go, the myths and facts of tea. Indeed, tea is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. If you're looking to buy yourself some, you can check our collection right here. We have teas of all types and blends, all made from natural ingredients (and some of them even 100% Australian-grown!).
Share with us the other tea myths and facts that you're curious about.