Some of my favorite teas that I drink at home
There are so many documented benefits to drinking tea. Beyond having a delicious drink that has no calories (unless you add sugar, which adds 16 calories per teaspoon,) drinking tea helps in efforts of weight loss and in the prevention of many chronic diseases.
Meeting for coffee should be turned into meeting for tea, in my opinion the english are on to something with their afternoon tea. Studies show that drinking tea helps curb appetite and lose weight. Green tea in particular was shown to lower cholesterol, amount of food consumed, fat accumulation, and triglycerides. Green tea also lowers level of a hormone responsible for hunger called leptin. Last, green tea helps increase your calorie expenditure by a thermogenesis effect which allows calories to escape in the formation of heat.
In Miami, Nespresso on Lincoln Road has great teas, in addition to most sushi restaurants such as Nobu that have quality green tea. The Biltmore hotel offers afternoon tea, which I have yet to try but look forward to. Try swapping your coffee for black or dark tea which offer higher amounts of caffeine, and add a cup of green tea to your afternoons.
Even if you are not trying to lose weight, tea offers additional health benefits. One study showed that drinking 3 or more cups of black tea per day reduces heart attack risk by 68%. Another study showed decreased risk for type 2 diabetes when consuming 1-4 cups of black tea per day. Tea also helps reduce risk for some types of cancer, such as skin cancer, and reduces stroke risk. Tea also has anti-inflammatoy properties by lowering expression of inflammatory mediators. This is especially important because the root of most chronic diseases is inflammation. Last, tea helps with stress relief by lowering levels of cortisol in the body and by producing alpha brain waves which are associated with a relaxed and alert mental state.
When choosing your tea forget the standard Lipton tea bag with ash-looking contents. The tea you drink should be full-leaf, meaning you can see actual flowers and leaves not just fine powder. This is available in both bags and loose-leaf which require a strainer such as the one pictured above. My favorite full-leaf tea bags are Tea Forte, which is easy to find on-line. I purchase loose-leaf teas at places such as whole foods, fresh market, and epicure, where you can also find the strainer. Try adding fresh mint leaves to your tea which adds great flavor, and is a tradition of Israeli and Moroccan people, such as myself.