The last thing anyone wants after a long day of is to slave over a cooktop for a hot meal. But where is the labour in making a cup of tea?
When it comes to relaxing, nothing quite does it like a cup of your favourite kind of tea, freshly made. And it helps if the tea is undemanding, easy-going, and can be brewed at much the same time that it takes to uncork and unload a bottle of wine into a glass. You need not pay a lot of attention to it, but the tea should be grin-inducingly delicious and refreshing. And if you do choose to expend some critical attention to the tea, it helps if the tea can reward the effort by revealing pleasant nuances and complexity that could, otherwise, be easily missed.
It helps if the tea is a good value buy, too. You wouldn’t want the stress of ruining an overpriced tea on top of the things you already have on your mind. But know that you can find plenty of innocuous, delicious teas for the price of a haircut.
Our list of top relaxing teas comprises mainly teas from Assam. No particular reason other than the fact that it’s a region we know best and can speak about most authoritatively. Teas from Assam, generally speaking, are also great value buys, when compared to a some of the other kinds of teas produced in India, and if you choose to engage with them deeply, they are worth your while too.
5 relaxing teas to make you forget about wine, coffee and everything else
1. Assam green tea
The marker of a good green tea is the balance of flavour. Most mass produced green teas, especially the bagged variety, tastes either too flat or all over the place. They tend to be strong and overwhelm the senses easily. Even so, in the name of health and detox, tea drinkers guzzle the ungodly brew despite the poor-quality flavours.
Assam green teas are some of the best value green teas in the world. Grown at low elevation, they tend to be strong in the cup but also flavourful. Good growing practices ensure that there is a balance between all the many vegetal notes in the tea, making it a refreshing sip. Also, Assam green teas require a short steep and can be whipped up in under two minutes. How’s that for fast refreshment!
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is the world’s favourite beverage when it comes to relaxation, and ours too! Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile has long been recommended for alleviating stress, bloating, nausea and the common cold. Being caffeine-free its the one that can be consumed by the mugful throughout the day, guilt-free and without overwhelming the senses.
Consumed as is or blended with tea, the flavour of chamomile is incredibly simple, suits almost all palates and goes with meals both sweet and savoury.
3. Tippy black tea
Tips are where the tea plant packs all of its good flavours and beneficial compounds. And so, drinking tea with a high tip count in the leaf mix is an easy enough way to introduce the goodness to your system. Tippy teas are also prime with the sweet fragrance of flowers and fruits which are released when the tea is steeped. Consumed, the aromatic properties of tea immediately arrest the senses and ease them.
Tippy black teas from Assam, especially the ones from summer flush, are a delicacy on their own. They taste of oak wood, drupes, honeysuckle, malt and shelled nuts; the flavours captivating the senses almost instantly. For days when you wake up groggy, nothing brightens the spirits (and the palates) quite like the Assam tippy black tea.
Unlike other white tea varieties, whites from Assam are relatively easy on the pocket. They are just as rich in antioxidants and delicate flavours that are typical to white teas, but better value than most. Regular consumption of white tea, especially in the evenings, is known to help de-stress and achieve a zen state of mind.
5. Herbal teas and masala chai
Teas blended with therapeutic ingredients such as holy basil, ginger, lemon grass, mint, and fennel are known to affect the body positively. These ingredients are proven effective in aiding relaxation, reducing inflammation, and easing nausea, bloating and congestion. Consumed regularly, herbal teas and masala chai blends made with Assam CTC or loose leaf black teas are excellent measures to keep with burgeoning anxieties of modern life.
Know that to benefit from a cup it pays to invest in good teas. Garden fresh teas are so easily available today, the straight loose-leaf kind, it really isn’t all that difficult graduate from the potpourri sludge and mass-produced bags that get retailed in the name of tea. Buying fresh and consuming good quality tea is the first step in ensuring you get the maximum benefits from each sip.