New Year, New Beginnings
Five teas for your New Year's Resolutions
The turn of the calendar year is the opportunity many of us take to review life’s ‘to-do’ lists. Brimming with optimism and enthusiasm, we embark on the familiar ritual of self-improvement, hoping that our daily routines will cope under the strain of new expectations. But being better at something is a long game, and one that requires support. We believe in a power of a good cup of tea, and present five teas that may help you sustain your new year’s resolutions.
1. Give up alcohol
Dry January is not timed particularly well – it is one of the wettest months in the year with the least daylight bar December. A consecutive run of ‘pub weather’ days can present real challenges on the social front – swapping those craft real ales for orange juice won’t earn you much respect in the social circles. But if you thought that knowing your hops from your yeast is the epitome of beverage geekiness, then try to explain teas such as the Milky Oolong, and the effects of the cultivar, terroir and the processing method on its characteristic flavour. This will be just the beginning of the learning curve.
2. Be more active
If staying fit is your New Year’s goal, then the great outdoors is your ally and tea is your personal coach. We recommend a black tea such as the ever reliable Yunnan, as a supplement to your hike, run or cycle for two very simple reasons. Contrary to popular opinion black teas are lower in caffeine than other tea classes, meaning that your caffeine boost will be relatively benign, increasing energy without overstimulating. There is also the familiarity aspect – mornings and black tea go together like cereal and milk. Now go and tackle the tempests of winter weather with a flask of your favourite comforting brew.
3. Lose weight
There are several skinny teas out there in the market, promoted by people with magnificent abs, laying a claim that green tea is the new wonder-drug for losing weight. There is some background to this, as tea's antioxidant EGCG has been shown in research to stimulate the body to burn calories. While drinking green tea alone is unlikely to turn anyone into a supermodel, incorporating fine green tea leaf into the daily meal plan is most likely the most enjoyable “diet” we can possibly think of, and hopefully a start of a proper loose leaf relationship. Start with one of the finest Chinese green teas like Anji Bai Cha, and take it from there.
4. Sleep better
Implementing New Year’s resolutions can also mean doing less – less long hours at work, less social media noise, less time wastage. There is no question of the health benefits of a good night’s sleep, and whilst for a seasoned tea drinker gorging on tea late into the night has no effect on sleep quality, studies have shown that consuming caffeine before bed can affect sleep patterns. For worry-free bed-side table brewing we recommend Cranberry Leaf herbal tea, processed in the same way as black tea and filling the 'proper cup' craving, but naturally caffeine free.
5. Learn a language
Learning a language is gymnastics for the brain, rather than the body, and you may be surprised that we can find a tea for that. GABA tea is a relatively new invention from Taiwan, with the name acronym standing for ‘Gamma Amino Butyric Acid’, an amino acid naturally found in your nervous system. It’s your body’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter, and this means that ingesting GABA works like a very subtle, natural booster-tranquilizer; decreasing anxiety, while improving alertness and mental focus. While we cannot guarantee you will finally sprechen Deutsch, this stuff is so much better than sugary energy drinks.
To buy teas discussed in this article click here.