August 22 2022 – Diana L
Whether you are a morning person or not, we all get out of bed and inevitably reach for...THE cup. For many people that means the first cup is the same ole cup of coffee as yesterday. But there are those of us who have veered from coffee and enjoy a cup of tea first thing in the day. Tea is a great cup to start the day. It not only boosts energy, it gives your body a boost of antioxidants and other health benefits. The bottom line is we all want to wake up and start the day energized, but what is the best tea to drink in the morning?
I love the variety of teas available - it allows me to align my cup of choice with my mood at that point in time. But with choice also comes that decision about which type of tea to choose? Instead of staring with your barely opened eyes at all the options in your cabinet, here is a guide to help you choose the best tea to drink in the morning.
Of course, when thinking about waking up caffeine is the first thing that comes to mind. Caffeine is well known to jumpstart your day with a boost of energy. Unlike coffee, the caffeine in tea combines with l-theanine providing a synergistic elevation of energy, focus, and awareness. This amazing effect also helps reduce stress and improve mental endurance.
If you're feeling particularly groggy in the morning, black tea is a good place to start. Of all the teas, black tea is one of the most caffeinated cups. Black tea can range from medium-bodied to full-bodied and display flavor profiles from savory to sweet. Black tea can provide the desired morning kick start without the associated jitters that can be experienced with coffee. Milk goes well with black tea, so if you are struggling replacing your morning latte, black tea is a good place to start.
English Breakfast tea is a full-bodied black loose leaf tea blend made with Keemun black tea, prized for its rich flavor with a slightly smoky palate. Irish Breakfast is made with a blend of Ceylon and Assam black tea which gives it a more intensely robust flavor than English Breakfast tea with a spicy and jammy aroma, malty flavor, brisk mouthfeel, and nice sweetness in the finish. One of the most popular black teas, Earl Grey Creme presents warm flavors of vanilla and creme, softening the edge of the bergamot orange citrus notes.
Black tea is also available in various blends. Black tea is most often the base found in chai tea. Spices such as cinnamon bark, ginger root, cardamom, orange peels, cloves, and apple blend with black tea to make a delicious, robust Cinnamon Apple Spice tea. Masala Chai blends a strong, rich, Ceylon black tea because it is robust enough to balance with the flavorful chai spices such as clove, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon. Black tea also blends well with fruit such as in Ginger Peach tea with ginger root, peach, apricot flavor, and marigold flowers.
There are also a number of health benefits associated with black tea such as lowering bad cholesterol, providing immune system support, as well as decreasing blood sugar. Refer to this article for more info on the health benefits of black tea.
The level of oxidation of the leaf determines the level of caffeine. Oolong tea leaves are semi-oxidized placing the caffeine content just below black tea. Oolong tea provides a smooth and gentle palate with flavors ranging from savory to sweet depending on the type of oolong blend. Jade Oolong has a sweet flavor and fresh green-floral aroma, while Darjeeling Oolong combines muscat grape and apricot pit aromas with a tangy dried fruit flavor and deep floral notes.
Oolong tea combines the qualities of green and black teas with similar health benefits for heart, brain, bone, and dental health.
Green tea is a bit less oxidized than Oolong or black tea, but still contains a good amount of caffeine and is a popular choice as a morning tea. Green tea has a lighter, sweeter flavor and is also found in many delicious blends.
Because the leaves a less oxidized, green tea is a rich source of antioxidants. With all the healing compounds of green tea, it is literally considered a superfood. Green tea has similar healing and anti-aging compounds as those found in blueberries and dark chocolate. If you are limiting your caffeine intake, green tea is a healthy warm beverage for your morning.
Matcha takes green tea to the next level. Matcha is a Japanese green tea powder made from green tea leaves that have been dried and finely ground. It is now one of the most popular drinks in the world! By consuming the entire leaf, one serving of matcha is the equivalent of 10 cups of standard green tea giving your body a super boost of antioxidants! The caffeine level of matcha is slightly higher than a regular cup of green tea. Our ceremonial, organic, or flavored blends of matcha provide metabolism-boosting benefits for an instant pick-me-up.
Herbal teas for morning?
Herbal teas are often associated with caffeine-free tea, but that is not always the case.
Yerba mate is an herbal tea from a South American rainforest made from the twigs and leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant. After the leaves are dried over a fire, Yerba Mate is traditionally enjoyed in a gourd sipped through a metal straw with a filter to strain out the leaves.
Studies have shown that Yerba Mate is higher in antioxidants than even green tea. Yerba mate has the strength of coffee with the healthy benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate, all in a single drink.
If by personal choice or doctors recommendation you are staying away from caffeine, tea can still be the best drink for the morning.
Herbal teas are infusions of leaves, fruits, bark, roots, or flowers. Because herbal teas don't originate from the Camellia sinensis tea plant, most do not contain caffeine. Herbal teas, or tisanes, offer amazing flavors and mental and physical health benefits and provide a focus on wellness to help deal with a stressful, chaotic world.
From South Africa comes the naturally caffeine-free tea, Rooibos (also known as "red tea" because of the color that steeps out). Known for its high mineral content, Rooibos is loaded with antioxidants and has been praised for its potential ability to help protect against cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Studies have suggested that the flavonoids in Rooibos may have the potential to speed up weight loss and are also linked to helping combat obesity.
Rooibos is a natural when it comes to blending. It pairs beautifully with a variety of sweet ingredients, including citrus fruit, berries, vanilla, chocolate, apple, warming spices, and caramel. Green Rooibos is an unoxidized rooibos. Unlike the red variety, Green Rooibos is allowed to dry right after harvesting which avoids oxidation and preserves the color, and flavor. Because it is unoxidized, Green Rooibos retains higher levels of antioxidants, similar to that of green tea.
In place of caffeine, the sweet passionfruit, juicy mango, zest of orange, and tangy apricot of Tropical Green Rooibos can make it a great tea to start the day.
Even though Peppermint tea has no caffeine, it is also good tea in the morning. Studies have shown that drinking peppermint tea may improve mood and increase alertness. The refreshing flavor and aroma can provide your morning with an energy boost.
When choosing the best tea to drink in the morning, just be sure to avoid teas that are blended with Chamomile tea or Lavender. They are known as delicious teas to enjoy at night because of the relaxing effect, and just may make you want to crawl back under the covers.