In appreciation for one of the most popular and widely consumed beverages in the world, the month of January salutes National Hot Tea Month. Drinking hot tea, as seen in many cultures around the world is beneficial to your health and wellness. According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., drinking hot tea can increase blood flow for cardiovascular health, increase energy expenditure that may help to combat obesity and contain antioxidants for cancer risk reduction.
Since January is also National Staying Healthy Month, what better way to start the New Year, than to make smarter and healthier choices for your mind, body and spirit? Here are 12 ways to celebrate National Hot Tea Month:
1. Attend a tea tasting. Participate in an event where a tea expert helps attendees identify individual characteristics and notes of various types of teas.
2. Learn about pairing tea with foods. Pairing is just as common as wine or beer pairing. Certain types of tea will complement certain flavors of different foods.
3. Go to a teahouse and indulge in an afternoon tea ceremony. Typically, crumpets and other finger foods are served during this afternoon event.
4. Discover portable tea vessels. Invest in tea tumblers or tea travel mugs when you want tea-on-the-go! Just like coffee, tea lovers want the convenience of steeping and enjoying their hot beverage, while in transit.
5. Learn about the instruments of a tea ceremony. Cha-no-yu, the essential instruments of a tea ceremony, introduces the ritual in a tranquil and spiritual manner.
6. Grab a few books to get acquainted with the history and journey of tea.
7. Patronize tea businesses that give back to the community through many charitable projects. Find out about the organizations they support and get involved with them.
8. Learn about exquisite accoutrements and vessels like steeping cups, gaiwans, mustache cups and samovars.
9. Read about the various types of tea (white, oolong, black, herbal). What gives these various types their unique characteristics?
10. Check out artwork and poetry inspired by tea and its accessories.
11. Write about recipes that are tea-related.
12. Find out how the quality of the water you use can affect the taste of your hot tea. Some affordable water filtration systems will provide clean filtered water that will not compromise the taste of your tea.
Celebrate the art of tea by taking a tour of the palatial gardens or fields in regions like India or China. In the United States, there is only subtropical garden located in Charleston, South Carolina named the Charleston Tea Plantation. If you are able to travel and experience what type of tea is best grown in certain regions around the world, you will have an even greater appreciation of enjoying a great cup of this hot infusion, regardless of where you are or what time of the day it is.