Mastering the art of tea

  • This post will be a little different.

    I don't know for you, but I find playing games even more enjoyable when drinking tea. Any beverage is good as it keeps us hydrated during all the sessions of play, but I would like to focus in depth on what kinds of tea do I drink and recommend to avoid or relieve heavy headedness. So instead of Bud Light and Mountain Dew (that are completely legitimate drinks to have while playing), you may end up with a good quality cup of Jonez.

    Tea has many differences compared to sweet drinks and coffee. While coffee is meant to stimulate, a tea can also relax, depending on the kind of tea. And unlike soft drink that is meant to give you instant and short boost of awareness, tea takes longer to take effect, but it will maintain your concentration longer too.

    Which brings me to "rule" number 1: DON'T PUT SUGAR IN THE TEA!
    I mean, seriously? What's the idea?! You are just destroying tea's essence and its healing properties! If you want sugar, get back to your soft drinks, or put sugar in a coffee. And even if you still want a tea, there are many sweet types of it. A tea has a flavor that is not meant to be transformed. Also, don't dip cookies in the tea. I mean, at that point you're just wasting cookies. Dip them in coffee for breakfast, if you have to, but not tea. You will only end up with wet and crumbling excuse for a snack.
    The only thing that you can put in your tea are lemon and honey. Honey is meant for healing sore throat and in a warm cup of tea, it works wonders. It is also the only form of sweetening tea that is practical, so use honey as an alternative to sugar. Alongside honey, lemon is a great medicine, especially for symptoms of a cold. Lemon also helps many types of tea to release additional healing ingredients.
    Don't put lemon or honey in the tea while is too hot! The heat will destroy many healing properties of them and you will only end up with a sour taste. Wait just before the beverage is drinkable, and then add the bonus ingredients.
    What about milk? Milk is acceptable ONLY in black tea. Mostly because of tradition and the fact that people drink black tea as a healthy substitute to a coffee. I drink black tea without any add-ons though.

    So what tea should you drink? Well that depends mostly on your taste preference and if/how sick you are.

    Let's start with the holy trinity: Black, white and green.
    Some of you may not know that, all these kinds of team come from the leaves of the same plant. The kind of tea is determined by the soil, weather, and how long leaves are being dried. Also there are many different variances of these teas depending on the add-ons of each one, so it's entirely possible to drink, for example, a green tea that you won't like, and a green tea that you'll love.
    While I could give you entire list of differences and healing properties, let's keep it short:
    Black tea is the most stimulative, green tea has the most medicinal qualities and white tea is the most relaxing (talking of the three, of course).

    Then there are herbal teas. These usually don't contain any caffeine, but are focused on healing and improving one's health and condition.
    The true healing tea should not contain more than 4 different herbs, so that we can foresee the effects of a tea.
    For specific conditions, look for this ingredients in a tea:

    • Herbs for respiratory organs: thyme, oregano, peppermint, fennel,
    chamomile, mullein, Elecampane, hyssop, lavender, plantain, lime.
    • Herbs for digestion: garden angelica/wild celery, peppermint, elderberry, hops, marjoram, lemon balm, fennel, olives,
    Lady's Mantle, dandelion, yarrow, rosemary, lavender, centaury, common rue
    • Herbs for calming: valerian, hops, lemon balm, peppermint, lavender, centaury, St. John's Wort
    • Herbs for heart: valerian, clover honey, lemon balm, mugwort, yarrow, rosemary, plantain
    • Herbs for the liver and gall bladder: garden angelica/wild celery, Cardoon, Benedictine, gentian,
    nettle, flax, Elecampane, wormwood, dandelion, thistle
    • Herbs for excretion: goldenrod, birch, dandelion, calendula, nettle
    • Herbs to strengthen and build-up: Elecampane, wormwood, Chicory, yarrow, dog-rose, licorice

    Then there fruit teas that I am not particularly fond of. Generally their taste is more sour and/or sweet than other kinds of tea, but it still maintains many medicinal qualities. The preparation of this kind of tea is also harder.

    On the topic of of ice tea: Unless it's home made or from someone you really trust, ice tea is usually sweetened which puts it on the same market as soft drinks. Ice tea is therefore focused on the taste alone, rather than therapeutic effects.

    Any recommendations? Sure. I like to wake up slowly, so I usually have a white tea in the morning. Depending on how in a hurry you are, you can adapt it to a green or black. If you wake up with a sore throat or a headache, put a teaspoon of honey and a drop of lemon in there.
    During a day, a green tea is my preference, as it offers balanced focus and stimulation. Great for playing Dark souls in the afternoon. Black tea I recommend for situations similar to watching a 12 hours long E3 special stream with EZA.
    But if you just want to chill and play something easier or watch a 2 hour stream with Jones, Ben or anyone, then white tea is a right choice for you.
    For the evening/night I have this mixture of cinnamon, chamomile, orange and lemon balm. A calming tea for the end of the day.
    My favorite mixture right now is the green tea with a flavor of jasmine and elderflower. Sooo good.

    And what is your beverage of choice for gaming? Anything specific?

    Thx for reading.


  • "Mostly because of tradition and the fact that people drink black tea as a healthy substitute to a coffee."

    But coffee is healthy. If you add milk to the coffee that's when you make it less healthy, same as with black tea.

    Also the main difference between black, green and white tea is the amount of anti-oxidants they have. Black having the lowest while white having the highest. Apart from that they don't affect you in any noticable way.

    Herbal teas are the ones that have the most radical effects, some which can even have severe side-effects if overconsumed like Ginkgo or Cat's Claw.

    Also to get any real effect out of any tea you generally need to drink it regularly, usually around 2-3 cups per day.

    That said I like to try all kinds of different teas. Be it for taste or the benefits they give. My two latest purchases were two herbal teas, the south american Mate and the blue tea Butterfly Pea from thailand. My teas of choice (the ones i drink regularly) are red rooibos tea (with strawberry and cream flavouring) and white tea. I never drink black tea however, since I don't like the flavour.

  • @suplextrain
    I never said that coffee is unhealthy, just trying to point out that tea can give most (if not all) healthy properties of coffee, while not giving you yellow/brown teeth and many other disadvantages.

    The different level of anti-oxidants is determined by the weather, soil and mostly the process of drying the leaves.
    I was not writing medical/pharmaceutical report, but merely describing my preference of beverage and reasons to recommend it.

    "Also to get any real effect out of any tea you generally need to drink it regularly, usually around 2-3 cups per day"
    I disagree completely. While you will certainly not get rid of a cold, a cup of proper tea can quickly relax or stimulate you quickly and give temporary soothing of pain/illness. Effects may not last forever though and 3-4 cups a day is recommended.

  • Coffee is good for the heart and has more caffeine, which helps people stay a little more awake. People drink coffee primarily for the taste, same as pretty much every other beverage, including tea. No reason to try and downplay coffee when both are tasty and good for you.
    Also to avoid the browning of your (visible) teeth, try using a straw and suck the coffe to the back of your mouth (so it doesn't touch your frontal teeth).

    "I disagree completely."

    Well not to sound like an ass, but your opinion on the matter is irrelevant. That's just how it is. The tea you brew isn't concentrated enough, hence why you need to drink several.
    However certain herbal tea's can have an effect from just 1-2 cups depending on what it is. For example the effects of the Ginkgo tea (I mentioned earlier) can be felt very quickly from just 1 cup in that your concentration is heightened (the blood thinning effect also starts to kick in).
    Now naturally 1 "cup" of tea can vary greatly in quantity, so if you drink your tea out of ½L mugs then the numbers are different. This "cup" measurement is assuming you're drinking your tea out of traditionally sized teacups.

    I didn't mean to come off like an ass, but people tend to exaggerate the benefits/effects of tea after reading too many questionable research reports. I've for example talked to someone that drank white tea several times a day because she heard that doing so will keep your skin smooth and looking younger (not really true), despite not liking the taste.
    I personally believe that you should drink tea because you enjoy it, not for any benefits. Those benefits are just a bonus.

  • I think I shall stick with my British Style Tea which is best enjoyed during Elevenses while also playing a round of Elevenses The Game thank you very much.

    None of this herbal and no sugar nonsense! PAH!*

    *Don't worry I've actually learnt some stuff about tea that it did not know! It was interesting reading :)

  • @thenerdtheword
    Whatever floats your boat.
    Never heard of Elevenses the game. I'm fascinated that such game exist. :D

  • @Nillend said in Mastering the art of tea:

    Whatever floats your boat.
    Never heard of Elevenses the game. I'm fascinated that such game exist. :D

    It's simple but fun to play and implements its theme beautifully.

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  • Nice topic, thanks for bringing this up!

    It's green tea or oolong for me, depends a bit on my mood. Not getting really fancy with the preparation, just a can full of that good stuff :tea:

  • As a former "tea master" at Starbucks, I fully agree with this post. You've inspired me to buy a nice box of Earl Grey on my way home from work today.

  • @SabotageTheTruth Do enjoy it (raises a mug). :tea:

  • I oversteep St. Dalfour's black cherry tea and add lots of honey. It might go against your ideals, but it's soooo nice!

  • @Oscillator Dude, the most important thing is that it suits you. Sounds delicious.

  • I got into loose leaf tea a long while ago and still have a grand collection. But my consumption of these glorious wonders have fallen out of habit some 3-4 years ago. I think its time for me to pick this back up again if I can associate it with gaming.

  • @frasafrase I highly encourage you to do so. If nothing else, you'll feel fancy af.

  • Tetley with milk. And sugar if you want it. In UK we probably have about 6 cups a day. We have 3500 watt kettles to speed up the process.

    In fact, during big sporting events, usually home nation football matches, the government makes electrical concessions for half time because they know the "nation" will start to boil them kettles.

  • Can't get on board with tea etiquette and rules. Lifes too short. Sugar and milk are usually the way i have an average cup but i don't mind black tea on certain occasions. I'll drink anything depending on mood though i'm not fond of herbal tea's at all.

  • I love my Tea, have many kinds store bought and have a tea service where I get different bags of loose tea that have to pack my own tea baggies.
    I have certain teas with sugar cause I can honestly taste the flavour better, but the Celestial tea Madagascar Vanilla I love straight up. Most Celestial tea is good to me and the Lipton pyramid tea. Not fan of Earl Grey or any tea like that, also not a fan of like Brisk ice tea which has more sugar then most pop last time I checked.
    I can say I drink coffee purely to help me stay up during late night gaming sessions, not a fan of the taste but I can handle it.