It might be the second most consumed beverage in the world, but tea continues to be associated with several myths and strange practices that end up being exaggerations rather than based on facts.
Tea is Second Only to Water
Like all beverages that come with a host of health and wellness benefits (think vitamin water, packaged fruit juices, energy drinks), tea is no different. It’s the global beverage of choice and ranked second only to water: annual tea consumption now stands at 6.3 billion kilograms and it’s projected to grow to 7.5 billion kg by 2025 (source: Statista). That’s a lot of tea leaves and tea cups being prepped in kitchens and cafes around the world!
Quick History Lesson on Tea
While it is known that the British popularised tea (we do love our Earl Grey and English Breakfast black tea varietals), the beverage has its roots in ancient China. On the other hand, the infamous Boston Tea Party of 1773 sparked the American Revolution and the rivalry between the English and the American tea traders in the 19th century led to something like the clipper ship races. At the center of all this hullabaloo lies the humble, earthy Camellia sinensis tea plant, from which arises all our delightful teas.
5 Tea Myths Debunked
Misconceptions and myths about tea continue to percolate our everyday life. Here are 5 persistent tea myths debunked for our tea lovers.
Tea Myth #1: One should avoid drinking hot tea in summers
Tea can be consumed during any season, come rain or shine. It’s one of the healthiest beverages you can enjoy because it contains less than 5 calories per cup, doesn’t feature artificial preservatives (that’s the Karma Kettle guarantee on our tea blends), and doesn’t have any side-effects that’s associated with other beverages such as energy drinks or sugary packaged fruit juices. As for summers, a hot drink means your body will sweat faster, get rid of the excess heat, and cool you down faster. Hot tea will leave you rejuvenated and relaxed.
Tea Myth #2: Tea doesn’t have an expiration date
Every product has a shelf life. So is the case with tea leaves, which have a shelf life of about 6-9 months. Adding preservatives may increase its shelf life but it may be detrimental to our health. Besides, the four enemies of great tea, i.e., moisture, light, oxygen, and heat deprive the tea of its flavour and texture over time. Karma Kettle teas are 100% natural, free from preservatives or artificial additives or flavourings. Store your teas in a cool, dry and dark place, in airtight containers, and if you have old tea bags, toss them away.
Tea Myth #3: Drinking green tea will help with weight loss
This is the most persistent myth and we understand why it’s so tempting to believe it! However, teas aren’t directly responsible for weight loss or burning fat. Advertisements and pop culture listicles try to make us believe otherwise. While green tea contains a stimulant that helps speed up metabolism (a very tiny amount), medical experts haven’t established a direct correlation between consuming tea and losing weight. We wouldn’t recommend drinking more than 2-3 cups of green tea everyday and that too, after your meals and not on an empty stomach.
Tea Myth #4: Herbal teas also contain caffeine
All teas made from the Camellia sinensis - such as black tea, green tea, white tea, matcha tea, and oolong tea contain varying levels of caffeine. When consumed in moderation, caffeine helps improve concentration, alertness and memory. A cup of green tea still has only half the amount of caffeine that you would find in a cup of coffee, with black tea containing even more caffeine and matcha featuring the highest amount. That’s why we don’t recommend drinking more than 2 or 3 cups of green tea in a day as excess consumption can have similar side-effects to the ones we see in people drinking too much coffee!
On the other hand, herbal teas or tisanes aren’t made from the Camellia sinensis tea plant! Herbal teas are infusions or blends made from herbs, botanicals, spices, seeds, and roots, so technically, they aren’t even teas! Herbal teas don’t have caffeine and have plenty of health benefits, so go ahead and enjoy your tisanes.
Tea Myth #5: Tea is just a hot beverage
If you have been simply infusing hot water with tea leaves or tea bags, then here’s some good news: there are a hundred different ways for you to brew tea - hot, cold, with honey or jaggery, with or without milk and vegan milk options, as a cocktail or mocktail, and as that special ingredient in your dessert, popsicle, salad, barfi, noodles (yes, trust us!) and other dishes. Tea is one of the most versatile and healthy beverages and comes with a host of wellness benefits. Not only is tea a mood enhancer and sleep aid, it’s a good addition to your skincare ritual! While green tea is often used in skincare rituals, making delicacies with various teas has become trendy.