A healthy cuppa

Whilst attending various Farmers Markets, Food Festivals and the numerous other events I visit each year, probably the most frequently asked question by my customers is:

‘What are the health benefits of loose leaf tea/fruit infusions?’

Now, my first reaction is to explain that many teas are reported as having various health benefits, for differing people and different conditions – some proven, but many unproven, and as I am always honest with my customers, I never make these benefits a statement of fact.

However, the one health benefit I always emphasise is the following:

When brewing a pot or cup of any loose tea, whether it is Camellia sinensis based, or a herbal or fruit infusion it takes time and in all our busy and hectic lives, a few minutes away from the rush and hub-bub must be good for us.

To walk away from our desk or place of work, put water into the kettle, choose which tea we are going to have at this time, place the leaves, herbs or fruit infusion into our pot or infuser.

Then we wait for the kettle to boil, during this time you may wash a few dishes at the sink, think about your family or friends, a forthcoming event or holiday, or just look out of the window at a glorious day or even on a wet day, feel grateful that you are inside.

Once the kettle has boiled you then pour the water into the pot or cup and wait for it to brew or infuse – now your have the pleasure of the anticipation, looking forward to tasting the refreshing and satisfying drink.

Finally, it is ready and you have made any additions of personal preference – milk, sugar, lemon, honey or maybe you are just going to enjoy it au naturel.

At this point you may be able to take a few more minutes out, to sit and savour your brew, or you may have to return to your desk or work and enjoy it whilst continuing the day, but either way you have just had a wonderful respite from your work routine.

That, to me, is probably the biggest heath benefit of enjoying loose leaf tea.