Bedtime Teas

Bedtime TeasIf tossing and turning into the small hours of the morning has become your nightly routine, you might want to test out some tea remedies to help both your health and your sleep.

 

Many people find that drinking something warm before bed as a part of their routine helps them to relax and bring on sleep much easier.

There are a variety of caffeine-free tea options available. Rooibos is a herbal infusion made from a South African herb that contains polyphenols and flavonoids. Often called “African redbush tea,” Rooibos delivers potential health benefits with each caffeine-free sip. Try our vanilla bean and chai flavors for a real rooibos treat! Honeybush is a sibling of Rooibos, cultivated in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region. Its flowers smell of honey, earning this plant a sweet name. Some people actually do find that they have a soporific effect from Honey Bush.

 

There are also a number of herbs that many people have found to have a positive affect on sleep. Some of the more common sleepy time herbs are chamomile, lemon balm, and passionflower.

 

In the U.S., chamomile is best known as an ingredient in herbal tea. Chamomile relaxes the nerves, calms the stomach, and can give you a great night of sleep.

 

Passionflower was first grown and used by Native Americans, and similar to many plant based remedies, Passionflower has proven anti-anxiety benefits and has been known to cause less drowsiness than other anxiety remedies.

 

Lemon Balm is a citrusy and fresh scented herb. It is very prolific and easily grown. Fresh or dried leaves are used. Lemon balm tea was known to have powers of longevity. Today the tea is taken to treat colds and flu, lower blood pressure and for insomnia and indigestion.

 

All three of these herbs are found in our Calming Harmony, and we do carry a few different chamomile blends that are popular. Another herb that people find works for them is Valerian root. However, the Valerian Root is “heavier-hitting” and is known to have a very strong taste and smell.

 

Similar to Chamomile, Peppermint is a natural herbal tea that helps with distressing the body. This tea is great to drink the night before a big or stressful event. Peppermint tea soothes your stomach and relieves anxiety.

 

Although tea cannot be the magical remedy to solve all pain and suffering, it can definitely make life a lot more relaxed and rested.

 

Sweet Dreams!

 

(Note: Sleeping trouble can have many different causes. It always is a great idea to check with your doctor to rule out any health issues).

Coffee vs. Tea: Why Not Both?

By: Lauren

They say the world is divided into many diverse groups. Some of us prefer dogs to cats, snow to sun, meat to veggies, and coffee to tea. To be perfectly honest, I fell into the coffee drinker group until just recently. As I began to spend more of my time at The Tea Smith, I found myself preferring the taste of Cinnamon Sensation Rooibos and Matcha tea to my old standby- the triple tall Carmel Macchiato.

So is one drink really better than the other? And do you really have to choose one over the other?

Let’s start with coffee. If you’re like over half the adult population in the United States, you drink coffee everyday. Many coffee drinkers enjoy the taste. And for those who don’t, there are numerous variations – like sugar, milk, and syrups to disguise the flavor. Another reason people drink coffee is for a caffeine boost. Many people, myself included, swear by that first cup of coffee each morning.

Most regular coffee drinkers might argue their habit isn’t doing any harm to their bodies. In fact, they’ll point to reports touting the potential health benefits associated with coffee including: protecting against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, and promoting a healthy heart.

Please note- I am not suggesting that people start drinking coffee by the gallon. Too much of anything can be bad. The findings were based on black coffee. The same might not hold true for many of what I call “dessert-based” coffees that people consume.

I once read a quote from a nutritionist based at a London University who said “Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water.” Her premise is that water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it.

Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water. Why? Because of its versatility: it can be drank cold or hot, and there are enough varieties of tea to suit just about any taste. (I’m going to guess that number is well over 2,000).

People also have been drinking tea for centuries because of its health effects. Research suggests drinking tea—particularly green tea—can fight diseases and even lengthen life. This is due to tea’s high concentration of antioxidants called polyphenols, which may contribute to the prevention of cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases. While polyphenols are also found in abundance in fruits, vegetables, and grains—and also coffee in even higher amounts—tea is especially and uniquely rich in particular types of polyphenols called catechins (specifically, EGCG) that may be the most powerful ones of all.

Purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The herbal ’teas’ or infusions, made from herbs, fruit, seeds or roots have lower concentrations of antioxidants. Their chemical make up varies depending on the plant used. Popular choices include—ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile, and echinacea.

Although many questions remain about how long tea needs to be steeped for the most benefit, and how much you should drink, nutritionists agree any tea is good tea. They do prefer brewed teas over bottled to avoid the extra calories and sweeteners.

Both coffee and tea contain virtually no calories when mixed with water. Many drinkers add sugar and/or cream for a sweeter flavor. The actual tea leaf or coffee bean is virtually calorie-less. With no fat, no sodium, and no carbs – where can you go wrong?

Both coffee and tea contain caffeine. Coffee has about twice as much as tea if you compare it cup to cup. Caffeine in reasonable amounts during the day is considered healthy for most people, as it helps accelerate the metabolism. Coffee has some B vitamins, potassium and other minerals while Tea is high in manganese, folate and potassium. Both add a bit of nutrient goodness to your daily mix.

The end conclusion is that you can derive benefits from drinking both coffee and tea.

So there you have it! And my next drink? A pumpkin spice latte from The Tea Smith!

Theanine in Tea May Help Students Focus

Back to school reminders are everywhere these days. From the sales at every store, to Facebook photos of kids on the first day of school, you can’t escape the season’s change. We’ve mentioned before that tea is a great habit to get into to boost brain power and creativity, but it’s worth hearing again. It doesn’t matter whether you like white, green, black or oolong teas, they will all help you focus.

How does it work?

L-Theanine is the key. This natural component found in tea leaves has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve cognition and cognitive performance. It has also been tested as a mood booster. It is especially effective when combined with caffeine – another component of tea. This compound can be found in supplemental vitamins, but why not get it naturally? Besides, we can help you find a flavor you will love when it’s time to hit the books.

Encourage Good Habits
Teacup with infuser

Know anyone headed off to college this time of year? Tea would make a tasty parting gift and could help a student focus. Not sure what kind of tea your college friend would like? Get a gift card and direct them to our website to explore on their own. We can ship anywhere, including college campuses across the nation.

Grab a cup the next time you need to get away and get some work done. We hope you notice a difference. We certainly do!

Rituals Get You Ready for the Day

Do you carry a lot of stress in your daily life? To some extent, this is true for every one of us. It may be worth taking a minute to read about how you can better control stress or anxiety. No pills or program fees required.

The Importance of RitualWhite Matcha Set

We all have some sort of rituals in our day. Think back to the routines you watched Mr. Rogers go through when he started his children’s show. No matter what you thought of his collection of sweaters, as a child, you probably found some comfort in watching him change his shoes and pick out the same sweater every day. This kind of structure sets a person up to face the day. Rituals are sort of like coping methods so to speak, and the simple familiarity of them can help us decompress after a long day or get us in the right frame of mind to face whatever the day may bring. Check out more good reasons to add rituals.

Find Your Ritual

Rituals are often at the same time each day, but having one that you can turn to, at any time, is good, too. Whether that is going for a quick walk around the office, getting up to get a glass of water, or firing up a kettle for tea, implementing your ritual can ease stress or anxiety. Naturally, we like the idea of brewing yourself a cup of tea, but look here for a few more ideas.

What are your rituals? Which new ones will you try? Let us know how it goes!

A Cup of Tea, Slow and Reverent

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves—slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”
– Thich Nat Hahn

Tonight, as I brewed up my last pot of tea (Moroccan Mint), Thich Nat Hahn’s words struck a chord with me. While rushing through the bedtime routine at our house, I thought about how so many of these precious moments (getting to rock my daughter to sleep, for example) won’t last. The days are flying by fast, and I’m afraid that I’ll miss something in my race against the clock.Teapot

Slow Down

Tea invites us to slow time down a bit. There is never a 2–5 minute time period that I am more aware of than the 2–5 minutes it takes my first cup of tea to steep. Sitting down to enjoy it is automatically time carved out of the day for reflection. And reflection on life’s little moments and tiny blessings is what helps seal them in our memories.

Your Invitation

There will always be excuses to hurry and bustle, but this is your personal invitation to pause. Sit down, enjoy a pot of tea, and take inventory of your day, your blessings, your highs and lows, or whatever else you want to remember and cherish. Don’t let the rush toward the future cause you to miss the present. Enjoy it while it’s here!