Instagram Eye Candy: Tea Ice Cream

Tea flavored ice cream stands are popping up all over, and for tea lovers who also have a bit of a sweet tooth, this treat is heavenly! ย It’s the dessert tea lovers never knew they were missing.

I also think the tea cones are lovely, so here are some Instagram pics of tea ice cream cones, along with some places where you can find tea cones.

Hail’s Soft Serve

Maokong Hill

cute cats top ice cream ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹ #teaicecream #freezing #chilling

A photo posted by Carolyn Yang ๆฅŠ็ตก็”ฏโ˜€๏ธ (@carolynjess) on

Matcha Desserts

Aqua S

Cuteness overload ๐Ÿคค๐ŸŽ„โ„๏ธ @aquas_au's matcha Christmas tree x rose n sea salt #reindeer soft serves #YesDW

A photo posted by Food โ•ณ Lifestyle By PAUL (@paulpayasalad) on

Dazaifu Tenman-gลซ

When in Japan

A photo posted by Ivan Broida (@flanivan) on

Messina Miranda

NeNe Chicken Northbridge

Fat Ninja Bite

Or you can grab some Hรคagen-Dazsยฎ green tea ice cream at your local grocer!

Where Does Tea Come From?

Where Does Tea Come From? Tea Growing Regions Of The World

cup-of-tea-2If you found this article, you likely are looking for an answer to the question: where does tea come from? Unfortunately, the distribution and marketing system does not draw attention to the region in which most tea is grown. Even the names for teas, many of which use historical names that are no longer in common use, do not necessarily make it easy to learn where a given tea is produced. For example, Ceylon tea is from Sri Lanka; the term Ceylon is an old name for Sri Lanka. Similarly, Formosa oolong is grown in Taiwan; Formosa is an older name for Taiwan.

This page gives a brief overview of where the various types of teas are from, starting with their names, and following with an explanation of where they are from. But before we explore the named single-origin teas, we start by discussing where blends come from, since most of the tea that most people drink is blended.

Where do blends come from?

Tea plantation in Fujian Province in China

Tea plantation in Fujian Province in China

When tea is labelled by grade, like orange pekoe, or by style, such as English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast, it is usually a blend of teas from different regions. The origin of the teas in the blend vary from one company to the next, but most of the teas used in blending comes from the world’s largest tea producers, which are India, China, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. Turkey is also a major tea producer, but most of their output is consumed domestically. If you buy tea from the supermarket, not labelled with region of origin, chances are that most of it comes from India, China, Sri Lanka, and/or Kenya.

Named varieties of tea and their origin:

Black Teas:

Tea plantation in Xiping Town. a famous historic site in Xiping, Anxi, Fujian, China.

Tea plantation in Xiping Town. a famous historic site in Xiping, Anxi, Fujian, China.

Darjeeling comes from the Darjeeling district in Northeastern India, a high-altitude region at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.

Assam comes from the Assam region of Northeastern India, in a low-lying river valley.

Ceylon tea comes from Sri Lanka.

Keemun originates in Qimen county of Anhui province in China; teas in the style of Keemun are also grown in surrounding areas.

Green Teas:

Tea Garden in Himalaya

Tea Garden in Himalaya

Sencha, bancha, kukicha, genmaicha, and most other teas with a name ending in “cha” are Japanese green teas. These teas originated in Japan, but many of them, especially sencha, are also grown in other regions, including China and Vietnam.

Dragonwell, bi luo chun, mao feng, gunpowder, chun mee, young hyson, and most green teas other than the Japanese ones are grown in China. China is the world’s largest producer of green teas

Other Types of Tea: White, Oolong, Pu-erh:

Gorgeous Tea Plantations

Gorgeous Tea Plantations

All Pu-erh tea originates in Yunnan province of China.

Most white tea comes from China, and most (not all) is grown in Fujian province.

Most oolong tea comes either from China or Taiwan. Formosa Oolong, Dong Ding oolong, and Alishan oolong come from Taiwan. Wuyi tea come from the Wuyi mountains in Fujian province of China.

Learning more about tea:

Glass of Turkish tea in Istanbul

Glass of Turkish tea in Istanbul

This page is just a brief introduction to where tea comes from. There are many unusual and interesting teas that do not fit into the scheme presented here. Some of these are some of the most interesting and exciting teas to sample. If you really want to learn more about where your tea comes from, consider buying single region, loose-leaf teas so that you can start tasting the differences between teas grown in different parts of the world.


Alex Zorach is the creator of RateTea, an interactive website where anyone can rate and review teas. This site has a database of teas classified by brand, style, and region, with a wealth of information about different varieties of tea. Visit this site to explore the various tea growing regions of the world, and learn more about where you can buy teas from each of these regions.

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Kukicha Twig Tea – A Japanese Green Tea Made From Stems

Kukicha Twig Tea

Kukicha Twig Tea

Kukicha is a type of Japanese green tea that is made mostly or exclusively from twigs and stems. This stands in contrast to most teas (green or otherwise) which are made mostly from leaves and buds of the tea plant. Sometimes kukicha is referred to as kukicha tea, but the “tea” is redundant as “cha” means tea in Japanese.

Health benefits of kukicha relative to other green teas:

Kukicha has not been extensively studied for its health benefits, and there is not currently enough evidence to say conclusively whether it is more or less healthy than other Japanese green teas, or any other types of tea. Kukicha has a similar chemical profile to other Japanese green teas, and contains the same antioxidants, the catechins, so it is likely that the health benefits of kukicha are similar to other green teas.

Kukicha is often promoted as having less caffeine than other teas, for the simple reason that the stems and twigs of the tea plant are lower in caffeine than the leaves and buds. Other teas, such as bancha, which contain some stem, are also slightly lower in caffeine. However, the caffeine content of green tea varies quite a lot, and kukicha is no exception. Some kukicha contains a larger portion of leaf, and these teas generally tend to be more highly-caffeinated than the kukicha made exclusively from stems and twigs. One study that examined the caffeine content of various teas actually found one kukicha tested to be higher in caffeine relative to other green teas.

Flavor, aroma, and appearance of kukicha:

The flavor, aroma, and overall character of kukicha is quite similar to other Japanese green teas, especially bancha, but also sencha. Kukicha is often described as having a slightly more nutty or woody aroma, but the difference when compared to other Japanese teas is subtle.

Bancha tends to be more similar to kukicha because it often also contains some stem pieces. Kukicha often has slightly less of the vegetal and seaweedy qualities that some sencha has, but this factor is variable, and some kukicha has. The appearance of brewed kukicha that is made exclusively of stems and twigs tends to be clearer than sencha, and a lighter color, but kukicha that includes leaf can come out more cloudy and greenish, more typical for a Japanese green tea.

Buying kukicha:

The best companies from which to buy kukicha are those that specialize in Japanese green teas. However, a number of tea companies with a broader catalog also offer one or two kukichas for sale. In western countries it can be hard to find kukicha in stores, so buying online will be the best option for most people.


Alex Zorach is the creator of RateTea, an interactive website where anyone can rate and review teas. This site has a database of teas classified by brand, style, and region, with a wealth of information about different varieties of tea. Visit this site to read reviews of kukicha – twig tea and locate sources of buying kukicha.

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Premium Green Tea Brands – Companies Selling The Best Green Tea

Iced Green Tea Latte

Iced Green Tea Latte

The label premium when referring to green tea is entirely subjective. Any company can slap the word “premium” on their own brand, but because there is no agreed upon meaning of this term, the label “premium” on its own is almost meaningless. In addition, because green tea is so diverse, even experts and tea enthusiasts who know how to locate and select high-quality tea do not agree about which teas deserve the title of the “best green tea”. That said, there are still things that you can do as a shopper to inform your purchases, so that you locate premium-quality green for a fair price.

If you are reading this article, you are most likely looking for the best quality green tea, and would like to pay as reasonable a price for it as possible. You may be looking for a brand to serve or sell in your business, searching for a gift for a tea lover, or just looking to buy a tea to drink daily in your home, for taste or for health. Regardless of what you are looking for, this article will give you a few easy pointers that will help you to locate the best green teas.

Buy from brands and companies focusing on loose-leaf green tea:

Many people in America are only accustomed to drinking tea that is packaged in tea bags. Although there are a number of high-quality teas available in bagged form, the best teas tend to only be available in loose-leaf form. When you buy tea bags, you are paying for an industrial packaging process, including the energy, materials, and machinery used to package the tea. When you buy loose-leaf tea, on the other hand, you are paying primarily for the actual production process of the leaf, and thus, paying mainly for the quality of the leaf itself, and the flavor and aroma of the finished tea.

Any company that is serious about tea and legitimately deserves the “premium” label will offer, and probably focus on, loose-leaf tea. Many of the best companies from which to buy green tea will only sell loose-leaf.

Buy single-region, single-harvest teas of named varieties:

When tea is labelled only as “green tea”, it is often a blend of teas from different regions, harvests, and of differing varieties. Each of these regions, harvests, and varieties produces unique flavors in the cup. Although tea blending can be a legitimate practice that can produce nuanced tea blends, unfortunately, the practice of blending is often used to create mass-produced blends using low-quality teas bought on the open market for as low a price as possible.

Buying green tea that is labelled as a specific named variety will often get you higher-quality tea, but this alone will not guarantee premium quality. Even specific types of green tea like dragon well, chun mee, bi luo chun, sencha, bancha, and gyokuro (to give a few examples) are sometimes blended, and these blends can sometimes include “fake” teas–batches produced with shortcut processing methods, or in regions different from the original variety.

The best teas will usually specify more information about the particular batch you are buying, such as a harvest date, a region of origin, or, when the tea is grown in one garden or estate, the name of that specific garden or estate. Tea companies that know green tea will also provide details about what makes their particular batch special, both in terms of its production, and its qualities of flavor and aroma. Companies selling a more generic product will usually rely instead on general or generic descriptions of the particular style of green being sold.

My personal favorite green tea brands:

Although each person has their own opinions, I have tried quite a lot of tea and have developed my own preferences of brands and companies to buy from. My favorite brands of green tea. Among the mainstream brands available in tea bags, I like Foojoy for Chinese teas (available in most Asian markets) and Yamamotoyama for Japanese ones. Upton Tea Imports remains a favorite, especially for Chinese teas, green or black, less so for Japanese. Life in Teacup, another one of my favorites is a tiny company that specializes in Chinese teas, and has a good selection of green and oolong teas. Lastly, I also like Rishi Tea, a leader in fair trade and organic teas, and Rishi has a good selection of green and other teas as well.

Inform yourself about green tea:

The best way to locate brands and companies of premium-quality green tea is for you yourself to know the basics of green. If you know about the major regions that produce green tea, and if you are familiar with the different varieties of both Chinese and Japanese green tea, where these varieties tend to be produced, what each variety tends to cost, and what characteristics of flavor and aroma each one has, you will be able to make more informed purchases. China and Japan are the two biggest countries, and each of these has a number of regions well-known for their green (and sometimes other) teas, but there are other notable regions as well. Some background reading can inform your purchases, but in the end, there is no substitute for actually sampling a number of teas from different companies.


Alex Zorach is the founder and editor-in-chief of RateTea, an interactive website where anyone can rate and review teas. RateTea has a database of teas classified by brand, style, and region, with a wealth of information about each variety and region. Browse listings of green teas from various brands on this site: read reviews and browse listings of different brands and styles, sample teas, and decide for yourself which are the premium brands.

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Lapsang Souchong Black Tea – Caffeine Content, Smokiness, & Reviews

Enjoy a cup of whole leaf lapsang souchong tea, a rich smoky flavored tea.

Enjoy a cup of whole leaf lapsang souchong tea, a rich smoky flavored tea.

Lapsang souchong, widely known as a “smoky tea” or “smoked tea”, is a Chinese black tea, originating in the Wuyi mountains, which is dried over pine smoke. The pine smoke imparts a unique smoky quality to the aroma of the tea, which, in its smokier incarnations, is described as having an aroma similar to campfire smoke. The traditional lapsang souchongs, however, are considerably more subtle in their smoky aromas, and more closely resemble other high-quality Chinese black teas, such as Keemun.

This article explores several topics related to Lapsang souchong, including the levels of caffeine, and varying levels of smokiness. The article concludes with a brief summary of some of my personal reviews.

Caffeine content:

“Souchong”, written in modern Chinese as “Xiaozhong”, is a grade of tea used to describe a wide variety of black teas. Souchongs, denoted in the standard grading system by an (S), are actually somewhat of a low grade, consisting of larger, tougher, more mature leaves from the tea plant than the standard orange pekoe (OP) grade. The tips and smaller, younger leaves of the tea plant are higher in caffeine than the larger, more mature leaves, so souchongs, including lapsang souchong, are considerably lower in caffeine than other standard grades of black tea (and lower than a number of green and white teas as well).

Smokiness: traditional (subtly smoky) vs. intensely smoky:

Lapsang Souchong Tea Leaves

Lapsang Souchong Tea Leaves

Although there is a broad range of qualities in Lapsang souchong teas, these teas can be roughly divided into two types: the more intensely smoky style, most well-known in the west, especially in British tea culture, and the traditional style, which have a subtly smoke aroma, and are more similar in overall character to other Chinese black teas, like a high-grade Keemun.

Because a lot of people object to the intense smoky quality of the British style of Lapsang Souchong, and because these teas tend to be low in both caffeine and bitterness, these teas are often blended with other, stronger teas, creating a blend which has both a more moderated smoky quality, and more of a kick.

My reviews:

I personally am a huge fan of the traditional style of Lapsang souchong. I would recommend one that I sampled from the small tea company, Life in Teacup, recently. This tea had chocolatey nuances and a pleasing roasted quality. For a more strongly smoky variety, in tea bags, I would recommend looking at Twinings, which is widely available, and for loose-leaf, Upton Tea Imports, which sells an organic version of this tea (ZS85). These teas were both good, even though they were in the more intense style that I do not prefer.

If you want to learn more about these teas, my recommendation is to try them for yourself. If you have not yet tried the traditional style, and are intimidated by the overwhelming smokiness of some Lapsang souchong, I recommend getting your hands on some of the traditional stuff from a company specializing in Chinese teas.


Alex Zorach is the founder and editor-in-chief of RateTea, an online community where anyone can rate and review teas, and an authoritative source for information about tea. RateTea has a searchable database of teas, classified by brand, style, and region, and articles on tea, health, sustainability, and related topics. Find and share Lapsang souchong tea reviews on RateTea.

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Hojicha Tea – A Roasted Green Tea From Japan

Hojicha Iced Tea

Hojicha Iced Tea

Hojicha is a type of roasted Japanese green tea. The sometimes-used term hojicha tea is redundant, as “cha” means tea in Japanese and a number of other languages. Hojicha is usually viewed as an unusual or peculiar type of green tea, as it differs sharply from other green teas, Japanese or Chinese, in its color, flavor, and overall characteristics.

Caffeine Content and Health Benefits of Hojicha:

Hojicha Tea Leaves

Hojicha Tea Leaves

Two of the most common questions that many people ask when they learn of a new variety of green tea are: How do the health benefits of this tea compare to other green teas? and How much caffeine does this particular variety contain?

Caffeine: Hojicha is among the lowest in caffeine of green teas, which is good news for people seeking natural low-caffeine teas, produced without a chemical decaffeination process. There are two reasons for the low caffeine content of hojicha. First, hojicha tends to be produced from bancha, a Japanese green tea which is naturally low in caffeine because it is made from larger, more mature leaves, which themselves contain less caffeine. Secondly, the roasting process breaks down some of the caffeine. It is important to note, however, that the amount of caffeine in a different hojichas sold by different companies can be quite varied, both due to variation in the base tea, and variability in the level of roast.

Health Benefits: The health benefits of hojicha have not been as extensively studied, in terms of studies that measure the effects of actual tea drinking on humans. However, there is at least one study that has measured the antioxidant content of brewed teas, and this study found that hojicha is much lower in catechins, the main class of antioxidants in green tea. It is likely that the roasting process, in addition to breaking down caffeine, also breaks down a number of the antioxidants. Although antioxidants are not the only reasons for the health benefits of tea, it is important to note that hojicha does not deliver the same amount of antioxidant as most other green teas.

What does hojicha taste like?

Hojicha Tea

Hojicha Tea

Hojicha has a strong roasted aroma, reminiscent of coffee. However, it’s flavor is mellow and smooth. The resulting cup of tea is fascinatingly coffee-like in aroma, but completely unlike coffee in flavor. Hojicha has some of the aromas and flavors characteristic of green tea. As one would expect, the lighter-roasted hojicha tends to resemble the original base tea more than the darker-roasted teas. Some hojicha is double-roasted; the more heavily roasted teas bear little resemblance to the original base teas used.

Other roasted teas:

Besides hojicha, there are a number of other teas that are roasted at some point in their production process. Many oolongs are roasted, and like with hojicha, the level of roast varies considerably. One can find Wuyi oolongs, Anxi oolongs, Dancong, and Taiwanese oolongs that tend towards the more heavily-roasted sign. A few Chinese green teas are also roasted, although the level of roast is very light and the roasting is done as an essential part of the production process, producing teas that do not resemble hojicha much at all.

Buying hojicha:

A few brands of hojicha are occasionally available in stores in western countries, but a more reliable option for most people, especially those seeking out high-quality loose-leaf tea, is to buy hojicha online. The best companies from which to buy hojicha are those that specialize in Japanese green teas, although there are a number of other tea companies that offer hojicha among broader offerings as well.

One of my favorite sweet treats is tea flavored ice cream, like this vanilla, hojicha, vanilla & green tea cone!

One of my favorite sweet treats is tea flavored ice cream, like this vanilla, hojicha, vanilla & green tea cone!


Alex Zorach is the creator of RateTea, an interactive website where anyone can rate and review teas. This site has a database of teas classified by brand, style, and region, with a wealth of information about each variety of tea. Visit this site to read reviews of hojicha, roasted green tea, and locate companies from which you can buy this tea.

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Keemun Black Tea From China

Caffeine Content, Health Benefits, and Other Properties

Fresh Chinese tea including Keemun black tea for sale in the "water town" Hongcun.

Fresh Chinese tea including Keemun black tea for sale in the “water town” Hongcun.

Keemun is a type of Chinese black tea, originating in Qimen county of Anhui Province, China. This article gives an overview of the caffeine content, health benefits, and other properties of Keemun.

Keemun is primarily produced in Anhui province, but teas in this style have also begun to be produced in nearby Hubei, as well as in Jiangxi, and even in Taiwan. Keemun is usually described as having an earthy aroma, and its overall character is quite different from Indian and Ceylon teas. My personal perspective is that Keemun has a richer, warmer quality, often reminiscent of dried fruit, and in higher grades, a pleasing hint of wood or wood smoke. These teas are rich and full-bodied, and are among my favorite black teas.

Caffeine Content:

Although you may be looking for more concrete information, it is hard to generalize about the caffeine content of Keemun. Even though it originates primarily in one region and shares certain aspects of production, Keemun is fairly diverse, coming in different grades. As a general rule though, Keemun is often in the moderate to high end of caffeine content, among teas, which means that it still has considerably less caffeine than a typical cup of coffee. Keemun has historically been used in breakfast blends, where strongly caffeinated teas were desired

Health Benefits:

Keemun has actually been the subject of direct scientific study., in association with weight loss in animal studies. There is only a small amount of research referring specifically to this variety of tea, however, so most of what can be said about Keemun must be inferred from general studies about black tea.

Although green tea has a stronger association with supposed “health benefits” in the public consciousness in the United States, this association may be skewed by historical factors. Much of the early research on tea and health was conducted in Japan, where tea is synonymous with green tea. Subsequent research has found substantial evidence that black tea is healthy as well. In the absence of more reserach specifically looking at Keemun, it seems reasonable to conclude that Keemun is likely to have a similar amonut of health benefits to black tea.

Locating High-Quality Keemun:

My recommendation, if you want to buy the best Keemun, is to buy exclusively loose-leaf. My experience is that the best Keemun is usually sold by companies that specialize in Chinese tea. Because they store relatively well, Chinese black teas, even those of considerably high quality, tend to be relatively inexpensive, with all but the highest grades (Keemun Hao Ya A and B, and Keemun Mao Feng) costing well under $10 for about 1/4 pound or about 100-125 grams. A few companies, including Rishi Tea, Arbor Teas, and Little Red Cup, sell fair trade certified Keemun, produced in Hubei, Anhui, and Jiangxi provinces, respectively.

Popular Chinese Black Tea Varieties

Popular Chinese Black Tea Varieties


Alex Zorach is the founder and editor-in-chief of RateTea, an online community where anyone can rate and review teas, and an authoritative source for information about tea. RateTea has a searchable database of teas, classified by brand, style, and region, and articles on tea, health, sustainability, and related topics. You may be particularly interested in the page on Keemun tea reviews.

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Jasmine Tea Benefits

Jasmine Tea Benefits – Health Effects Unique to Jasmine Tea

Jasmine Tea

Jasmine Tea

Jasmine tea is tea that has been scented with jasmine blossoms. Originating in China and still popular there, jasmine tea is one of the most popular styles of flavor tea worldwide.

How jasmine tea is made:

The base tea used is typically a green tea, although sometimes a white tea or a pouchong (bao zhong), which is a lighter oolong, is used. Rarely, black, oolong, or Pu-erh will be used as a base. The traditional production process for jasmine tea is time-intensive and involves many steps: the tea leaves are layered with jasmine flowers, and allowed to sit in an enclosed area until the floral scent permeates the leaves These flowers are then removed and replaced with new flowers, at which point the process is repeated. In more expensive varieties, this process will be repeated as many as 7 times. This process is time-intensive and costly, and modern “shortcut” methods have been invented that involve. Connoisseurs often consider these shortcut methods to yield an inferior product.

Jasmine tea contains tea as well as other natural chemicals:

A key idea for the purpose of this article is that the health effects of jasmine tea depend not only on chemical substances in the tea leaves, but also on chemicals present in the jasmine flowers. These additional chemicals are responsible for the unique health benefits of this blend, that cannot be found in other teas. But first I will give a brief overview of the health benefits associated with the base tea.

Health benefits of all teas:

Tea is a healthy beverage, and jasmine tea is no exception. Tea leaves contain a class of compounds called catechins, which function as antioxidants and have been pointed to as having a number of positive effects on health. The health benefits of tea are often over-hyped, especially when green tea or oolong is promoted as a weight-loss product. However, science has provided some evidence supporting a number of the health effects of tea, such as a modest reduction in the risk of heart disease for people who drink 3-5 cups of tea daily. There are also other supposed benefits, including anti-microbial effects, and of course, the temporary but noticeable boost in energy and concentration associated with caffeine. Tea also contains L-theanine, which is thought to play a role in relaxation.

Health benefits specific to jasmine:

Jasmine has been less thoroughly studied on its own. However, there are a few studies suggesting it may have benefits in health. Jasmine is widely used in aromatherapy, and one scientific study has validated its use in this respect, finding that the mere scent of Jasmine, even if you do not drink tea containing it, and even if the smell is so mild that you are not consciously aware of it, has a measurable relaxing effect on the body. As relaxation and reduction of stress has positive overall effects on the body, this benefit is not to be laughed at. There is also some evidence that jasmine has antibacterial properties, which would add to the potential antibacterial properties of the base tea.

In summary:

Jasmine tea is a scented tea which can be produced by various base teas. Jasmine has not been thoroughly studied on its own, in terms of its health effects, but there is some evidence that the aroma of jasmine has a relaxing effect on the mind and body, which is known to have positive overall effects on health; jasmine also shows some promise of antibacterial effects. These effects could potentially combine with the health benefits of the base tea, producing an overall healthful drink.


Alex Zorach is the founder and editor-in-chief of RateTea, an interactive website where anyone can rate and review teas. This site has a database of teas classified by brand, style, and region, with a wealth of information about different varieties of tea, and a number of health-related articles as well. Visit RateTea’s page on jasmine tea to read and share reviews of jasmine tea, and locate different sources of buying jasmine tea.

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5 Ways Herbal Teas Can Treat Or Reduce Anxiety And Help You Relax

herbal-teaDrinking herbal teas, especially ones like chamomile, and various herbal blends, is often seen as a powerful and effective way to relax. This article explores five ways in which herbal teas can help you to relax, making an effective, natural, and inexpensive treatment for anxiety

1. Medicinal Effects:

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea

Herbs have various chemical components which act on the mind and body a lot like prescription drugs, but in a gentler, safer, and more balanced way. Many of the herbs commonly used as teas have been established scientifically to have relaxing or calming effects. The herbs with some science supporting their use for relaxing include chamomile, tulsi (holy basil), lemon balm, lavender, sage, passionflower, valerian, and kava. Many of these are common ingredients in herbal blends, especially those designed to promote relaxation.

2. Warmth:

Tea with lemonImagine curling up in a warm blanket with a hot cup of something. Even thinking of this sort of thing can help us relax. Warmth relaxes us, and this is not just due to our minds, it is due to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces the stress response. Drinking herbal teas can help relax us by warming us up.

3. Aroma:

Chamomile tea is used as aromatherapy for relaxing effects.  Always use caution when trying out new aromatherapy options.

Chamomile tea is used as aromatherapy for relaxing effects. Always use caution when trying out new aromatherapy options.

Aromas can be very powerful. Think of how certain smells can bring back vivid memories, often evoking strong emotions associated with those memories. Some chemicals are even able to produce measurable effects on the mind and body even at levels so low that they cannot be consciously detected. Infusions of richly aromatic herbs have great potential to impact our mood through their smell. Many of the herbal blends people drink to relax have been chosen and blended specifically to have a calming or anxiety-reducing effect. This effect can be powerful and immediate, helping us to relax even before we take the first sip.

4. Mindfulness:

morning cups of teaMindfulness is a powerful way to combat anxiety and related problems like depression. The act of focusing on the here and now can help us to be happier and work effectively. Herbal teas can be a focal point for our mindfulness, as we pay attention to the taste and smell of the cup of tea we are drinking, and as we take time out of our day to enjoy our herbal tea, which leads into our final point:

5. Enjoyment:

Hot tea on a cold winter dayPeople often approach anxiety and stress like it is a medical problem; while there is some merit to this approach, it is also true that at times, we just need to kick back and enjoy ourselves. If you want to drink herbal tea to relax and to help reduce your anxiety level, the best way to do so is to pick an herbal tea that you enjoy the most, and drink it because you like the way it tastes. Your enjoyment will help you to relax more as well!


Alex Zorach is the founder and editor-in-chief of RateTea, an online community where anyone can rate and review teas, and the web’s authoritative source for information about tea. RateTea has a searchable database of teas and herbal teas, classified by brand, style, and region, and articles on tea, health, sustainability, and related topics. Visit RateTea’s page on herbal teas for anxiety to find recommendations of specific herbs which have evidence of being effective to reduce anxiety.

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Black Teas Similar To Darjeeling Tea – Other Himalayan Tea Growing Regions

Tea Garden in Himalaya

Tea Garden in Himalaya

Darjeeling tea, which usually refers to black tea produced in the Darjeeling district of northeast India, is one of the most well-known and highly-regarded types of tea in the world. However, the Darjeeling district itself is quite tiny, and there is a much larger band of regions at the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range with a similar climate. Many of these regions also produce tea, and the tea is in many respects similar to Darjeeling black tea.

This article explores some of the black teas produced in other Himalayan regions outside of the Darjeeling district. These regions include other districts and states of India, such as Sikkim and Jalpaiguri, as well as nearby regions in other countries, including Nepal and Bangladesh.

Other regions of India:

Certified Organic Camellia Assam Tea

Certified Organic Camellia Assam Tea

After Darjeeling, the next-best known tea growing region of India is Assam. Although Assam is geographically very close to Darjeeling, it is located at a lower altitude and has a markedly warmer climate with higher humidity but lower rainfall. These conditions, paired with the fact that the tea grown in Assam is produced from a different, large-leaf cultivar of the tea plant, results in tea with a vastly different character from Darjeeling tea.

The other high-altitude regions nearby, however, produce teas very similar to Darjeeling. Sikkim is the best-known of these regions, although it is probably still quite esoteric to anyone other than tea enthusiasts. Jalpaiguri, the district directly east of Darjeeling, is perhaps even more esoteric.

Neighboring regions of other countries:

Driving on an unfinished new road to Tibet, an ancient tea trail.

Driving on an unfinished new road to Tibet, an ancient tea trail.

The teas most similar to Darjeeling tea that are grown out of India are those grown in Nepal. Darjeeling actually shares a substantial border with Nepal, and the regions in which tea is grown in Nepal not only have essentially the same climate as in Darjeeling, but the traditions and culture of tea cultivation there are also very closely related. Although they are similar to Darjeeling teas, and are classified by the same system of flushes (first flush, second flush, autumnal flush, etc.) Nepalese black teas definitely have their own distinctive character to them and can be identified as such to the trained palate.

Bangladesh is also relatively near the Darjeeling district, and there are regions. Teas from Bangladesh, however, are not as widely available on the Western market, and many of them are also slightly less close in character and quality to those produced in Darjeeling. Nevertheless, this country does warrant mention.

In summary:

Black teas produced in Darjeeling, India are among the most well-known of high-quality, loose-leaf black teas. However, there are other nearby regions, including Sikkim and Jalpaiguri in India, and outside of India, neighboring regions in Nepal, which produce similar teas. These teas have Darjeeling-like qualities, but also have their own unique characteristics and offer an interesting change of pace for curious enthusiasts of loose-leaf black tea.


Alex Zorach is the founder and editor-in-chief of RateTea, an online community where anyone can rate and review teas, and the web’s authoritative source for information about tea. Visit RateTea’s page on tea regions of India to learn more about these regions and locate teas produced there.

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