Tea Fruit Blends
I’ve just ‘discovered’ tea as part of my rapidly-developing midlife crisis – suddenly finding words like ‘antioxidant’ and ‘polyphenol’ to be interesting, raising as they do the possibility of staving off impending doom.
Anyway. I staggered into a Teavana about a month ago (and actually quite enjoyed the experience, even with the hard sell), and have been back several times to purchase some fruit-flavoured white and green teas – mainly on the basis that I enjoy the taste; as someone that was brought up on stewed black tea with milk, I feel I should take things easy on my palate before I start on non-blended products. I find them perfectly drinkable without sweeteners, which I suppose has to be a potential benefit.
So….irrelevant paragraphs aside, my question is this: is ‘neat’ green/white tea more beneficial than the ‘fruit’ blended versions? You know, ‘super fruit enhanced’ labelling aside, are you getting more bang for your buck just getting a good white or green tea?
There’s a couple different ways to tackle this question (and I’ve deleted two of them so far). Here’s my points:
1) Drinking tea can be very beneficial to your health
2) Straight teas have more ‘tea’ than tea blends
3) Teavana puts a lot of filler in their blends to make them pretty
4) Dried fruit has some health benefits, though the amount in tea blends is probably negligible.
You’re probably getting more bang for your buck drinking straight teas, or ‘flavored’ teas (i.e. flavoring added, not filler added).
But really… drink what you enjoy. Drinking three cups of a fruity Teavana blend that you enjoy will definitely be more beneficial than drinking one cup of tea that you don’t.
Also, there’s a very real, tangible benefit to enjoying the process. An hour of enjoying the process of making a cup of tea, sitting and relaxing, and just enjoying yourself will have some definite health benefits as well.
So… welcome to Steepster!
This is my feeling about Teavana.
They cater to the general, tea-ignorant public. Their teas are fairly good quality, but most of their offerings are small amounts of tea mixed with large amounts of fruit flavoring and fillers.
Tea itself… considered beneficial, although studies differ on specific effects.
Teavana capitalizes on these health benefits by saying that tea is healthy, but then including small amounts of tea with large amounts of filler. The inclusion of the tea bumps up the price to the consumer while keeping their own costs lower and still allowing them to call it “tea.”
Although you may receive more of the health benefits (whatever they may be – studies differ so widely on what they actually are that I personally don’t pay attention) by drinking straight, unflavored tea, I agree with Dylan above that you should drink what you enjoy. Honestly, part of the reason that I don’t pay attention to these health studies is that I just enjoy tea. I don’t “drink tea to lose weight,” as if tea is some panacea which will suddenly make me drop 10 lbs or something. I just enjoy it. Someone on here said awhile back – ‘Drinking tea for the health benefits is like having sex for the exercise,’ and that’s my philosophy. I mean you could… but there are better ways to go about it!
So in short… experiment and enjoy!
I think drinking tea “just” for the health benefits is a perfectly fine reason for drinking tea. Tea can be one component of a healthy lifestyle. And you might find a lot of other things about tea that you enjoy.
If you are looking for maximum benefits, I would drink your tea straight and eat your fruits separately.
Thanks for the replies – I know the Snow Geisha I’ve been drinking seems to have a lot of leaves in it (and tastes different every time, but that’s a different issue), whereas the blackberry mojito appears to be less leaf and more fruit. ho hum. learning curves suck!
I also started drinking tea fairly recently, in part to help me kick the soda habit. I mostly drink iced tea, and even though I know they’re not “pure” and may not be terribly sophisticated, I like the blends. For me, it was an easier way to get accustomed to tea. The more I drink, the more willing I am to try different samples and learn moe about other types of tea.
But I have noticed that some teas are smoother than others and some are a bit more strong. I’d suggest getting smaller amounts from a a variety of high quality tea vendors and identifying some you like. The more you drink what you like, the more likely it is to become a habit and the more you’ll have opportunities to explore and try different things in the future.
Not everyone’s tea experience is the same. When I began drinking loose leaf I had a plan to start with a specific type of tea – I think it was black tea but then found myself drinking a ton of green tea instead. Now I am back to focusing more on black teas. I don’t feel it is something you can control as much as just what you are drawn to for whatever reason at any given time.
Just enjoy the ride :)
I am the same KatieK – anything has to better than the crap I was drinking….
Azzrian – I m currently drinking a snow geisha white tea, on a 1 minute steep, so yes, I feel like I am making some sort of progress!
Oh I have a sample of that to try! Yeah I jump around – one day it will be all one kind of tea, the next rooibos blends, then the next flavored blacks, then I will go to straight teas, then there is a day I mix it all up LOL
I TRY to do a black in the morning, a green, white, or something else mid day, then a dessert tea in the evening – more often than not it does not work out that way. :) I just hope your having fun trying new things!
To be honest Azzrian it’s more of an intellectual challenge trying to brew a tea correctly at the moment….it was a lot easier when I threw a bag into boiling water then squirted in milk haha!
Honestly I have no idea what the health benefit is of drinking tea that has dried fruit in it, you’d probably be better off just drinking tea and having a piece of fruit. :-P
Then I have read that adding milk (or soymilk) cancels out a lot of the health benefits due to the protein interfering with the antioxidants or some such stuff.
Practically anything is better than drinking soda though…
If you are looking for teas with health benefits, but you enjoy having a variety of flavors than just straight tea, may I recommend drinking herbal teas (which technically aren’t teas at all because they come from a completely different plant specie) and blend different herbs to achieve a specific health benefit or effect. For example, eucalyptus and peppermint can help with clear breathing. For indigestion and colds, I recommend ginger tea mixed with lemon and honey (an interesting variation is adding cayenne or a clove of garlic to help with sore throats). For an entire body de-stresser, I’d mix lavender with chamomile. I like to experiment with herbal teas because I enjoy the different flavors, and if I make my own herbal infusions, I’m in control of the health benefits, flavors, and aromas I achieve. There’s more variety of health benefits with herbal teas than there are with tea from the actual Camellia sinensis plant. It’s also more enjoyable to be making tea and indulging in the aromas that waft around my kitchen knowing that the tea you’ll be drinking is customized to your body’s needs and your taste buds.