Louise’s top 5 tips for festive survival
In November cooler days come our way across Canada, and maybe some of you are starting to think about the winter holidays. As a tea lover I find so much pleasure in giving, sharing and enjoying tea that I hope my early tips for holiday survival will set you up for a healthy and relaxing season.
1. Choose your beverages wisely
Many of us forget to check our liquid calories which can add up quickly. Did you know that tea is 99% water and is an all-natural zero calorie beverage? Water is the perfect beverage recommended by health professionals as a healthy choice. Water, like tea, also helps your body stay hydrated, contributes to optimal physical and mental performance and most importantly, helps you eat less if you drink before and during meals! Thousands of published studies in leading medical journals support the potential health benefits of drinking tea. In fact, the December 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published 12 studies, including those showing that tea has been found to help promote weight loss.
2. Host a tea party
Did you know that When the word “tea” is used to describe a mealtime, it refers to the mid to late afternoon meal that is traditional in England and other countries with British roots. At this meal, tea is served along with finger foods such as sandwiches and scones.
A get-together with tea and friends brings out the best of both the worlds. Small sandwiches (cucumber, watercress, salmon etc.), and small dessert bites make for a wonderful departure from the regular heavy food focused party fare and offer the perfect pairing for food and friend enjoyment. And there are so many varieties of teas to choose from – whether it be black, green, oolong or white. Not only does tea taste great, but there is a large and growing body of research backing it as a healthy, good for you beverage. You can create a unique event by offering a selection of different teas. Visit tea.ca for recipe ideas and tea & food pairings to help in planning a TEArrific get-together that will bring out the best in your friendships.
3. Take time to relax and refresh
So put your worries aside and start sipping! Tea is a refreshing and relaxing drink and is considered to be part of a healthy lifestyle. Taking a break with a soothing hot drink can help you relax and reduce stress. It’s easy to brew a terrific cup of tea, either from loose leaf tea or tea bags. Always bring water to a rolling boil. For black tea, use water that has just boiled and for green, oolong and white teas, use water that is 80°C (185° Fahrenheit) Then, pour water directly onto tea leaves or bag. Do not over-brew your tea which means removing the tea bag or infuser after 5 minutes of steeping for black teas, and after 1-3 minutes for green, oolong and white teas. You’re now ready to sit back and enjoy the best cup of tea. For full instructions visit our Tea Types & Steeping Instructions page.
4. Boost your mood and stay alert
Drinking tea can improve attention and some people find it allows them to be more focused on the task at hand. In a recent study, subjects who drank tea produced more accurate results during a task that required focused attention and also felt more alert than subjects who drank a placebo that did not contain tea. These effects were found for two to three cups of tea consumed within 90 minutes. It is thought that caffeine and the amino acid theanine, both present in tea, contribute to many of tea’s psychological benefits. 
5. Give a gift of tea and health
It’s November and with that the holiday season (and shopping) is right around the corner. Tea is a healthy beverage and who wouldn’t love to receive a gift of specially selected tea, tea pot or a lovely mug? Here are some terrific tea related gift ideas.
- Teapot: Tea tastes better brewed in a teapot. Why not surprise someone special with a unique tea pot this season?
- Tea table book: Any book about teas is sure to be well-received by tea lovers. Look for tips on different styles of teas, and interesting details for tea enthusiast to soak up while they enjoy their favourite cup of tea.
- Tea box: These are a great way to store envelopes of tea. They’re sure to be a big hit for those that love their tea and want to have a variety on hand to use and share.
- A beautiful tea cup: A new mug that is unique and personalized is sure to be favoured by any tea lover.
To shop, visit our Find a Retailer page to locate a tea shop near you or online.
I wish you all the best of the season and do feel good about enjoying and sharing tea as part of a healthy lifestyle.