There are the every day teas like black and green and then there are the unusual teas you should try.
I don’t set out to find teas that are unusual or so very different. However, when I come across them I can not resist tasting and finding out more about them. Living in Australia I am lucky to have found the bamboo and saffron teas produced locally.
Bamboo Tea benefits
The drinking of herbal teas for health benefits has existed for centuries. Bamboo leaf tea is amongst the many trending now. Made from the dried leaves it can be taken on its own or blended with a range of other herbs or fruits. Olive leaf, mint, ginger, lemon myrtle, rosemary, lemon juice are often added.
Bamboo leaf tea is popular for a few reasons
- it contains silica which promotes healthy hair and skin
- rich in antioxidants and high in fibre
- caffeine free
- rich in protein, calcium, iron and magnesium
It is important to note you may need to drink one cup three times daily to notice a difference for example in your hair, nails and skin. Bamboo leaf tea is definitely not a wonder product for bald men!
Bamboo tea has a light vegetal sweetness about it so if you are a keen green tea drinker this could be an alternative for you.
When making a pot of bamboo tea I prefer the water to be just below boiling point and steeped for 3 -5 minutes to ensure I get maximum goodness from the leaves.
Purple Tea is unusual
Just when you think you have settled on your favourite green or black or oolong tea along comes purple tea to tantalise your tastebuds. Grown from a cultivar of camellia sinensis, the plant other teas come from, the leaves are purple. They are usually found in Kenyan Tea Gardens although a few other countries are starting to produce it now also.
Purple tea offers most benefits of green tea but in higher concentrations. Higher polyphenol content than green or black tea. Less caffeine than green or black means less issues for those who react to caffeine with reflux.
It is smooth and light with a delicate floral flavour. If you like oolongs you will LOVE purple tea.
Third unusual tea to try is Saffron
Maybe saffron tea is unusual as saffron is the most expensive spice on the planet. This is because it requires handpicking from the crocus flower.
People have been consuming the spice for centuries. It is used in traditional cuisines of the Middle East, India and Europe. However it is also taken in tea. On its own it has a sweet earthy flavour and is often blended with other spices or herbs to enhance enjoyment. Drink Saffron and chamomille tea before bed and you are almost guaranteed a great night’s sleep. This is my favourite so check it out.
As it is very strong only small amounts are needed in a tea mix. Therefore it may be mixed with green or white tea or lemon, some use peppermint. Therefore when making a drink of Saffron tea I would keep the water slightly below boiling point and allow to brew 3-5 minutes.
It can provide many health benefits as it is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Foremost amongst the health benefit claims are
- improved moods
- effective against depression
- improved heart health
- reduced menstrual pain
- enhanced immune system
- anti cancer properties
Importantly tea drinkers should note there are risks with drinking too much saffron especially if allergic to olives or pregnant. If taking medication for heart or blood pressure conditions drinkers should be aware it can lower blood pressure.
I am sure these unusual teas will soon become favourites for you too.
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