Tea: The Need-to-Knows
Fun facts: Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world after water, and true tea—white, green or black—comes from the same plant. But is tea good for us? To find out more about tea’s health benefits, flavors and serving tips, we got steeped in the brew’s many facets with help from our partners at Unilever, the parent company of famous tea brands such as Lipton and TAZO.
Is Tea Good for Me?
Have you ever heard of flavonoids? A recent Lipton study found that consuming 200 to 500 milligrams of these antioxidants can help support a healthy heart. “Drinking two to three cups of unsweetened brewed tea per day will get you there,” explains Joy Dubost, PhD, RDN and Head of Nutrition for Unilever North America. Explore other important health benefits on the blog.
Tea Flavors and Food Pairings
True tea comes from the same plant, camellia sinensis. How leaves are harvested and handled gives them different flavors and colors. Black teas have a stronger flavor that pairs well with cheeses or desserts. More delicate “green teas are lighter in color,” says Rob Wallauer, Corporate Chef for Unilever Food Solutions, and pair “well with more health-conscious items, such as seafood and sushi, grain bowls and light curries.”
Steep Times and Storage
Once the water is brought to a boil, Chef Rob recommends steeping black or green tea between three to four minutes. Oolong tea requires less time but, no matter the type, he says to be sure to review the manufacturer recommendations. Store your tea in a cool, zero-humidity environment to preserve flavor.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.