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Crazy for "Cuppa" tea? Nothing can beat a blissful hot cup of tea in a cold, freezing morning to charge you up for the mundane tasks ahead in the day. Tea scores higher than coffee as it contains Tannin and Catechin which prevents cancer and heart diseases whereas coffee contains Caffeine which is not considered very healthy. Tea is a product of the leaves, leaf buds, and inter-nodes of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Most premium quality teas are grown at higher elevations, where mountain mist and dew shield the plants from direct sunlight. Teas are used for a wide range of purposes, with formulations aimed at specific flavors and season. Tea is usually prepared by infusion or decoction. Rejuvenate and refresh yourself by either of these preparations with an infusion of medicinal herbs grown in your own home tea herb garden.

Tea Decoction

Roots or bark of a plant are used for decoction. The ingredients are soaked in cold water for a duration of 20 minutes to 6 hours in a stainless steel or enamel pot. Bring the solution to boil, and then simmer it for 10-40 minutes, depending on how strong you want the decoction. Strain and drink it hot.

Tea Infusion

Dried or fresh herbs are used to prepare infusion. Put the dried herbs in two cups of clean water and steep it for 3 to 5 minutes. Add one teaspoon of dried or fresh cut leaves (triple the quantity if freshly picked from your home tea garden) and/or flowers into pre-heated mug, jar, or teapot. Cover and let it steep for 10 to 30 minutes. Strain and drink it hot. For cold infusion, steep herbs overnight for 4 to 5 hours, then strain, chill and drink.

Tea comes in multitude of varieties. Here is an outline of the world famous varieties of tea and their properties. According to a study, the tea destroys 80 percent of viruses within 20 minutes.

Black Tea

Black Tea is obtained from tea leaves that are withered, rolled, fermented, and then fired. The tone is darker because the leaves are exposed to air and the oxidation leaves a stronger, traditional and enjoyable taste. Black tea tends to preserve its flavor for several years, blends and mixes well with many varieties of herbs to produce a unique aroma and hence is very popular. Add fresh herbs and fruits from your herb garden to spice up the flavor. It is known to prevent clogged arteries and lower blood pressure. Black tea also contains fluoride which is good for your teeth.

Green Tea

Green tea is obtained from tea leaves that are steamed, rolled, and then fired. It undergoes minimal oxidation during processing. When paired with herbs, the flavor tantalizes the taste buds. Green tea has been known to destroy cancer cells and has slimming and cooling effects. It is known to be very healthy and lowers the blood sugar and cholesterol.

White Tea

The White tea is nothing but the tender white buds which are painstakingly hand plucked right before the leaf opens.

The steaming, limited processing and deactivating the oxidation of white tea retains the rich levels in Catechins.Research shows that white tea is the healthiest of all the teas as it contains high content of anti oxidants and lowest caffeine levels. The light delicate flavor may not go well with people who are used to strong decoctions.

White tea is also believed to reduce wrinkles and inhibit growth of cancer cells.

Herbal Tea

This tea is an aromatic healthy blend of herbs, fruits and spices. It is an excellent source of anti-oxidants and vitamins, particularly vitamin C. It tastes great either hot or cold depending on the flavor of the herb used.

Oolong Tea

The delicate Oolong teas are partially oxidized with a fragrant and fruity aroma. They are known for weight loss as they help burn fat in the body. The tea is good for increasing metabolism and digestion. The Oolong tea is a delicacy from China now available across the globe.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is a herbal infusion of a South African red bush and is also famous as red tea. There are green Rooibos teas that are just as delicious as the red ones. The tea is good for complexion and helps control allergies and fight cold.

Mate Tea

Mate Tea is a delicious, flavored tea from a wild shrub from Argentina. It contains a stimulant and works as an appetite suppressant. It is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Tea a wonderful brew remains a universal part of our daily leaves and though there are no famous outlets of tea compared to coffee outlets 'Starbucks', 'Second Cup', 'Caffe Coffee Day', the tea stalwarts continue to relish the traditional tea and its extra-ordinary flavor.

Sudhir Naik co-wrote the above article with Shraddha N. and has been caring for herbs for over 20 years. He is a contributing writer to the website - providing information and tips on tea herb gardening. He enjoys sharing his expertise of herb gardening and invites you to get FREE Evergreen Herb Gardening Mini-Course where he guarantees you'll be successful growing fresh herbs in 7 days, at the information packed website

what do you think of this poem?

RPG (a dream.)

Among buzz-top poplars
Stung with a breeze,

Choked up with bird chants
And drowned in the mist:

You, chest deep in yellow
Blooms, following your nose

Smartly through the clover.
Me, perched on summer

Grass, empty as a leopard;
Blue with sword and shield.

Both of us sneezing, gloomy:
Gathering dew like mushrooms,

Listening to the rake of crows,
Insects dead-scuttling in holes.

Charming Gremlin, wrinkle head; the whole mountain is rotten with light! All the forests blush with mythical creatures! In huge clearings you can hear the river sigh, the mischievous Goddess will come soon to drink. Lets throw down our weapons, our torn-skinned jewel quests; We'll dance like les-enfants!
Marneen Fields, is that you!?

You were in the film version of Brave New World?

That's awesome!

At first i was skeptic... But then i let the imagery flow in... That was beautiful. Some people read only to have 'read'.. but those who know, those who can 'see' what you mean.. well... that was amazing. A very unique perspective.

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