It’s so hard to imagine a life without tea. Despite the rise in coffee consumption it is still by far the most popular drink in UK and we remain one of the largest consumers of tea in the world. It's part of our national DNA and embedded as a part of our work and family life.
We ‘take’ tea and savour it. I can never imagine anyone downing a concentrated shot of tea!
It is our great comforter, to whom we turn as soon as we get up, if there is a crisis or when we need a restorative ‘breather’. “Fancy a brew?” it’s our ‘gift’ when we welcome a friend, a guest or colleague.
Tea bonds generations, nations and transcends social class. The Queen drinks tea (Earl Grey, apparently). And, though it's known by many other names across the world and served in many different ceremonies, it is the same plant Camellia Sinensis that is responsible for our collective pleasure, whether it's green tea, OOlong or Black tea; Chai anyone?
More and more evidence shows that tea doesn't just make us feel better psychologically. Studies by UCL suggest that tea can affect and control levels of the 'stress hormone' cortisol.
The study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, found that people who drank tea were able to de-stress more quickly than those who drank a fake tea substitute. In fact, the study participants, who drank a black tea brew four times a day for six weeks, were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood after a stressful event, compared with a control group who drank the fake or placebo tea for the same period of time.
What's your favourite brew?