Samurai means “to serve.”
Tamurai means “to serve through tea.”
AT TAMURAI TEA OUR GOAL IS TO HONOR THE SPIRIT OF HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.
The Healthiest Types Of Tea (The Official Ranking)
If I had to drink one thing for the rest of my life, it would be tea. When I am consulting patients at my functional medicine center, you will see me sipping on a variety of different tea elixirs.
The world of tea offers something for everyone, depending on your taste, mood, and health goals. All true tea comes from the tea plant Camellia sinensis. That’s right, black tea, green tea, white tea, and oolong tea all come from the same plant—everything else is technically a tisane! What makes them so unique in look and taste is the way they are grown, harvested, and prepared.
And while all contain antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral benefits due to their shared catechin polyphenol, antioxidant content, each type contains its own individual benefits, which can help you better decide which will be your go-to choice. With that, here is my official ranking of the top teas you should try!
Caffeine, antioxidants, and purity: the official ranking factors.
When ranking these teas, I took into consideration levels of antioxidants, caffeine amount, and propensity to have heavy metals.
Even though tea tends to have less caffeine than most coffee, all of these teas have caffeine. Whether caffeine is a positive or negative all comes down to your DNA—specifically, a gene called CYP1A2.
One variant of this caffeine gene causes the liver to break down caffeine very quickly. Those of us who have two of the fast caffeine genes handle coffee and tea like a boss. These fast metabolizers break down caffeine up to four times more quickly than those people who inherited one or two of the slow variant of CYP1A2.
Does that mean that if you are a slow metabolizer you shouldn’t have any caffeinated tea? For most people, the benefits of tea outweigh the caffeine amount. Just limit your amount, and if it makes you feel jittery, just cut back or go decaf (which still has some antioxidants)!
White tea tends to have the least, but for the rest, it really depends on the source, the amount you are using, and how long you steep your tea.
If you want to get the most epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) action out of your tea, or any tea, for that matter, stick to regular hot water. Adding different milks tends to have a dampening effect on the antioxidant bioavailability.
Heavy metals such as lead can be found in many plant products because it is absorbed from the soil. Tea is known to absorb lead at a higher rate. White tea, because it is picked sooner, is known to have lower amounts on average. An easy solution if you don’t want to just drink white? Avoid tea from China. Studies have found that Chinese industrial pollution causes the leaves to have higher lead levels. I suggest getting your tea only from Japan, where this is less of a problem. Also opt for organic tea whenever you can to further minimize any unnecessary toxins. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the rankings.
1. White tea: the virgin.
This tea is made from brand-new growth buds and young leaves of the tea plant. In order to inactivate oxidation, the leaves and buds are steamed and then dried. Since it is minimally processed, its antioxidant content is slightly higher than that of other varieties of tea. It is characterized by its light color and mild flavor. It is an extremely easy tea to drink and has the lowest caffeine content of all tea types, making it a great choice if caffeine isn’t your thing but you still want a little pick-me-up.
2. Green tea: the grounder.
The Beyoncé of tea, green tea is definitely the most popular, right now. While harvested later than white tea, green tea does not go through the same oxidation process that oolong and black tea go through. Like white tea, this allows for some of the highest levels of catechins, specifically the uber-beneficial compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It’s been shown in a number of exciting studies to be extremely powerful in a number of issues:
- Boosts metabolism
- Improves the skin
- Slows down aging
- Decreases cancer growth
- Improves brain function
- Protects from brain diseases
- Reduces heart disease risk
- Reverses diabetes
- Decreases inflammation through boosting pro-antioxidant Nrf2 pathways and decreases pro-inflammatory Nfkb activity.
Green tea is a fun part of the kingdom. Like all the varieties of beer or wine, green tea comes in different forms that each can have their own individual taste and array of nutrients and won’t give you a hangover. Cheers! Here’s how the different green teas rank:
Matcha is a green powder made from a specific kind of green tea leaf. Unlike many other green teas, plants used for matcha are first covered and grown in the shade for weeks upon weeks before they are harvested, resulting in boosted chlorophyll levels, which gives it the bright green color it is known for. Then the leaves are dried and ground into powder. Matcha has one of the highest concentrations of EGCG of all green teas, up to three times more than a typical sencha!
Sencha is brewed by infusing the whole tea leaves in water to produce a very mild and pleasant taste. Harvested early on in the season, sencha is made from some of the most flavorful top leaves. It’s no wonder that this is the most popular tea in Japan.
Similar to sencha, the biggest difference is that the leaves are also shade grown just like matcha versus in the sun, which results in a stronger, more intense flavor. Gyokuro is also touted as having the highest EGCG levels.
More bitter in taste, bancha has the lowest caffeine content of all green tea varieties. It is harvested from the same tree as sencha but later in the season, making it one of the cheapest, most commonly found green teas out there.
3. Black tea: the classic.
When the tea leaf is harvested to make black tea, enzymes are activated, resulting in oxidation, leading to a withering of the leaves. Depending on the specific temperature and humidity controls, the leaves brown, and the desired taste and aroma is achieved.
Many types of black teas are blends of different varieties of black teas from different regions. It also has the highest caffeine content of all tea types.
Black teas don’t tend to differ too much in health benefits; choosing the right one for you is really a matter of taste. Some of the most common black teas include:
Black tea with bergamot oil.
A blend of Assam, Kenyan, and Ceylon varieties of black tea. To everyone in the United Kingdom, this is the only tea that exists. All else is sacrilegious.
A blend of different varieties of black teas.
Since black teas are oxidized, the catechins originally present are converted to theaflavins. While the high catechin content in green tea is a major health benefit, studies have shown that theaflavins are just as powerful antioxidants, making black tea a perfect choice if you are needing a boost of caffeine but still want the antioxidant power.
4. Oolong tea: the underdog.
If black, green, and white tea are Destiny’s Child, oolong is the overlooked member of the group who got kicked out sometime in the late ’90s. But oolong is awesome!
One of the biggest benefits of oolong tea comes from its weight-management properties. Similar to green tea, studies have shown that regularly drinking oolong tea can help prevent obesity by reducing weight through boosting fat metabolism or lipolysis. It can even suppress the creation of new fat cells!
The bottom line? All tea is super healthy, so choose based on your personal goals and flavor preferences.
Black tea is enjoyed all over the world, both hot and iced. It contains roughly half the caffeine of coffee, meaning you can sip it all day and not get the jitters. While black tea provides many health benefits thanks to its powerful polyphenols, drowning it in sugar, blending it into a latte or smothering it in whipped cream adds fat and calories that inhibit its health benefits. Adding only a splash of fresh lemon juice cuts through all that fussy static, offering you a drink that is clearly as healthy as it is soothing and refreshing.
Benefits of Black Tea
Black tea is made from the dried leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Mature leaves are harvested, and some are steamed or heated in a hot pan to make green tea. Other leaves are allowed to air dry naturally. The oxidization this causes gives black tea its richer, deeper flavor.
Both types of tea contain polyphenols. The polyphenols in green tea are absorbed through the small intestine to the liver, where they help the organ do its job of processing and removing toxins from your bloodstream. The polyphenols in black tea are too large to be absorbed through the small intestine, so previous thought was that they offered no real benefits. Newer research suggests that the larger polyphenols affect the balance of your gut bacteria, encouraging short-chain fatty acids that support your liver’s function. In addition, the flavenoids in black tea help ease inflammation and support the flexibility of your blood vessels, which can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and certain types of cancer.
Benefits of Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a powerful antioxidant. Your cells are vulnerable to oxidization the same way that iron is vulnerable to it, resulting in rust. The effects of smoking, metabolism and environmental toxins can damage your cells. This can lead to certain diseases as well as accelerate the visible effects of aging such as loss of elasticity in your skin. Antioxidants scrub away this cellular “rust,” known as free radicals, to lower your risk of some diseases and help keep your skin supple. The vitamin C in lemon juice also supports your immune system.
Reasons to Add Lemon to Black Tea
Drinking your tea with milk, cream or nondairy creamer can inhibit the health effects it offers as well as add calories and fat. You also face the risk associated with artificial sweeteners if you are using zero-calorie creamer. Adding lemon juice to black tea helps keep your calorie and fat counts down. Black tea can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb iron, and lemon juice also counteracts this because it supports the body’s ability to absorb iron. Lemon juice and black tea both contain diuretics, which can help keep you from retaining water.
How to Make Tea
To make hot tea, heat the water no hotter than about 209 F, which is a gentle simmer. Add 2 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea or one teabag per cup, and let it steep for no longer than 2 minutes so the bitter tannins do not develop too strongly. Strain loose-leaf tea, or remove the teabags without squeezing them. Add a splash of lemon juice. If you prefer sweeter tea, stir in a little honey or agave syrup for a naturally sweet and soothing cuppa.
To make iced tea, cover one teabag for an individual glass, or six teabags for a gallon pitcher, with water that is about 190 F, which is below a simmer. Let the tea steep for 2 minutes, and remove the teabags. For sun tea, wet your teabags in boiling water to kill any possible bacteria and then fill the pitcher with cool water and set it in direct sunlight for 8 to 12 hours. No matter which method you use, add a splash of lemon juice the minute you have removed the teabags to get the fullest flavor. Sweeten your tea with simple syrup or agave syrup, or flavor it with mint or fresh fruit.
7 Incredible Benefits Of Rosehip Tea
The top benefits of rosehip tea include reducing inflammation, lowering your risk of heart disease, fighting cancer, and detoxifying the body. It is also good for strengthening the immune system, protecting the skin, easing chronic pain, and optimizing the digestive system.
What is Rosehip Tea?
Rosehip tea is made from steeping crushed or dried rosehips, which are the fruits of the rose plant. Following pollination of the flowers, rosehips begin to develop and are typically bulbous red fruits, ranging from the size of a cherry tomato to the size of drupe fruits. Provided you don’t prune back the flowering stems of your rose plant, the majority of species will produce rosehips of some kind.
These fruits have many different uses, both in culinary, medicinal and alternative areas, but tea made from dried rosehips is one of the most popular applications.
Nutrition Facts of Rosehip Tea
The many health benefits available from rosehips are due to the presence of vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, polyphenols, catechins and other present in both the fruit and extract of the rose plant. While every species of the rose plant is slightly different in their nutrient , they share many of the same compounds, vitamins, and .
Benefits of Rosehip Tea
You should consider drinking rosehip tea if you suffer from a weak immune system, skin conditions, chronic pain, indigestion, high toxicity levels, arthritis, gout, conditions, high cholesterol, and , or if you are at an increased risk of heart disease or cancer.
Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
There is a large body of research into the lycopene, which has been directly linked to lower the occurrences of cardiovascular diseases.impact of rosehips, primarily due to the high levels of antioxidants present in these fruits. Studies have shown that leucoanthocyanins and compounds in rosehip tea can lower the risk of heart diseases. This tea is also rich in
Rich in Antioxidants
Many of the antioxidants in rosehip tea are praised for their anti-cancer abilities.They seek out and neutralize free radicals before they can cause oxidative stress and inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. According to a study by Tumbas VT, et al. suggests that polyphenols found in rosehip tea are responsible for preventing the growth of malignant cells.
Research on the link between cancer and rosehips is ongoing, but early results show a very promising connection.
Studies done on rheumatoid arthritis andshowed that rosehip tea can significantly improve mobility and reduce inflammation, thus improving the quality of life and lowering oxidative stress in those inflamed tissues. This is also helpful for digestion, as these anti-inflammatory properties can soothe the tissues in the gut while regulating bowel movements and ensuring proper nutrient uptake.
Detoxifies the Body
Rosehip tea is known to have both laxative and diuretic properties, which can help the body eliminate toxins, and unwanted fats and salts in an efficient way. If you are struggling with constipation, low metabolism, or a weakened immune system, it can be a good idea to flush the toxins out and reduce the load on the kidneys and liver. This tea can help you do that by stimulating faster digestion and increasing the frequency of urination.
Acts as an Analgesic
The carotenoids and flavonoids found in rosehip tea have analgesic properties, making this tea a great pain reliever.Whether it is chronic pain of arthritis or acute pain of injuries or sprains, the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can work very quickly.
Many people drink rosehip tea to improve the appearance of the skin, as this herbal blend is known to be astringent, while also delivering powerful antioxidants to the areas of the skin that need it most. This can help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, speed healing of irritated or dry skin, and prevent infections and inflammation, such as flare-ups of psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
This fruit is extremely high in vitamin C, which can pack a major punch for a better immune system.It will increase your white blood cell count and stimulate growth, especially if you are recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery.
How to Make Rosehip Tea?
Rosehip tea can be easily made at home, but the process can be somewhat complicated, depending on which recipe you follow, and how you want to prepare your rosehip tea. Let’s take a look at the two ways you can brew rosehip tea at home.
How To Brew Rosehip Tea?
- 4 tsp dried rosehip whole or crushed/cut/sifted
- 4 cups water filtered
- 4-5 spearmint or peppermint leaves
- 1 tsp honey or stevia optional
Rosehip Tea From Whole Rosehips
Add whole rosehips and water to a stainless steel pot.
Slowly bring the mixture up to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer.
Allow the mixture to steep for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the spearmint/peppermint leaves or stevia, if desired, for sweetness.
Rosehip Tea From Ground Rosehips
If you follow this method, you will need to grind your dried rosehips in a spice mill or blender, and then sift the ground mixture through a sieve.
At that point, you can brew your tea with the resultant powder. Boil water and add the ground rosehip tea powder to it and let steep for 5 minutes.
You can add the spearmint/peppermint leaves or stevia, if desired, for sweetness. Enjoy your rosehip tea!
Side Effects of Rosehip Tea
While many people praise the many health benefits of rosehip tea, side effects such asissues, sleep problems, bleeding and kidney stones, do exist. Some people should also avoid using rosehip tea based on their medical history or present conditions.
- Stomach Problems: The most common side effects of drinking rosehip tea are gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, cramping, nausea and bloating. and vomiting may also occur. This is commonly seen when people drink too much rosehip tea, but these symptoms can also affect anyone with an allergy to rosehips. Allergic reactions may also include swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat, and should be taken seriously.
- Insomnia/Fatigue: Occasionally, people experience disturbances in their sleep patterns when taking rosehip tea. This can take the form of fatigue or weakness during the day, or an inability to fall asleep at night. Speak to your doctor before taking this tea, particularly if you struggle with sleep.
- Bleeding: The active compounds in rosehip tea can exacerbate bleeding conditions, as it can prevent blood clotting, so this tea is not recommended for those with bleeding disorders.
- Kidney Stones: Studies have shown that high concentrations of vitamin C, which this tea contains, can increase your risk of developing kidney stones. Speak to your doctor about your particular conditions and risks before adding this tea to your health regimen.
- Pregnancy: There is a lack of research on the effects of rosehip tea on pregnancy, but due to the hormonal effects and suppression of menstrual cramps that occur after having this tea, it is not recommended for pregnant women, particularly those in their first and second trimesters.