Tea, for many, is the elixir of life. Stress, cold, tired or may be just having guests at home, tea is your first go-to drink. And for centuries, the beverage has been consumed by to relax, reinvigorate and soothe, and it's something we need now more than ever.
According to a report in CNN, in the UK, where tea drinkers imbibe 100 million cups every day, according to the UK's Tea Advisory Panel, the beverage remains part of the national psyche — despite a growing preference for lattes, espressos and flat whites.
As tea is becoming popular than ever around the world, the United Nations has designated May 21 the first ever "International Tea Day."
The tea seems to be invading the United States, long a coffee-dominated country. Here, tea is gaining popularity and people are consuming 0.4 kg (14 ounces) a year compared with 0.36 kg (12.7 ounces) in 2007
Research is being done how the tea might affect mood and cognition. It is now being researched if it is the composition of the tea that has relaxing effects or the context in which it is consumed, from brewing it to selecting your favourite cup.
Green tea has been found to improve brain function, CNN quoted Stefan Borgwardt, chair and director of the department of psychiatry and psychotherapy at the University of Lübeck, Germany, as saying.
Longer life, lower blood pressure, fat-burning effects are some other benefits of tea.
Gunter Kuhnle, an associate professor at the department of food and nutritional science at the University of Reading in the UK, researches the benefits of flavanols, which are found in tea, cocoa and some fruits.
He said one of the problems of assessing the benefits of tea and its beneficial compounds is that studies reporting effects are usually observational, reliant on subjective self-reporting and the impact of how food is prepared and consumed.
We need better data to truly assess the benefits of tea on our mental and physical well-being, with many differences in how it's consumed in different countries, Kuhnle said.