It tastes like grass clippings. That was my mom’s response after she took a sip of the green tea I had prepared during a recent trip back home. Although I was also not fond of green tea at first, I have come to relish and appreciate its flavor, which I’ve been enjoying now for years. While studying nutrition in college, tea was always touted as a health-promoting beverage, but I never drank it because I didn’t like the taste (yet I willingly drank strong liquor and cheap beer – oh how times have changed).
After college, and as my studies continued, I could no longer ignore the growing evidence supporting the health benefits of tea consumption. And because I am a strong believer in practicing what you preach, I finally decided to buy a package of green tea and start drinking one cup every morning with my breakfast. I’ll admit that, at first, it tasted, well, like grass clippings. But, knowing how good it was for me, I continued drinking it every morning until it eventually became part of my morning routine. I also noticed that I quickly acquired an appreciation for the fresh, earthy flavor. Six years later, and I have become a full-blown, green tea lover. I have also started drinking a variety of herbal teas for both health benefits and flavor.
After water, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world. And because it’s jam-packed with antioxidants, while containing virtually no calories, it’s arguably the healthiest beverage we can consume (as long as no sweetener or cream is added). I would encourage everyone to start drinking a variety of tea on a regular basis. Green tea is probably the healthiest, but black tea and herbal teas still offer many health benefits. When it comes to flavor, some varieties are much more palatable, while others take a little getting used to. If you’re new to tea drinking, or simply looking to try some new varieties, here is my list of the best-tasting teas for you to try:
Peppermint tea tastes as you would expect, like peppermint, but the natural mint flavor is not as potent as your toothpaste or mouthwash. Peppermint tea has a crisp, refreshing, and uplifting flavor. If you have peppermint growing in your garden, you can make a cup of tea by sticking a few (washed) sprigs in hot water and letting them steep for a few minutes. Peppermint tea is caffeine free and has been used as a traditional medicine to help reduce unwanted gastrointestinal symptoms. Here is my favorite brand of peppermint tea.
Hibiscus plants don’t just produce pretty flowers, they make great tea too. Hibiscus tea, which is made from the sepals of the hibiscus plant, has a sweet and slightly bitter flavor. It is caffeine free and tastes great served hot or iced. Studies have found that hibiscus tea can help lower blood pressure, which is why I featured it on my post: How to Lower Blood Pressure with Diet. Here is my favorite brand of hibiscus tea.
Chamomile tea has been long used for its calming, sleep-promoting effects. By itself, chamomile has a flowery and mildly bittersweet flavor. It’s often blended with other gentle flavors, such as lavender or lemon, to make a relaxing infusion. Chamomile is commonly featured in sleep-promoting blends with names like “cup of calm”, “nighty night”, or simply “bedtime”. Many of these blends are well accepted by new tea drinkers. I like having a cup about an hour or two after dinner as the beginning of my bedtime ritual. Here are some of my favorite chamomile blends.
Green Tea with Lemon
If plain green tea is too much for you (although I would strongly encourage you to give it a chance), adding lemon can help. You can buy green tea that has been blended with lemongrass, or you can simply add fresh lemon juice to a brewed cup of tea. Either option will provide you with the health benefits of green tea, along with a flavor that may be a little more palatable. An added bonus is that lemon juice boosts our absorption of the health-promoting nutrients found in green tea. Here is my favorite brand of green tea.
Those are my top four best-tasting teas. If you clicked any of the links above, you’ll see that my favorite brands are: Traditional Medicinals Wellness Teas, Numi Organic Tea, and Equal Exchange Tea. These brands can be found at most natural or organic grocery stores. Give these a try and let me know what you think. If there are any teas or tea blends that you think should be added to this list, please share them in the comments section below.
Peace, love, health.