The Beginner’s Guide to Tea

Lifestyle, Health + Beauty / Monday, March 25th, 2019
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Tea has not always been at the top of my list for drinks I like. In fact, until about a year ago I hated tea, finding it to be bitter and quite frankly undrinkable. But over the past year, I’ve traded out my morning energy drink for a refreshing tea and ended my day with a hot cup instead of a cold one (a soda, I’ve never been a beer drinker). And somewhere along the line, I’ve fallen in love. If this sounds like you, I’ve assembled a tiny beginner’s guide to tea so you too can fall in love.

The benefits of drinking tea

Besides being generally good once you’ve gotten the taste for it, drinking tea has a number of benefits. Compared to most of the drinks we consume, with the exception of water, tea is actually good for you!

Tea has antioxidants

Antioxidants help with cell regeneration and repair, plus they slow down the ageing process. Teas of pretty much all kind contain this awesome element and some professionals think that drinking tea might help to stave off or fight cancer.  

Tea contains less caffeine

While you can get tea with no caffeine, even the teas with caffeine contain less caffeine than you’d find in a cup of coffee or even a glass of soda (not that soda and tea are similar at all).

But you still get that same kick from tea without all the caffeine jitters due to the natural ingredients of tea.

Tea could help you lose weight

Okay, technically the jury’s still out on this one but there are experts out there that suggest that people who drink more tea lose more weight. Like I said, I’ve got no idea if this is true, but I’ll take it.

Tea keeps you hydrated

Unlike other non-water drinks, tea is actually said to keep you hydrated. That means if you have trouble drinking water, mixing tea into your lineup might help you out.

That said, you should still drink a ton of water! It’s incredibly good for you!

The beginner’s guide to choosing tea

Tea is a complex subject that I am in no way, shape or form educated enough to instruct you in because there are thousands of different kind of teas on the market. That said, I’ve picked up a few tea choosing tips and tricks along my road to the #tealife.

If you’re looking for a pick-me-up tea hit up something that has caffeine or another boost-type substance. Green tea, oolong and black tea all contain caffeine, with black tea having the most.

If you’re looking for a tea to settle down for the night, then chamomile tea is your gal. It has a calming nature and traditionally has been used to treat anxiety, insomnia and relieve stress.

If you have a cold, look into a spicy ginger tea, or perhaps something lemon based. This will help keep you hydrated while soothing your throat or nose.

And if you’re trying to lose weight, aim for a white, green or oolong tea. Note that tea in and of itself will not make you lose weight, you’ll still have to eat healthy and exercis (bummer).  

My favourite teas

I’m the kinda gal that likes a nice fruity tea. And while I have a whole host of teas in my cupboard, we’ll start with my two absolute favourites!

My absolute favourite tea is Bear Trap by David’s Tea. One cup of this in the morning and I’m ready to go. Best of all, it’s a herbal tea so there’s no caffeine included. In fact, I find it to be an exceptionally calming tea, which is why I love to start or end my day with it.

Bear trap is tart but fruity and is made with a mixture of black currants, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries. I’m told by my tea experts that it’s one of their best selling teas.

It’s great hot or cold, and in the summertime you can often find my fridge stocked with a jug of it.

If you prefer your tea a tad bit more tart but still with a whole lot of fruit then Queen of Tarts by David’s Tea is for you. This tea is best reserved for the morning as it does contain caffeine and stevia extract.

Queen of Tarts is really more of a tangy tea then a fruity one and is made with a mixture of Hibiscus, guayusa, marigold petals and blackberry flavouring. The taste reminds me of a pure and refreshing version of one of those frozen fruit juices my mom used to make in the summer.

Queen of Tarts is also amazing both cold or hot. But when I make the iced tea version of it I tend to use a pinch of sugar.

eginner’s guide to teapots

To make tea, you’ll need to make hot water and a teapot can do that for you (go figure). Best of all, teapots are cute and you can get some nice ones for a really inexpensive figure.

Of course, if you’re on a real tight budget you can simply boil water on your stove or warm it up in the microwave to get it to the right steeping temperature.

Cute and practical tea kettle

The most fun and practical approach to a teapot is going with a steel tea kettle that can be warmed on the stove is a much more practical approach.

The Calypso Basics Tea Kettle is both practical, cute and reasonably priced. You throw it on the stove to boil your water and in no time you’ll have yourself some hot tea!

If the turquoise isn’t your style (it matches my kitchen perfectly), they have an assortment of other colours. I’m personally partial to the yellow, lime and pink, but there’s a colour out there for any personality!

The best thing about this is that not only is it cute, but you can use it to heat water for anything.

No frills electric kettle

You should have a kettle in your kitchen as there’s a surprising amount of things you require hot water for. Granted, if you don’t have one you can simply boil water on the stove and call it a day. But kettles are so much more fun!

You can get kettles of all shapes, colours, sizes and prices. The one I have sitting on my counter is a cheap black one I got at Walmart for around $15. But buying cheap often means having to replace things earlier than you’d like and I’ve had to replace my kettle three times in the last five or so years.

But the aJoy Cordless Electric Kettle is a good quality tea kettle that’ll run you a tad bit higher but (hopefully) won’t have to be replaced ever year-and-a-half. Plus it’s cordless, so there’s little-to-no fuss when you go to use it.

And if the icy green isn’t your style, there are a ton of great colours to choose from!

Cast iron teapot

This cute blue cast iron teapot is the exact one that I have, and I absolutely love it because it makes me feel like a tea pro (of which I am most certainly not). You can find cast iron teapots for some seriously high prices, but as a tea beginner, it’s best to start on the lower end of the price scale.

That said, cast iron teapots aren’t exactly the most practical teapot, especially if you’re just finding your tea legs and aren’t sure if you’re committed to the drink.

You can’t throw a cast iron teapot onto the stove to warm the water, I personally have to warm the water in a kettle because my teapot has enamel that can’t be flame heated. Plus cast iron teapots also their heat pretty quickly, so if you’re planning on keeping a cup on hand, you’ll need to get yourself a teapot warmer.

All-in-all, cast iron teapots are really more for steeping and serving tea. But they’re super cute and they double as a nice decorative piece in your house.

Must-Have Tea Accessories

Tea accessories serve to help make your tea making and consuming process the best it can be. Of course, there are a ton of tea accessories on the market, but I’ve stuck to the ones that are most practical and helpful for a tea beginner.

Tea Infuser

If you’re going to be enjoying loose tea, that is tea not in bags (like my two favourite teas above) then you’re going to need a tea infuser. It’s simply a dish with holes that you stick into your hot water and leave for a few minutes while the tea steeps.

I love this adorable lake monster tea infuser, it’s perfect for a personal-sized cup of tea. It’s made of food grade, non-toxic silicone and it’s incredibly easy to clean (dishwasher friendly).

That said, if you’re planning on making more than a single cup of tea at a time, then you might want a slightly larger infuser. I have a large stainless steel tea ball that I use when I need to make more tea than fits into my cup or cast iron pot.

Tea mug

Having a tea mug gets rid of your need to purchase a tea infuser because they already come with them.

While you can enjoy your tea in a cute little teacup that your grandmother handed down to you, having a tea mug means you can enjoy more tea and you only need to dirty the one dish because your tea is infused right in it.

There are tea mugs out there in all shapes and sizes, so regardless of what kind fits your style best, you’re bound to find the perfect one for you!

Warming Pad

Technically a warming pad is not a must-have, so long as you drink your tea fast (or simply don’t mind it turning cold). I’d estimate a cup of tea tends to cool in about 15 to 20 minutes, so if you drink it up before then you’re golden.

I like this electronic tea warming pad because not only is it minimalistic with a feminine touch (two of my favourite things) but it easy to clean which is a must-have in my house.

There are a ton of tea warming pots on the market, and they should all work with your average teacup.

Drinking tea

Learning to love tea, at least in my case, is a slow man’s game. It definitely doesn’t come over night.

I originally found it to be bitter with a harsh taste, but if you take the time to find the right one for you, I swear you’ll love it! For me, the perfect teas are fruity with a delectable combination of berries and other delicious tastes.

And for your first few cups, try a pinch of sugar to help sweeten the deal!

Are you a tea drinker? Share your favourite tea in the comments below!