National Hottie Month

Say what?! That's right, work it ladies ;) Ok, maybe not really. It's actually National "HOT TEA" Month, but like we say in Pure Barre -- "Have a little fun with it." So... Hottie Month it is. I mean, drinking hot tea is really good for stress-relief and many studies have shown where green and oolong teas help rev metabolism aiding in weight loss. And many herbal varieties like peppermint and fennel tea flatten out a bloated belly and help with digestion. So drinking them clearly makes you a hottie by giving you a smile on your face and flat abs. You're welcome. 

Me time. Chocolate {is never} optional. 

Me time. Chocolate {is never} optional. 

Unfortunately, I learned of this special month kind of late in the game. Yes, I realize tomorrow is the last day of January. Humph. But, tea is so so good and I swear there is something for everyone when we talk tea. Even if you think you don't like it, I promise I can get you to change your mind. Let's go over the basics shall we?

There are 5 main types of tea:

  1. Black tea: A fully fermented and fired tea. Moderate caffeine. Taste profile: strong, complex, full-bodied.
  2. Green tea: Dried and heat treated to prevent fermentation. Moderate caffeine. Taste profile: grassy, strong or mild {and delicious!}.
  3. White tea: The purest and least processed of all the teas. These young leaves are simply steamed then dried. Low caffeine. Taste profile: light, delicate, subtly sweet.
  4. Oolong tea: A semi-fermented tea bruised by shaking. Known for weight loss properties. Moderate caffeine. Taste profile: strong and subtly sweet.
  5. Herbal tea: Not technically a tea*. Includes rooibos, mate, and herbal infusion blends containing fruit or herb combinations. Usually caffeine free. Taste profile: varies depending on type. Trying to break up with coffee? Switch to a yerba mate or dandelion/chicory tea.

*{All teas come from the same plant -- the Camellia sinensis plant -- except herbal varieties.}

Enjoy a cup of goodness not chemicals.

Enjoy a cup of goodness not chemicals.

What to look for and look out for when choosing the healthiest teas:

Choose organic: Tea leaves may or may not be washed before processing. So, if they've been sprayed with pesticides, all that cancer-causing yuckiness is getting steeped right in your tea cup.

Natural and artificial flavorings: Good, organic, pure tea doesn't need any extra flavoring. Blueberry tea should contain tea and blueberries, NOT blueberry flavoring.

Tea Lattes: These often negate the health benefits of the tea unless you're carefully preparing them for yourself at home. Drink only for a treat if you must. Loaded with sugars and more often than not, anything but organic or fair trade, these teas aren't helping anyone... except maybe your soul. In fact, the addition of milk, even soy milk, to tea blunted the health benefits of the tea possibly as a result of the proteins in the milk binding to and therefore, neutralizing the antioxidant activity according to this study.

The thrifty person inside of you may tell you to reuse your tea bag, but don't listen to that negativity!  You're worth a new tea bag! 

The thrifty person inside of you may tell you to reuse your tea bag, but don't listen to that negativity! You're worth a new tea bag! 

Packaging: Organic loose leaf tea is your best bet which can be prepared in a stainless tea infuser or fancy bpa-free infuser. Many sachets are made of plastic, that when placed in boiling water, i.e. the water needed to make hot tea, leach harmful chemicals in your cup of tea making it devoid of benefits. Brands like Numi {My favorite & sold at Target/Whole Foods/Earth Fare} and Rishi have safe packaging and are organic so get those if you need a convenient, bagged tea that meets all the requirements for healthy tea and tastes fantastic with a variety of tea blends to choose from. 

My Go-To's: 

The best convenient, organic teas. Numi Tea. 

The best convenient, organic teas. Numi Tea. 

Numi Gunpowder Green Tea: Conveniently packaged and organic, I'm sad when I run out of this tea. It's strong and caffeinated -- perfect for rising early and making it through my day. I also believe it helps boost my metabolism and weight loss efforts. 

Numi Rooibos Tea & The Republic of Tea Double Red Rooibos: My caffeine-free favorite way to unwind at night before bed. Rooibos tea is a true beauty tea that contains numerous antioxidants that fight free radicals and hydrates your body for glowing skin.  

Rishi Eastern Beauty Oolong Tea: A strong tea that I haven't had in quite awhile because I have to order it online. It's delicious and a great pick-me-up. It has a tropical, honey type of taste and I'm starting to crave it right now.

DoMatcha Organic Matcha Tea: Pricy* tea, but it lasts a long time. I love how pure it is -- simply fine-ground tea leaves. Numerous health benefits because the entire tea leaf is ingested. I add this one to smoothies for a boost and make iced matcha lattes... simple 1/2 frozen banana, 1 cup of coconut water and 1 tsp. matcha powder then blend blend blend :)

I don't really drink black teas, but I do enjoy peppermint and fennel teas for digestion and Pukka teas for stress management. For more info on teas, check out this super helpful blog post from Food Babe on choosing a healthy tea. 

*At first glance, a box of tea may appear to be a bit pricy, but look closely and you'll see that you're actually paying for 16-30 cups of happiness. Can't put a price on that :)

Now it's time for all you hotties to pour yourself a comforting cup of hot, steeped deliciousness and have some "me time." Chocolate {is never} optional.