Sure, I enjoy the occasional cup of coffee just because I love its aroma. But I certainly won’t last a day without a steaming cup of my favorite tea. My mornings will never be complete without sipping tea. This daily habit began around the time I started working, and I started early — at 19 — which means I’ve been drinking tea for nearly 2 decades now. It used to be just the Lipton Yellow Label Tea, which is regular black tea. In those days, it was the only tea brand I could buy from the supermarket. But now, entire grocery shelves are lined with different brands and variety of tea. Earl grey, English breakfast, green tea, white tea and oolong are some of the most common kinds — all of which come from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The process through which the leaves go will ultimately determine the tea type. Then there are also herbal teas made from dried flowers, herbs, roots or fruits such as chamomile, chrysanthemum, lavender, hibiscus, ginger, ginseng and many others.
Truth be told, my body has already developed an “addiction” to tea that when I don’t drink it for a couple of days, I feel like getting sick. I have been drinking green tea every single day for the last ten years — save for the nine months I was pregnant, during which I drank chamomile tea. I consider green tea as my cure-all and my ally in weight management. I’m 37 years old, I eat whatever I want — and I eat a lot — I don’t exercise and yet, I’m still not obese. “Burning calories is not easy—it takes a lot of energy and effort to remove huge amounts of fat, but with the help of green tea extracts you can easily speed up the burning process. Researchers have discovered that drinking a cup of green tea daily will boost your metabolism from 8 to 14 percent, that’s why they highly recommend it to those who are looking for a quick method to lose fat.” [Source: www.benefitsofgreentea.info] Apart from that, the catechin polyphenols found in green tea are powerful anti-oxidants that can ward off certain types of cancers. If you haven’t tried green tea yet, isn’t it time you did?
The newest craze to hit Metro Manila is the milk tea or bubble tea. You’d think that with a Starbucks on almost every corner, these milk tea places won’t stand a chance of flourishing but surprisingly, they seem to grow in number by the week. I’m not ecstatic about them, to be honest. Granted, the milk teas are refreshingly yummy and terribly addicting, plus I love chewing on those tapioca pearls. But those milk teas are so darn expensive! Costing P90-P100 per cup (or equivalent to about 3 kilos of rice), milk tea has become a luxury commodity that can only be enjoyed by well-to-do college kids and above average-income families. On the other hand, I’m pleased that the tea shops are slowly developing a “tea culture” in a country whose people are otherwise known to be in love with coffee.