The Language of Tea and Friendship

Posted by Mei Ying Teh on

 

Humans are sociable beings. If not all, almost everyone is socially connected with one another, thus developing friendship. From our childhood to adulthood, there are the acquaintances and the constants. They might be a school mate, neighbour, or work mate. In some ways, friendship can positively or negatively influence a person. That’s why most people are after maintaining healthy friendship. As there is a clear connection with healthy friendship and one’s overall well-being, having a good companion is also good for the health.[1]

 

Spending quality time with friends ranges from sharing stories over food, playing sports together, watching funny or dramatic movies, sleeping-over, out of town trips, video calls, text messaging, to even sending pre-recorded videos. But one activity that is done to preserve friendship roots from an old-age tradition: drinking tea

 

 

 

Tea and Friendship: Its Traditional Roots[2]

 

In an article for China Heritage Quarterly, writer Lin Yutang wrote about how teas and friendships were related. There are different activities that can be enjoyed with different types of people. Just as someone enjoys partying with loud friends, other serene activities must be done with people of the same temperament as the peaceful scenery. Thus, the correct company will complement the entire mood. There are people whom you meet to drink wine with, and there are also people whom you meet to drink coffee or tea with. In this life, one should be able to develop friendship for the appropriate enjoyment, at different locations, at a proper occasion. Wine is better for noisy company, while tea is invented is meant for quiet company.

 

Drinking tea is a social norm in China and England. This form of connecting with others roots also from the tradition of proper preparation of tea: from the carefully chosen cups and pots, the water to be used in boiling. In short, it must not be contaminated while preparing it in the presence of distinguished guests. Drinking tea must also be done with a select few, as too many people would only bring noise that will take away its cultured charm.

 

From this old age tradition of drinking tea with friends, it can be concluded that this kind of fellowship with friends promotes deeper and meaningful connections. Those with whom you drink tea are those whom you would want to spend your precious serene moments with.

 

 

The Beneficial Duo

 

Friendship and teas are both beneficial to our health in many ways. Combining the two will is a win-win situation.

 

Looking into the benefits of connecting with friends, the following may be the noticeable results of having healthy relationships:[3]

 

 

  • Increased sense of belonging and purpose
  • Improved happiness and reduced stress.
  • Improved self-confidence and self-worth
  • Managed traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
  • Better overall health[4]

 

On the other hand, teas have been observed to contribute to good health, happiness, and wisdom. Studies show that some teas may aid with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Teas have been also seen to boost weight loss, lower cholesterol, and bring mental alertness. It also appears to have antimicrobial components.[5] Additionally, teas are classified into different types, each with its own benefits for the body and mind, as we’ve listed here.

 

 

 

 

  1. Black Tea [6] [7]

Derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, black tea leaves are fully oxidized, leaving a dark and strong flavour loaded with beneficial properties. Black tea comes in different varieties of Earl Grey, Assam Black Tea, Keemum Black Tea, and many more.

 

Research suggests that black tea supports heart health, aids in the body’s protection against oxidative stress, and reduces tooth decay. Research even suggests that antioxidants like polyphenols and catechins, components that are present in Now Foods Organic Black Tea, may help prevent some types of cancer. The antioxidants from black tea can’t be found in vegetables and fruits, so its regular consumption will provide additional benefits for a healthier lifestyle.

 

  1. Green Tea [8] [9] [10]

Green tea is a lightly heated or steamed leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It’s not as oxidised as black tea, which gives it a fresh, light, and slightly grassy flavour profile. Different green tea flavours range from nutty to fruity to almost seaweed-like due to the differences in production, from its sources to the steps in processing. The common types of green tea are Matcha, Sencha, and Oolong, and so many lesser known varieties are available.

 

Dubbed as one of the world’s healthiest beverage, green tea offers a lot more of health benefits. One is improving brain function as it contains the amino acid L-Theanine, which can also be found in Now Foods Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder, that collaboratively works with green tea’s caffeine content. Additionally, green tea’s powerful antioxidants similarly lower the risk from different types of cancer. It can also be effective in reducing abdominal fat, leading to weight loss. Consider taking green tea habitually if you want to feel better, lose weight, and lessen the risk of chronic diseases.

 

  1. White Tea[11] [12] [13]

Among all the teas that come from the Camellia sinensis plant, white tea is the least oxidized. White tea has the most delicate flavour profile of all the teas, as it is harvested from the plant’s new buds and young leaves. White tea provides high-level benefits because it is minimally processed.

 

White tea has been noted to fight off diseases, and is said to also keep the skin healthy and acne-free. Catechins abundantly found in white tea may lower the risk of osteoporosis. It is not only healthy, but also easy to prepare. Simply add white tea, like Now Foods Organic White Tea, to a pot and pour hot water (ideally 75-850C) and let it sit for a minute or two then remove the tea bag. Its refreshing taste can create a calmer and more alert state of mind.

 

 

 

  1. Herbal infusions like Yerba Mate Tea[14] [15]

 

Tea infusions can also be made from plants other than Camellia sinensis. The use of herbs steeped in hot water transfers compounds into the brew, and its benefits vary from plant to plant. This ancient practice is respected as medicine in cultures across the globe, and its long history has given us a glimpse of which plants are most helpful for human health.

 

Indigenous from South America, yerba mate tea comes from Ilex paraguariensis. Yerba mate boosts the drinker’s mood and energy, similar to the benefits of coffee, but has been found to be healthier than coffee because of its moderately low caffeine content. Yerba mate’s compounds, like that in Now Foods Organic Yerba Mate Tea, may also be able to counteract the properties of free radicals. Health benefits that one can get from it include lowered risks of certain cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and some types of dementia. Dieters find yerba mate tea helpful as it helps break down fat. Try drinking it with ice or after chilling it in the refrigerator. It can also be consumed with sugar, honey, agave, or another sweetener while it is still hot.

 

Connecting through Tea

 

Over the years, different ways on how to connect with a friend continues to arise. But tea and friendship just like in the old days will clearly bring not only joy and peace of mind, but also numerable advantages to the body and mind. As everyone is advised to follow certain health protocols about gathering nowadays, here are some of the ways one can bond with some close friends during these times: [16]

 

  1. A dinner party with few companions – Tell your close friends to bring something that can be shared with everybody. Or you can cook new dishes with your friends.
  2. A spa day – Think manicures, pedicures, and even hairstyles. Making organic facial masks using at-home ingredients can also be done. As you and your friends rest, sipping Now Foods Organic Green Tranquility Tea would complete the mood, leaving you all feeling good and calm, which would also help to sleep well after your spa day.
  3. Movie marathon and slumber party – Invite over some friends to watch movies. This can range from ‘80s to ‘90s movies of your choice. Make sure to tell them to bring their nightclothes as they stay overnight. Include Now Foods Real Tea Nighttime Tea to the party. Drinking this before going to sleep will help you and your friends to relax and have a good night’s sleep.

Physical and mental health issues may be taking its toll due to the stress from these past months. Try to remember the benefits that tea and friendship might bring. Cultivate healthy relationships, and add tea to your activities to bring about deeper and more meaningful bonds.

 

 

Image Credits

Photo 1: https://unsplash.com/photos/kZzYRiZcwTw

Photo 2: https://elements.envato.com/woman-having-a-video-call-4DZR8QA

Photo 3: https://unsplash.com/photos/szmge3ABe94

Photo 4: https://elements.envato.com/smiling-happy-young-adult-friends-arms-around-shou-ZLNTQHX

Photo 5: https://elements.envato.com/different-types-of-tea-9DW7EBS

Photo 6: https://elements.envato.com/young-woman-drinking-tea-concept-PP3MQX9

 

 

 

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860

[2] http://www.chinaheritagequarterly.org/features.php?searchterm=029_lin.inc&issue=029

[3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860

[4] https://www.captel.com/2018/04/health-benefits-of-friendship/

[5] https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits#1

[6] https://blog.piquetea.com/types-of-tea/

[7] https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-black-tea.html

[8] https://www.theteaspot.com/pages/health-benefits-by-tea-type

[9] https://blog.piquetea.com/types-of-tea/

[10]  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-green-tea

[11] https://www.theteaspot.com/pages/health-benefits-by-tea-type

[12] https://blog.piquetea.com/types-of-tea/

[13] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/white-tea-benefits

[14] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327004

[15] https://www.theteaspot.com/pages/health-benefits-by-tea-type

[16] https://www.lifehack.org/articles/money/fun-things-with-your-friends-without-spending-much.html

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