Getting Started With Tea
I have been a big fan of hot teas over the years, but now i would like to get into it more regular for its health benefits. I really enjoy a cup with a little heavy cream and organic honey!
I want a tea that gives the most antioxidant bang for the buck(with taste and drink-ability being a factor too), so I was wondering which I should go with Green or Oolong.....or any other suggestions.
Try Chocolate Puerh organic black tea. The box says it's better than green tea, but all I really care about is that it tastes awesome.
If you're looking for the most antioxidants, go for powdered green tea (matcha) and drink without milk or sugar. The addition of either kills the antioxidant effect.
Based on my readings, white teas rank highest in antioxidants, but I cycle regularly around green, rooibos and white. You'll find that each tea has its health benefits if you're trying to match up in that regard. I love that rooibos has such low tannins, so I can leave the bag in and get a really strong brew without the pucker feeling from other teas, and it seems to deal well with any temperature of water.
If you can afford it, I would suggest getting a Zojirushi (sp?) water heater. It can hold the water at 175, which is ideal for green teas.
All different types of tea (pu'erh, black, oolong, yellow, green, and white) all have different (but still healthful) effects on your body. Instead of trying to drink one type that "maximizes" antioxidants, drink them all!
Pu'erh tea is a probiotic because it is actually fermented tea and aids in digestion. Good to drink with heavy, fatty meals. It is known to be more effective than many statin drugs at lowering cholesterol.
Black tea is known to lower cortisol levels and provides the most potent heart health benefits. It's higher caffeine levels strengthen the heart and it's antioxidants (theaflavins and thearubigans) provide strong vascular protection.
Oolong tea, being partially oxidized, is known to contain both constituents of black tea AND green tea. Oolong tea is thought to stimulate metabolism more than any other type, and is thought to be very warming for that reason. It has just the right combination of caffeine and antioxidants for the greatest metabolic boosting effects.
Yellow tea is similar to green tea except it tends a little stronger on the flavor profile and has a much stronger scent usually. It is unoxidized and as a result, it has a ton of catechins that provide potent antioxidant and anti-aging effects.
Green tea is known for also being unoxidized. There are light and strong green teas, but overall, it is known to be a fairly light tasting tea type. It is considered cooling (even when served as a warm beverage) and the preferred tea for summer consumption in China. It is rich in antioxidants and has been recently researched for potential anti-cancer benefits.
White tea is slightly oxidized just because the tea is so delicate, but mostly it is not. It is often used for being scented with flowers because of its extremely light flavors and honeyed notes (especially a good,high-quality Yin Zehn white tea). It has more antioxidants per cup than any other type of tea but the word on caffeine content is mixed. Younger tea buds use caffeine to protect themselves from bugs and can tend to have more caffeine as a result, yet some other white teas may be lower in caffeine. Also considered cooling, it's not as widely available as green tea and more expensive. It is drank heavily in parts of China where you can get it, but you can't get it everywhere and you pay more for it.
Conclusion? Drink ALL types of tea for their various benefits. Seeking to "maximize" benefits from one type of tea is foolish as all types of teas have different health benefits to begin with! Besides, drinking all types of tea give you maximum ability to try lots of different types of teas and select the ones you enjoy the most and to enjoy a variety of unique tea flavors! :)
Edit: It was said already, but milk and sugar reduce any poet tial health benefits from a cup of tea. The Chinese and Japanese learned this centuries ago and since hey drunk tea for health reasons, take their tea straight, an d have done so for almost as long as they have been drinking tea. In fact, to ask for sugar, honey, or milk/cream would almost be considered blasphemous to them. :p
But, to each their own. Just thought you'd like to know.