The ritual of tea
In an era of instant coffee, tea bags and powdered hot chocolate, brewing a pot of tea creates a link to the past and encourages reflection.
Tea has been around for centuries. The second most widely consumed beverage in the world after water, tea is a simple luxury that provides an opportunity to slow down, savour and enjoy. Waiting for the kettle to boil, tossing in some tea leaves and letting the brew simmer, a good cup of tea is well worth the wait. As well as being a firm fixture in the daily ritual of many of our lives, tea is a rich tonic of health benefits to help keep us alert, energised and hydrated.
Medibank member Maria is an avid tea drinker and describes how she enjoys her perfect cup of tea and why she’s such a fan.
What do you enjoy about the ritual of tea?
I love rituals and I love tradition. I feel that it is one of the last remaining traditions linking us to a past. There is still a purity to it, a connection with something ancient. I associate it with an English history and the Australian society of the ‘50s and ‘60s that I was brought up in. In an ideal world, every meal for me would be afternoon tea.
How often do you drink tea?
I gave up coffee about five years ago, so drinking tea has become my routine. Tea is a tonic, it’s a gentle pick me up whereas coffee, for me, was too hard. I have tea with a bit of milk in the morning, a couple of black teas during the day and then always a cup of black tea before bed.
How do you make your perfect cup of tea?
I flick on the Zip first thing in the morning to get the water boiling. Then I get the teapot out – it’s double insulated so it keeps the tea hot inside but isn’t hot to the touch outside.
I always add two large scoops of Ceylon leaf tea before pouring boiling water onto the leaves. Then I put the lid on and let it brew for at least five to ten minutes. That’s really important.
When it’s ready, I pour a little milk in my cup, always non-fat, and pour the tea. I’ll usually have two cups of tea over breakfast with my husband.
Johanna Clark, consulting Naturopath to Nature’s Cuppa, Australia’s first organic tea brand, provides five top health benefits of drinking tea.
Tea is packed with antioxidants – supports the immune system to fight off illness and infection, and protects against cell damage to keep us looking and feeling younger
Tea aids weight loss – boosts the metabolic rate and regulates blood sugar
Black tea boosts and protects brain function and increases alertness – thanks to a combination of amino acids and a natural caffeine kick
Green tea contains anti-inflammatory properties – reduces swelling in the joints for arthritis sufferers and possibly post-exercise
Tea is a natural digestive – great for reducing bloating, indigestion and cramps, especially herbal peppermint tea.