Is Hot Tea Good For You?
Tea, a beloved beverage enjoyed by millions worldwide, has long been a source of comfort, tradition and even potential health benefits. From humble, ancient origins where it was used widely for medicinal purposes, to becoming a versatile global favourite enjoyed in drinks, popsicles, tea-infused snacks and more, tea offers a range of flavours and ways to be savoured. But whether you are a longtime tea lover or new to the brew, you’re likely aware of the two ways to enjoy this beverage: hot or cold.
While some may prefer the refreshment an iced tea brings on a hot summer’s day, there's an irresistible appeal to tucking into a cup of hot tea. But does the temperature of your brew affect your tea-drinking experience? Or have any other potential effects? To uncover the answers, let's take a closer look at hot tea, its potential health benefits and the other effects of enjoying this soothing cuppa when it's served piping hot.
Tapping Into the Basics of Tea
With a wide world of delicious teas to choose from, when it comes to drinking tea you’re spoilt for choice with various tasty flavours and a host of fantastic potential benefits for you to enjoy. From the antioxidant benefits associated with black teas like Joko to the stomach-soothing properties of herbal brews like ginger tea, there are so many reasons tea is good for you. But aside from the potential benefits and undeniable comfort that comes with sipping on a steaming-hot mug of tea, is there more to the effects of this age-old ritual? Let’s explore the benefits and risks of consuming hot tea to find out.
The Perks of Sipping on Hot Tea
1. Antioxidant Boost
Tea, especially varieties like green tea, is loaded with antioxidants. Enjoying it hot may maximise your intake of these beneficial compounds, which can help combat oxidative stress in your body and promote overall health.
2. Digestive Aid
For centuries, hot herbal teas like ginger and peppermint have been used to alleviate digestive discomfort. The warmth can help relax your digestive muscles and promote smoother digestion.
3. Enhanced flavour
Hot liquids tend to release aromas and flavours more effectively than their colder counterparts. This means that when you sip hot tea, you're likely to experience its full flavour profile, from the delicate notes of green tea to the robust richness of black tea.
4. Respiratory Relief
The steam from hot tea can help open up your airways, making it an excellent choice if you're dealing with congestion or a scratchy throat. The moisture and warmth can provide temporary relief from cold and flu symptoms.
5. Soothing Support
There's something undeniably soothing about the warmth of hot tea as it flows down your throat. It can provide instant relief on a cold day and a sense of calm during stressful moments.
Potential Risks of Regularly Consuming a Piping Hot Cuppa
1. Burn Risk - It's no secret that hot liquids can cause burns. Drinking extremely hot tea can scald your mouth, throat and even your digestive system, leading to potential injury.
2. Oesophagal Concerns - Some studies suggest that regularly consuming very hot beverages, including tea, might be associated with an increased risk of oesophagal cancer. Continuous exposure to extreme heat could potentially damage the lining of your oesophagus over time.
3. Tooth Sensitivity - Prolonged exposure to hot tea can contribute to tooth sensitivity or enamel erosion.
Moderation Is Key
While there are numerous benefits of hot tea, it's crucial to strike a balance between safety and enjoyment to keep the potential risks to a minimum. Excessively hot tea can potentially harm the delicate tissues in your mouth and throat over time. To avoid this, allow your tea to cool for a few minutes before taking your first sip. This not only protects your health but also allows you to fully appreciate the flavours of your brew. Here are some more tips you can try to ensure a safe and enjoyable tea-drinking experience.
Tips for Safer Consumption
Add a Dash of Milk - If you find your tea scalding hot, consider adding a touch of milk. Besides lending a creamy richness, milk can help cool down your tea, making it more palatable and gentler on your tongue and throat.
Go for Cold - On hot summer days or when you simply prefer a cooler option, iced tea is a refreshing alternative. It offers all the flavour and health benefits of tea without the risk of burning your mouth or oesophagus. Plus, you can infuse it with various fruits and herbs for a burst of flavour.
Hot tea can indeed offer a treasure trove of benefits, from antioxidants to relaxation. However, it's essential to exercise caution and mindfulness when it comes to enjoying this delightful brew. So ensure you get the temperature of your future cuppas just right, so you can enjoy the comfort and flavour it brings with the knowledge that you're sipping wisely for your well-being. Make sure you use Joko tea for a strong and rich black tea brew you’ll love tucking into.
Does the type of water used (filtered, tap, bottled) impact the benefits or taste of hot tea?
The type of water can indeed affect the taste of your tea. Hard water with high mineral content can sometimes interfere with the flavours of tea, giving it a flat or dull taste. Using filtered or bottled water can often provide a cleaner and tastier flavour profile.
Can drinking hot tea affect dental health?
Both positive and negative effects have been associated with drinking tea regarding dental health. Some teas, especially those high in tannins like black tea, can stain teeth over time. On the other hand, tea also contains compounds such as catechins and theaflavins which have antimicrobial properties and may help protect against oral bacteria and bad breath.
Does the caffeine content in hot tea vary with steeping time and temperature?
Yes, the caffeine content in tea does vary with both steeping time and temperature. The longer you steep the tea and the hotter the water, the more caffeine will be released. Therefore, if you are looking to lower your caffeine intake, shorter steeping times (as per guideline) and lower temperatures are recommended.
How does the preparation method (teabag, loose leaves, instant tea) impact the health benefits of hot tea?
The method of preparation can impact the health benefits of tea. Loose-leaf teas tend to be less processed and may retain more of their antioxidants and beneficial compounds compared to tea bags or instant tea. However, the difference might not be significant enough to greatly affect the overall health benefits. It's more important to choose high-quality tea like Joko and enjoy it regularly.