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Tea is one of the most popular beverages across the world, and most people cannot imagine failing to drink a cup of tea every day. But, what do you know about the tea you drink every day? Yes, you might be aware of its benefits. However, do you know other interesting facts about that cup of tea you love? As a tea enthusiast, here are a few interesting things you should be aware of.

It’s all about the plant

One important thing that you should know about tea is that the different types of tea out there come from one plant—Camellia Sinensis. Whatever tea you have in your cup—whether it’s white, green, black tea, pu-er, or oolong, it all begins the way—like freshly-plucked tea leaves, and then made into different categories depending on how the tea is processed and the percentage of air (oxidation) the tea is exposed to.

Now, think of what happens with an apple—the first bite gives you a bright white flesh. However, the apple starts to turn darker when you leave it exposed to air for a long time—and this is how white tea turns black tea.

But, please note that loose leaf herbal tea is ideally not tea since it’s not a product of the tea plant—Camellia Sinensis. Herbal tea is an infusion of roots, leaves, bark, fruits, flowers, or seeds, and all herbal teas are caffeine-free.

Always check your ingredients

Just like when buying food, always read the ingredients in your tea. Here, one rule applies—less is more. It’s always advisable to choose tea with clean and natural ingredients if you are looking for quality. And great quality equals great taste.

At times, you might be surprised to realize that your favorite tea has lots of artificial colors, flavors, and chemicals, some of which you cannot pronounce. Now, these are what tea enthusiasts call ‘getaway’ teas. These teas will entice you with fancy flavors and names, only to end up drinking tea with an artificial taste and a bad aftertaste. Please note that your tee shouldn’t smell better than it tastes. This is a red flag that you need to be cautious of the ingredients next time you go shopping.

Avoid squeezing the bag

Yes, never squeeze the bag—and I’m sure that most of us have been guilty of assaulting tea bags at one point in life. I hope you get what I’m saying here—it’s like a scene in CSI Miami. To extract every last drop of awesomeness out of the teabag, you choose to strangle it with its string. Or you use the spoon to smash or squeeze it with all your strength against the cup.

On such shows, they call these actions blunt force trauma, which is a felony. And with tea bags, it’s the same thing—you are squeezing in bitter tanning into your cup, which is not good. Rather, you should gently and lovingly remove it from the cup. Always be kind to your teabag.

A cup of tea will always leave you hydrated

One common misconception that we grew up to was that tea is dehydrating. It’s not a surprise that’s why our parents told us to drink more water and less tea. However, it turns out they were wrong—only with that fact.

Tea will leave you dehydrated when it works as a diuretic within your body—and this can happen if you drink more cups in a single sitting. However, you should note that tea is healthier than water, especially when you factor in the additional health benefits it has over water.

How to store your tea

Naturally, tea is hygroscopic, meaning it can absorb all the surrounding odors. Thus, you shouldn’t expose your tea to air or light. Besides, you should always store your tea in an air-tight container, and store it separate from herbs, spices, and other teas.

Tea doesn’t go bad—unless it gets mold. However, just like spices, tea starts to lose its essential oils after a few years, which makes it less flavorful. While you can still drink the tea, it won’t be as tasty and aromatic as it was while fresh.

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