Benefits of Drinking Tea
Tea is the most consumed beverage in the globe after water according to the FAO. For many people, they cannot do without a cup of tea or coffee daily.
Growing up, I didn’t really like drinking tea until I went to the university. In the university, we had tea dispensers in our common rooms. A common room is where students converge to rest, watch television or unwind after hectic academic exercise.
The dispenser is always filled with tea and you can have a cup of tea any time of the day. Do such things still exist in our universities in Nigeria today? I don’t think so. .)
Tea comes from a plant called the Camellia Sinensis. It is traditionally an Asian plant but today grows in many countries around the world especially in the tropics and subtropics climate.
According to Wikipedia, it was the Portuguese clergies and merchants that introduce tea in Europe in the 16th century. Today tea is widely taken by many people in the west. In America half of the population takes tea every day.
Tea can be segmented into six major categories though we have over 3000 varieties. The tea types are differentiated mainly based on the oxidization and fermentation techniques applied in processing.
The Six major groups
Black tea is the most popular and most consumed tea around the world. It is more oxidized than other teas, black in color, stronger flavored and has a higher caffeine content than other teas. While green teas usually lose its flavor within a year. Black teas retain its flavor for so many years. Some varieties of black tea attract more cost because their like wine, the older the tea, the better.
Green tea is very popular around the world today as its consumption continues to rise. This is because of its health benefits. It originated from china. In processing,
it is allowed to wither slightly after picked, then pan fried or oven dry quickly to stop oxidation and stored under the low humidity of between 0 – 5% c. For the better quality, it is refired and blended to the desired need before use. Most green teas are caffeine free.
This is a traditional Chinese tea which is produced with a special technique that involves withering under an intense sun, oxidation before curling and twisting.
Oolong teas vary in flavor depending on the style of production; some are sweet, fruity with honey aromas, woody aromas, and fresh flowers aromas. It is medicinal and contains less caffeine compared to that of the black tea.
white tea is traditionally grown in Fujian province of China but today is grow in other countries like Taiwan, India, and Sri Lanka. It is processed from the plant buds and leaves which are allowed to wither, Sun dry or use solar drying technique.
It is medicinal like other teas because of the composition of polyphenols which is believed to be responsible for the health benefits.
This black tea from the Chinese province of Yunnan is the most complicated in terms of processing. The processing includes microbial fermentation and oxidation of the tea leaves after they have been dried and pressed.
It has medicinal properties and earthy flavor. Many Years back it was believed in the West that its processing is a closely guarded state secret in China.
This tea is found in South Africa and can be processed as black tea or green tea. The rooibos has a very appealing red color like wine. It is medicinal and has the following chemical compositions Polyphenols, flavanols, benzoic, flavones, cinnamic acids etc. It has low Tannin and does not contain caffeine.
Top 5 tea producers in the world in 2015
Other big producers are Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Iran, Argentina, Malawi and South Africa
Top 5 tea Exporters in 2014
|Country||Export Value ($)|
|Sri Lanka||1.6 billion|
Top 5 tea drinkers in 2014
|Country||Consumption per capita (kg)|
U.S.A is lying around 69 position at 0.33kg per capita and Nigeria position is 140 at 0.023kg,
Tea production in Nigeria.
Tea production in Nigeria started in the 79s but was not really encouraged by Government and so not much success story.
Presently Tea production is going on in the Mambilla plateau in Sarduna Local Government Area in Taraba state. This is the only part of the country that has the capacity in terms of the favorable climatic condition to grow tea plant.
Tea can only thrive in an altitude of a minimum of 1500 meters above sea level, 1250 millimeters of rainfall per annum and good soil that is slightly acidic. Mambilla plateau climatic conditions meets this criteria with an average elevation of about 1600 meters above sea level and a peak of about 2419 meters,
Presently about 1200 acres of land are under cultivation with output less than 2000 tons per annum. Nigeria still imports 90% of her tea from countries like Kenya, Indian, and China etc. Nigerian Tea
Export potential is very great especially now the country is looking at Alternative sources of foreign Exchange provided government can attract investment in the area.
Other African countries
Kenya is the leading tea exporter in the world. She has one of the best teas in the world with its tea high in antioxidant properties. Production in 2015 was about 399,000 metric tons with export earnings of about $1.38billion. Tea is the number one exporter earner for Kenya.
A rising tea producer in Africa with output of about 66million kgs in 2015 and earnings of about $80million from export
This is another African country contributing to world output. Produced about 10495 tons and earned $32million in 2014.
Malawi is another African powerhouse in Tea production, with about 46,500 tons in 2013 and Tea is an Export earner for the country. Others countries are South Africa, 2500 tons, Zimbabwe 8500 tons, Tanzania, 32400 tons and Rwanda, 25200 tons.
Health Benefits of Tea
The following are the health benefits of tea which have made its intake on the rise all over the world.
The number one benefit of tea is its antioxidant property which makes it very important to fight free radicals and protects you from toxins coming from pollution, premature aging etc.,
Studies have shown that green tea fight obesity by helping you to lose weight
Lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases
Tea keeps your arteries clog free and protects you from heart diseases like angina atherosclerosis, Hypertension etc.
Good for your teeth and gums
Tea is very good for your dental health.
Help to build your immune system.
A Study on tea and coffee drinkers where each group were asked to take 4 cups daily respectively showed that those drinking tea have more immune capacity in their blood system than those taking coffee-
Tea is anti-cancer.
Many studies in this area have shown that the Polyphenols, the antioxidant property is believed to fight against cancer.
Tea increases your metabolism
Tea helps your body to burn calories which benefit your overall health. Other benefits of tea are as follows, it helps fight cold naturally, improve digestion, lowers bad cholesterol and also keep you hydrated. we will explore all these in details on this page.
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