Time for tea- A beginners guide to herbal teas.

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Stop TEAsing me, and get the kettle on!
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Stop TEAsing me, and get the kettle on!
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Link to an eBay page
Stop TEAsing me, and get the kettle on!
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Stop TEAsing me, and get the kettle on!
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Link to an eBay page
Stop TEAsing me, and get the kettle on!

How do you like your tea in the morning? Or the afternoon, for that matter...

For the past few months, I have been venturing in to the weird and wonderful world of tea! It turns out that there is more to tea than a builder's brew, with milk and two sugars. There are thousands of different flavours and combinations, which can be made in many different ways, for many different products. In this guide, I will talk you through a few of my favourite ways to choose, prepare and consume a selection of teas. Nearly all of the products I use have been purchased on eBay, as I have found there is a much better selection, at much better prices! 

How to choose a type of tea...
  • What time of day is it?
    It is suggested by many that you should drink different teas at different times of the day. Some teas contain caffeine, where others are naturally caffeine free. Generally, you would have a caffeinated tea for a boost aWhand stick to ones without in the evening, to relax. However, green tea offers a natural boost without the caffeine, so you will have to try a few out to see which work best for you. For a pre-bed brew, chamomile is always a favourite, due to its calming elements. 
  • Are you using the tea to help your body?
    One of the main reasons I got into teas was because I had read an article about the positive effects tea can have on your body. For example, green tea and white tea are said to aid weight loss, whilst peppermint tea is said to help digestion. There is loads of information across the web that will help you choose the right tea for the desired effect, and you might be surprised to find just how much good a cuppa can do! 
  • What flavours do you like?
    The main thing that puts people off herbal tea, is the flavour. A lot of people are so used to milky, sugary tea, that the refreshing taste of herbal teas can come as a bit of a shock. I have to admit, I was not a fan of green tea when I started to drink it. Persevere, it is totally worth it in the end! There are a number of things you can do to enhance the flavour of your tea, so don't worry! The main thing you can do, is choose a flavoured tea to start with. Most teas come in a variety of flavours- have a look on eBay, there are hundreds of different combinations (and most sellers on eBay offer a sample size)!  My best advise is to try a few and see what you like, then add in agave nectar if you like a bit of sweetness, or some fresh lemon slices for a tangy edge! 
How to make your tea...
There are a few different ways you can make a herbal tea. The easiest would have to be by using a teabag! Most shops sell a number of pre-bagged teas which you can just dip into a cup of hot water for an instant drink. Let it stew for a few minutes and pull it out- simple. The same process applies to powdered teas (beware of the sugar content in these, though). However, if you prefer a more ceremonial preparation, you might like to opt for loose leaf tea, which can be prepared in a tea pot with an infuser (see the link on the picture at the start for the one I use) or you can use an infuser in a cup (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Strawberry-Silicone-Loose-Tea-Leaf-Strainer-Herbal-Spice-Infuser-Filter-Diffuser-/111484900830?pt=UK_Kitchen_Accessories&hash=item19f50495de). Although loose leaf tea takes more prep and more cleaning after, the flavours are truly better. 
Also, remember that tea does not always have to be served hot in your favourite mug, you can also steep and chill tea, to enjoy over ice in the summer! 

Like I said, there is a wealth of information across the web that will guide you to your new favourite tea but I hope this guide has given you a small insight into the world and can help point you towards the tea for you. Remember to look on eBay for products before buying them in the shops, they are often much cheaper and there is a vast range to chose from. So, what are you waiting for? Time for some tea! 

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