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Tea news continues to stir the pot in Canada. Records show we drink as many as 7 billion cups of tea each year – and those who study it as a dietary factor are now telling us not to put on the brakes. Both black tea and green tea contain antioxidant plant compounds called flavonoids, which are thought to be important cancer fighting agents. This, combined with its potential benefits against heart disease – plus zero calories and comparatively low levels of caffeine – is a sound reason to treat oneself to one or more cups of tea every day.
And while those who drink the 7 billion cups don't seem to need advice, still connoisseurs insist on preparation precision to make the "tea treat" even better. Here, courtesy of the Tea Association of Canada, is a 5-step process for the perfect cup of tea:
Make A Perfect Cup of Tea
1. Start with fresh-drawn cold water and bring it to a rolling boil.
2. Warm the teapot to help keep your tea hot longer.
3. Use one teabag for each two cups of tea desired. Be sure to choose a quality blend.
4. When the water has boiled, take the warmed teapot to the kettle and pour over the teabags. Stir, cover and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Remove teabags and pour.
And don't forget, you can get a perfect cup of tea when on the run too. In a restaurant, ask for your pot of boiling water with the "tea bag in". Always allow your tea, no matter where you are, to steep for at least three to five minutes. Indeed, continuously dunking the tea bag may increase the flavonoid content as much as five times.
Remember, in addition to antioxidant properties, tea is an all-natural beverage with no additives, artificial flavorings or colors. It has no calories when enjoyed without milk, sugar or honey. Here are a few innovative ways to include tea in your daily meals:
• At breakfast, discover how delicious a bran muffin can be with your favorite blend like Orange Pekoe, Earl Grey and English Breakfast and many more.
• At lunch, use tea to flavor dressings on fruit, green, and pasta salads.
• At dinner, use brewed tea as a marinade for chicken or fish and also to stir-fry vegetables. Try ice cream flavored with a splash of tea.
• At snack time, discover how green tea is an ideal refresher.
More information is available online at www.tea.ca.
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