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Christmas GIF-Tea-Ing 

Christmas Tea

Christmas is around the corner and it’s the season of goodwill and cheer! People all around the world celebrate Christmas with a passion and gusto embracing the spirit of this season – giving. Strangers smile at each other, people give way, charity and goodwill abounds.

Santa Claus, stockings, festive wreaths on the doors and decorated Christmas trees in different themes are all part and parcel of the season. In the true spirit of the season there are of course gifts under the tree, waiting to be opened on Christmas morning by family and friends.

Rewind from Christmas morning and the opening of gifts and you come to the stress and worry of what to get for your loved ones for Christmas. A yearly battle that everyone dreads, it is inevitable and has to be faced and conquered.

So what can you get for Christmas that is sure to make your loved ones feel like it’s truly the season of cheer and goodwill?

Christmas Hampers

This is a gift that is sure to make anyone’s day as it will contain more than one thing. Put your loved one’s favourite things into a beautiful basket wrapped in green and red ribbon. You can include anything in a hamper. Pick Christmassy items as well as some everyday things that they are sure to use. Include a tin of Zesta’s Christmas tea with its hint of cinnamon and Marzipan that is sure to give them something to remember the joy of Christmas time.

Personalised Christmas Ornaments

This is a beautiful gift to give your special someone. Christmas ornaments are re-used year after year. There are special ornaments that survive the years and make it to the tree without fail. These could be family heirlooms, or evidence of memories made, whatever it may be, these ornaments are treasured, and this Christmas would be the best Christmas to start your own memories.

Self-Care Package for Christmas

This is a perfect gift for someone in need of a pick-me at Christmas time. Include some nice self-care items like a journal to write out their feelings, Christmas candles, bath products, Zesta’s bundle offer teas and a pair of warm comfy socks that is sure to help lift their spirits and get them to celebrate along with you in the fun and cheer.

Stuffed Stockings

Stockings are a Christmas tradition that has been around for ages. A stocking full of sweets, smaller gifts and bon bons were a bonus on Christmas mornings. Get stockings for all your loved ones and stuff them with sweet goodies and smaller inexpensive items that fit each of their personalities. You can even add Zesta’s Connoisseur’s specialised tea flavours that will suit each person. It is sure to put a smile on your loved one’s faces when they get a tiny reminder that you truly know them.

Baked Goodies

For the foodie in your circle who loves food and drink, a box of baked goodies is sure to make their Christmas. Get creative with tea-based cookies and cakes or ensure to include teas that would pair well with your home baked goodness. You can choose from Zesta’s Connoisseur range of teas for the perfect tea to be used for baking or pairing. There is no lack of choice and you can be as creative and experimental as you like.

Puppy Love on Christmas Day

Why not surprise your loved one who is in need of some company, with a gift that keeps giving throughout the year – a puppy! Give them a companion for life who will stay by their side and love them unconditionally. You can give them a Christmassy name like Rudy or Snowflake to really remember the special Christmas day with.



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Teas’ the Season

Christmas Tea

Whether you’ve been on Santa’s naughty or nice list, a cup of warm Ceylon tea will cheer just about anyone this season. Here are a few teas to choose from Zesta’s endless range!

Oh, Christmas Tea

A black tea with lingering cinnamon and marzipan notes, brew a cup of Zesta’s Christmas Tea to get yourself in the mood for all the festivities. Even if you’re looking for a last-minute gift, this tea is sure to make anyone’s day! A cup of Christmas Tea can be enjoyed at any time, especially when you start to miss the season and all its cheer.

Wake up!

After a long night of Christmas cheer and merriment, there’s nothing a good cup of English Breakfast tea can’t fix. Zesta Connoisseur English Breakfast Tea is a robust full-bodied tea that’s slightly malty and is the perfect way to start your morning. Brew a pot of tea for your loved ones and kick start the day with a cup of energy! The tea can also be enjoyed with a dash of milk.

Something for Santa

With every house leaving milk and cookies for Santa, change things up a bit with a hot cup of tea instead! Black Tea Infused with Osmanthus Flowers is relaxing and fragrant, with a light fruity taste that’ll help Santa (or yourself) unwind after a long day. The delicate Osmanthus flowers, native to China combined with Ceylon’s iconic black tea makes this one of the most popular blends, due to its soothing flavours.


After all the turkey and cranberry sauce, Christmas cake and pudding, waddle towards the kitchen and brew a cup of green tea to help get rid of that ‘stuffy’ feeling. Green tea is known to aid in digestion, leaving you with more space to indulge in festive food. If you’re looking for a different, flavourful brew of green tea, browse through Zesta’s wide range of green teas blended with other ingredients like peppermint, jasmine, peach & apricot and more, to enrich your tea experience.

Sleep with Ease

A soothing cup of Zesta’a Chamomile tea is the perfect tea to brew right before you head to bed. Chamomile has been used for years as a herbal remedy, and with its calming properties, it’s the ideal tea to brew as you unwind from a long day of festivities. The tea is light yellow in colour and best enjoyed as it is.



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English Breakfast Tea vs Earl Grey Tea: What Is the Difference?

English Breakfast

Known for their unique taste, colour, and character, English Breakfast Tea and Earl Grey Tea is easily one of the more popular traditional black teas out there in the market. So much so that many believe they are the same. They are not though!

The differences are mainly attributed to the origins, and the flavour. Apart from those features, they do have their fair share of similarities.

History and Origins

This is one of the major differences between the two tea types, as they have their beginnings in separate events.

English Breakfast Tea

This type of black tea can be traced back to the 19th century, and can be attributed to a Scottish tea merchant known as Robert Drysdale. It was he who desired a strong, rich, and malty beverage after a good English breakfast, hence the name ‘English Breakfast Tea’.

The popularisation of the tea came about when Queen Victoria first tasted it during her stay in Scotland. The monarch was so impressed by its taste that she brought a supply back to London, which eventually led to a trend that never ceased.

Earl Grey Tea

This traditional tea has a similar beginning in that it was popularised in the 19th century. However, this was a Chinese invention although it has a English name.

The story goes that once a Chinese scholar visited Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (the British Prime Minister during the 1830s) in the United Kingdom. The scholar wanted to treat his host with some traditional Keemun tea. The only problem was that the water possessed a mineral taste, which did not give out the true taste of the tea. He then proceeded to use bergamot oil (an oil made from a citrusy fruit) to balance out the taste. The Prime Minister was so enthralled with the beverage that it became a staple in his household.

Popularity of the tea rose when the wife of Charles Grey served this beverage to their guests and visiting dignitaries. Hence the name ‘Earl Grey Tea’.

Taste, Flavour, and Blend

Another way of showcasing the differences between the two variants is by analysing its taste, flavour, and blend of the beverage.

English Breakfast Tea

This particular beverage is characterised to have a very strong, rich taste, which is full-bodied and robust. This is because it is traditionally a blend of Assam, Keemun, Kenyan, and Ceylon tea leaves.

The reason for its strong flavour was because of how hearty the English breakfast is. The rich taste often complemented the breakfast, and gave that much-needed energy boost for the day. Milk and sugar was sometimes added to balance out the strength of the beverage. The Zesta Connoisseur Collection English Breakfast Tea is a perfect example of the brew.

Earl Grey Tea

In the traditional sense, Earl Grey tea is made from Chinese Keemun tea, which is then infused with bergamot oil. Over the years though, the Chinese tea leaves were replaced by Ceylon Tea, since it allowed consumers to add milk into the beverage as well. A great example for this is the Zesta Connoisseur Collection Earl Grey Tea.

Due to the bergamot oil, the tea is characterised to have a citric taste, and is considered to have a milder flavour to other black teas, such as English breakfast tea.


English breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea do have similarities when looking at certain aspects.


While they are different in blend, taste, and flavour, they are black teas having the same core ingredient after all; the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Similarly, preparing a fresh cuppa is the same. All you have to do is;

  • Boil fresh spring water (220ml per person) to around 100˚C.
  • Add teabags (one per person) or loose-leaf tea (2.5g per person) to the water.
  • Let the leaves steep for 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve into tea cups.
  • Add a slice of lemon when drinking straight, or add milk and sugar to your liking.

Health Benefits

Another similarity of these two drinks are the health benefits. Many studies have shown that English breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea aid in strengthening the immune system, oral health, digestion, heart health, mood, blood sugar, and high blood pressure.

Regardless of the differences between the two brews, the two tea variants are equally as popular and can be equally enjoyed with Zesta.

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The Difference Between Afternoon Tea and High Tea

Afternoon Tea

Catching up with friends and family over a small snack or a full meal, during the evening hours, makes some unforgettable memories. These special meals and social gatherings can, arguably, be traced back to the Victorian-era of the British Empire. Back then it was either called Afternoon Tea or High Tea. Today, these types of meals and gatherings are still seen. So much so that Afternoon Tea and High Tea have been used to mean the same thing, except historically it does not.

What is Afternoon Tea?

Simply put, Afternoon Tea is a light three-course meal taken during the day at 4 pm. This is in no way to replace dinner, as the meal generally consists of bite-sized sandwiches, savouries, and scones. Of course, there is a good strong cuppa accompanied with the finger food too.

Afternoon tea was made popular by the Duchess of Bedford in the 19th century, when she wanted to have a light meal before dinner with her friends. Alternatively, it is called ‘Low Tea’ since this meal is traditionally enjoyed on the low tables of the drawing-room, where the host, friends, and family would sit on comfortable sofas and chairs.

What is High Tea?

Originating from the 19th century, high tea was a trend set by the working middle class. It became popular routine when workers would get home and nourish themselves with a hearty meal that included meat, beans, and other heavy dishes. This is also called ‘supper’, as this is taken between   5 pm – 7 pm. Once again, all this was accompanied with a strong cup of black tea. This was enjoyed mainly on the high tables of the dining room with the family. Hence why it is called ‘High Tea’.

Afternoon Tea vs High Tea

While there are many differences between these two, some of the most obvious is the type of food consumed, time of consumption, and the people you enjoy these meals with.

Afternoon Tea was more for pleasure that eventually leads to dinner. High Tea, on the other hand, was more about getting back that important nutrition lost after working hard during the day.

Another major difference is the time these meals are taken at. Afternoon Tea or ‘Low Tea’ is generally taken around 4 pm, whereas High Tea is enjoyed just before dinner.

These two types of meals have an element of socialising with people close to you. However, the difference is that Afternoon Tea was enjoyed with friends, whereas High Tea was enjoyed with family.

Ceylon Tea at the Very Centre

One thing that has not changed in both meals though is the ‘Tea’. Tea plays a major part in these meals, as they are generally enjoyed at the end of it. These beverages were mostly strong black tea of the highest quality, most notably Pure Ceylon Tea.

Today it is pretty much the same, and Zesta’s Premium Black Tea is one such high-quality black tea that is sure to top off a great Afternoon Tea and High Tea experience, as it provides that authentic flavour of black tea. Whether you serve straight, with a slice of lemon, or even with milk, your meal will be as wholesome as ever.

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The Importance of Tea Etiquette in the Chinese New Year

Chinese Tea

The Chinese New Year is a unique spectacle for many an individual, as it helps connect people with their families, and re-enact centuries of tradition. While there are many rituals and traditions followed, many have changed over the years due to economic and social reasons. However, one such tradition that has not changed over the years is the tea offerings and the etiquette that comes with it. With colourful decorations come a burst of flavour too, making it a unique experience that many people wait for every year.

Generational tradition

The celebration of the Chinese New Year has many origins, and has been debated by others. However, many often trace the celebration of the Chinese New Year back to 3rd millennium BC China. As a result, the new year is depicted with a special animal that repeats in a 12-year cycle. Namely, the Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, and Dragon. Each animal having special omens. Regardless of the different omens and the changing of the animals, celebrations such as tea etiquette has stayed the same in many eastern cultures and has now become quite a spectacle even in North America and Europe. This can be attributed to the respect of the traditions the older generations pass down to the younger.


The tea etiquette in the festive time gives the Chinese New Year great meaning, as it gives the younger generation the chance to appreciate the older generation with a refreshing cuppa. It also works in the opposite direction, as the elders also make it a point to give something to the young. Most often than not, it is often money or something that would delight the young folded in a red envelope. The tea etiquette starts early in the morning when the young would select some favourite treats and offer them in a ceremonious manner, with tea as the main element.

Unique tea selection

The tea selection varies and depends on certain preferences. However, there are notable types that have been used over the ages. Such variants include black teas, oolong teas, and puers (shu cha). Moreover, the leaves chosen are of the highest quality, which Zesta are proud to provide during this time of festivity. Our Large Leaf Black Tea OP, and Tie Guan Yin (Oolong tea) are perfect for the traditional tea ceremonies accompanied with the dried and candied fruits to the elders.

Connecting with your loved ones

At the end of the day, tea etiquette in the Chinese New Year is still practiced today because of how it brings families and people together, regardless of their age. Whether the festive season occurs in a time where you and your family are going through some hardship, resentment, misunderstandings, or even hatred, the tea etiquette is a symbolic tradition that ushers in the new year, a new spring to start things anew and forget about what has happened.

The Chinese New Year is a myriad of traditions filled with pageantry, cuisine, togetherness, and of course tea!

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Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea

Zesta Chamomile Tea

The development of tea has come a long way. From its discovery more than 5,000 years ago in China to the flavoured and herbal infusions in the global market right now, the variety of tea is increasingly becoming saturated. However, there are some varieties that have become popular among many a tea drinker for its taste and health benefits.

Chamomile tea is one such popular variant of herbal tea that has strongly influenced enthusiasts for its health benefits. Belonging to the Asteraceae plant family, the herb is a doppelganger to the daisy flower. The use of the herb can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and early Germans, and was used as mild sedatives, fragrance boosters. While it was used as an additive for making medicine in the past, presently it is used as tea. Although its application has changed over the years, chamomile tea health benefits remain. Here we delve into what the best chamomile tea can do to your physical and mental well-being.

Physical well-being

Chamomile tea tackles indigestion problems

The unique compounds that make up the plant’s antioxidants help reduce the output of acid and reduce levels of leukotrienes, thus resulting in the decreased vulnerability of developing stomach ulcers and other gastric problems. In addition to tackling ulcers, a warm cup of chamomile teas is good for preventing diarrhoea, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Anti-ageing properties of Chamomile tea

While many benefits of chamomile tea can be enjoyed orally, it can also be used as an ointment of sorts for your skin. The natural phytochemicals and polyphenols of chamomile tea, when applied on skin helps speed up the healing processes of wrinkles, scars, eczema and rosacea. Moreover, the antioxidants present in the herbal tea allows for the body to get rid of unnecessary fat quickly, thus making it ideal to manage weight gains.

Can Chamomile tea treat diabetes?

Recent studies published on journals show that the antioxidants of chamomile tea help control the sudden spikes and drops in blood sugar, which in turn regulates the production to the blood. Such is the reason why doctors recommend the drinking of chamomile tea to diabetics.

Chamomile tea soothes menstrual pain

A warm cup of chamomile tea contains a number of organic properties, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help ease menstrual pain, bloating and mood swings. Thereby, allowing your body to relax and carry on daily activities with as little inconvenience as possible.

Help improve bone health with chamomile tea

Osteoporosis, which is a degenerative bone condition, is an increasingly problematic case for many women, especially in the post-menopausal stage as a result of the increase in the production of oestrogen. Studies have shown that a cup of chamomile tea a day promotes bone health, due to the anti-estrogenic properties, thus creating good bone health of the body.

Cancer prevention

Apeginin, a type of antioxidant abundant in chamomile tea has been known to be effective in the prevention and treatment of certain types of cancer such as breast cancer, digestive tract cancer, skin cancer, and prostate cancer.

Mental health

Relieve stress with Chamomile tea

The natural compounds of the chamomile have been known to release two major hormones responsible for regulating the mental health of the body; melatonin and serotonin. Studies have shown that one or two cups of chamomile tea eases the mind and is ideal for postpartum women.

Chamomile tea helps you sleep well

Sleep does not only affect mental health, but also physical health as it allows the entire body to recover from injuries and fatigue. However, in a fast-paced environment, it can be quite difficult to get adequate sleep, which in turn leads to insomnia. The presence of melatonin and serotonin in chamomile tea assists in alleviating chronic insomnia, therefore allowing you to sleep with ease.

Experience all these benefits with ease by purchasing some of Zesta’s Connoiseur Chamomile Tea at our online retail store.

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6 Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

Zesta Green Tea


Green Tea has taken the world by storm, in the last few decades, surpassing its place in mere traditional medicine to becoming one of the most popular beverages. The curative properties of green tea are many, and for this reason, even those who weren’t avid tea drinkers before, have turned to this magical potion of a brew.

What is Green Tea?

Green tea, like all other varieties of true teas, comes from the emerald leaves of the evergreen shrub known as Camellia Sinensis. It is the production process that makes the difference in the colour, taste and health benefits of it. Unlike black tea, green tea does not go through fermentation, and thus retains all of its antioxidants. The pan fried and heated leaves give the green tea its famous shade of green and the unique light taste.

How to Prepare a Cup of Green Tea:

Pour hot water over a Zesta green tea bag, and brew it for about 1-2 minutes to get the perfect cuppa. You could opt to steep it for longer, if you want it to be more potent. The addition of honey, cinnamon, lemon or ginger could elevate the taste as well as the health benefits of it.

Green Tea Promotes Heart Health:

Antioxidants such as anthocyanidin found in green tea are found to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. Green tea could also prevent the occurrence of risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure or unhealthy cholesterol levels, because it contains beta blocking. It also has certain properties that increase the amount of blood pumped by your heart, all the while decreasing the blood pressure. It also protects LDL particles from oxidation. Ardent green tea drinkers have been reported to have less chance of developing cardiovascular diseases and strokes, which is all the more reason you should make a habit of sipping a cuppa while you go about your day.

Green Tea Improves Brain Function and Memory:

Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee and black tea. Therefore, it could keep you alert and awake, while avoiding the jittery irritability and restlessness associated with highly caffeinated drinks. The caffeine in green tea is a known stimulant and helps improve your mood while also making more vigilant. L-theanine found in high amounts in green tea is the perfect complement to the caffeine, since it ensures the smooth functioning of the activities where memory is concerned. It also increases the dopamine levels in the brain, providing a calm sense of mind that is free from anxious and stressful thoughts. The synergistic effects of caffeine and L-theanine make this brew the ideal study aid. In the long run, the daily consumption of green tea could also reduce risks of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

Green Tea Helps Prevent Diabetes:

Green tea is known to make reductions in blood sugar levels, especially those that cause Type 2 Diabetes. The anthocyanidins in green tea can improve glycaemic control, reduce insulin resistance and normalise blood sugar levels in those affected by this disease. Research has found that green tea drinkers had less of a risk of developing diabetes. Since green tea is generally consumed without sugar, and contains no sugar on its own, switching to this would be a healthier choice that could change your life for the better.

Green Tea Increases Metabolism:

The fact that green tea helps lose weight, and fight obesity is quite possibly the main reason as to why so many people around the world have made a habit of drinking it. Catechin and EGCG found in green tea can increase metabolism, all the while making you feel satiated with a small portion of food, by decreasing your appetite. So, not only does green tea assist in weight loss, but it also prevents weight gain. While catechin breaks down excess fat, the caffeine in green tea increases energy consumption, which also speeds the weight loss process along. 2-3 cups of green tea a day could aid in your weight loss, so long as a balanced diet and ample exercise is followed through.

Green Tea Promotes Skin Care and Hair Condition:

Dandruff which is caused by dry skin on your scalp, is both a skin and a hair issue, since it doesn’t just cause poor hair conditions, but is also a major reason for acne. Green tea could reduce dandruff, and promote strong hair growth as well. Consumption of green tea could also reduce the level of free radical damage, which causes early ageing. It tightens the skin, clears out blemishes and reduces wrinkles and fine lines. The rejuvenating properties in green tea could speed the reproduction process of cells, and give you lighter skin and a youthful appearance. Keeping green tea bags on your eyes could reduce puffiness, redness as well as under eye bags.

Green Tea Protects You Against The Development Of Cancerous Cells:

It is commonly accepted that prevention is better than cure, and green tea, in this case could help your body fight against the development of cancerous cells. Antioxidants in green tea reduce the risk of cancers such as breast, colorectal and prostate. It has also been found that those who consume green tea regularly can ward off cancerous cells.

Explore our exclusive collection of Zesta Green Tea here.

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The Difference Between Black Tea and Green Tea

Green Tea

Tea connoisseurs all around the world have a special connection with their favourite brew, as it makes up an important part of their lives. Green tea and black tea are two of the most popular types of tea in Sri Lanka and around the world. But how are they different? Besides its obvious colour-inspired name, here are some of the essential differences between green tea and black tea.

The Production Process

Contrary to what many may believe, both black tea and green tea are derived from the same plant that is known as Camellia Sinensis. The difference between the two lies in the fermentation process of the teas, which refers to how much tea undergoes the oxidation process to get dried.

How is Black Tea Made?

Once harvested from the plant, the leaves are allowed to fully oxidise before they are processed and dried. Oxygen interacts with the cell walls of the leaves which results in turning them dark brown to black in colour. Oxidation also alters the flavour in black tea, making it tangy and malty.

How is Green Tea Made?

Unlike black tea, green tea is quickly heated and pan-fried, and goes through a minimal oxidation process. This results in giving green tea its famous light colour and taste. This process also ensures that green tea retains most of its antioxidants.

How to Brew Black or Green Tea

The brewing time and method for green tea and black tea differ in certain aspects. For example, one tea bag of green tea should be brewed at 70°C to 80°C for about two to three minutes. Green tea is usually consumed without a sweetener. However, if you prefer to add a hint of sweetness, honey would be more recommended than sugar.

To brew black tea, add a tea bag to a cup of hot water with a temperature of 95°C to 100°C. Let the tea brew for approximately three to five minutes. You could add sugar or milk to your cup of black tea to elevate the taste to suit your needs.

The Caffeine Level of Tea

It is a known fact that tea has less caffeine than coffee. However, the low amount of caffeine in tea is one of the reasons why it is considered to be more beneficial than coffee or energy drinks. Sipping a cuppa would keep you energised for longer, without the inconvenience of the caffeine-induced restlessness of coffee. Black tea, in general, has more caffeine than green tea, due to the oxidation process, and is great for those who would want to pull an all-nighter. Green tea, although only has about 35mg of caffeine per serving, as opposed to the 39-100mg in black tea, contains L-theanine. This makes up for the lack of caffeine by bringing you to a state of calm alertness by firing up the neurotransmitters. This also releases the “happiness hormones”: dopamine and serotonin.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea contains the polyphenol EGCG which has been known to alleviate risks of certain types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and liver diseases. It also helps in lowering the levels of fatigue and stress. Green tea is most popularly known as a powerful agent that increases metabolism, thereby promoting rapid weight loss. This curative beverage could also improve your dental health, and act as an antidepressant as well. Read more about the benefits of green tea here.

Health Benefits of Black Tea

Theaflavins found in black tea act as an anti-inflammation device and lowers the plaque formation in blood vessels which could otherwise lead to clogged arteries. They also promote fat breakdown and is a great aid for obesity management. Black tea is also a well-known beautifier since it decreases eye-bags, puffy eyes as well as redness in eyes. It also protects you against various eye discomforts such as styes, and conjunctivitis. Read more about the benefits of black tea here.

Shared Benefits

Both green and black tea is rich in polyphenols and contains flavonoids that help reduce cardiovascular risks. There have also been studies that reported that both these teas could help reduce the LDL cholesterol levels significantly. The daily consumption of both green and black tea could also lower blood pressure. Both green and black tea have been found to improve digestion and reduce ulcers. Strong shiny hair, flawless skin, and overall good health could be just a cup of tea away.

So, it does not matter whether you are a strong green tea enthusiast or a passionate black tea drinker, because both of these options are great and evidently carry a wide array of health benefits. The addition of either black or green tea or even both, could be the change your life needed all along.

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Herbal Teas and Their Health Benefits

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas, despite its name, isn’t a ‘tea’. Real teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Herbal teas are an infusion of dried fruits, flowers, herbs or spices. Due to this reason, they are usually packed with a load of health benefits. Here are the two most popular types of Herbal teas are Chamomile Tea and Peppermint Tea; and their amazing health benefits!

1. Chamomile Tea and Its Health Benefits

This is one of the popular varieties of herbal tea in the market. Derived from the Asteraceae family of plants, it is the chamomile flowers that are dried and used to make the infusion. It has a very subtle flavour; earthy with a tinge of apple and floral sweetness. Owing to its many health benefits, they have been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years.

• Chamomile Tea Relieves Stress and Anxiety

This has to be one of the most popular uses of chamomile tea. Research says a compound named apigenin that is present in the tea, helps increase levels of serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone”. It also simultaneously helps soothe the over-firing of neurotransmitters that cause more anxiety, thereby, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and promoting a better mental well-being.

• Chamomile Tea Improves Sleep Quality and Reduces Insomnia

Chamomile has the ability to act on the same receptor site as sedatives, thus enabling to induce sleep without side effects such as tolerance and dependence. Due to this reason, chamomile tea is usually drunk in the evening or in the night.

• Chamomile Tea Relieves Period Pain

Menstrual cramps can be quite daunting. While there are many painkillers, some of which even contain chamomile extract, it is always best to opt for a more natural pain-reliever. This is where chamomile comes into play. Studies mention that chamomile tea has the ability to reduce the production of prostaglandins, a hormone that is responsible for inflammation and pain. It is also an antispasmodic, thus further contributing to pain relief.

 • Chamomile Tea Promotes Heart Health

The infusion is rich in flavonoids that are beneficial to the heart. These are responsible for reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.

• Chamomile Tea Helps Control The Blood Sugar Levels

Therefore, it is a great beverage for diabetics as it is known to reduce the many long-term risks and complications of diabetes, thus improving the outcome.

• Chamomile Tea Helps Prevents Premature Ageing

The presence of antioxidants in the infusion are the key ingredients that fight off free radicals caused by UV damage thereby keeping your skin protected from damage and premature ageing.


2. Peppermint Tea and Its Health Benefits

An infusion made of peppermint leaves, this is as refreshing as it sounds and equally delicious. It has a strong mouth-tingling menthol flavour which invigorates the taste buds and is an excellent option to have after meals. It makes a brilliant hot or cold beverage, thus making it an enjoyable drink during any season or time of day.

There are many therapeutic effects associated with it.

• Peppermint Tea Helps Reduces Symptoms of Fever

The menthol in Peppermint Tea causes external sweating and simultaneously is able to cool down the internal body temperature, thus helping to reduce the overall temperature and providing relief. Peppermint tea is also an antispasmodic, thus reduces the urge to vomit, making it a great on the go beverage if you have motion sickness.

• Peppermint Tea Aids in Digestion

The presence of carminative properties in peppermint tea helps to reduce bloating and stomach discomfort.

• Peppermint Tea Increases Your Focus and Concentration

Got deadlines or exams around the corner? Having trouble keeping yourself focused? A cup of peppermint tea might just be the answer. A neuroscience research states that it can, in fact, boost your concentration. Even the scent of peppermint works wonders as it stimulates the hippocampus in the brain; the centre of memory.

• Peppermint Teas Aids in Weight Loss

It has been proven that peppermint is an appetite suppressant. Therefore, a cup after meals will keep you away from over-indulging in the desserts. Additionally, you could also mix it along with green tea to help increase our metabolism.

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All About Sinhala and Tamil New Year

New Year Tea

Colloquially referred to as Avurudu in Sinhala or Puthandu in Tamil, the festival marks the New Year for the Sinhalese and Tamil communities on the island. The annual event brings the entire nation together to partake in traditions and games.

What is Avurudu?
Traditionally celebrated by the Sinhalese and Tamil, the New Year has now been integrated to numerous households in the country as it brings people and families together. The festival is celebrated with a series of traditions, food, and fun games that take place during the day and involve the entire community.

The ‘Avurudu table’ is a colourful, decorative affair consisting of traditional Sri Lankan treats like kavum, mun kavum, kokis, asmee, peni walalu, athirasa, etc. All of this is usually accompanied by a few cups of the nation’s finest beverage; Zesta Ceylon tea, a common addition to the Avurudu table. As the new year dawns, families gather around a clay pot with milk and watch it boil over; which signifies prosperity and happiness for the entire family. Milk rice is the next traditional item to be cooked. In Hindu households, sweet rice is made with red raw rice, jaggery, ghee, plums and cashew nuts.

The festival is celebrated with a range of games involving the entire community, like kotta pora, kana mutt, sack races, kabaddi to name a few traditional games. Children and adults from the village gather to take part in games. Offices and schools even partake in the Avurudu ceremonies.

The Call of the Koha
During the period leading up to the new year, the call of the Koha echoes through the village. Also known as the Cuckoo-bird, the Koha’s song marks the beginning of the new year and its festivities.

Other Traditions
From lucky colours to auspicious times, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year is deeply rooted in traditions. The ganadenu tradition consists of when children offer betel leaves to worship parents and in exchange get some cash. The applying of oil by the chief monk is another significant Avurudu event.

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