I’ve always been bad about remembering to drink enough water, but fortunately my passion for herbal tea (along with low-caffeine green and white teas) has kept me decently hydrated over the years. I don’t share often, since tea is for the most part a naturally dairy-free delight, but I’m sure that many of you would love to know the latest in tea trends and share in my love of this warm wellness beverage.
Before any of you lay into me about herbal varieties not technically being tea (yes, they are not from tea plants), I think we can all agree that they still fall under the term “tea” in our society.
Tea Trends: Making the Mind Body Connection
I recently read a health trend report that defined Cognition as the new “C” word. Everyone wants to keep their wits about them, and we are seeing this desire hit in the form of functional herbal tea blends. CogniTea claims it provides “productive energy” with “a clear and focused mind”. I can’t completely vouch, both Tony and I liked the minty flavor and I did feel a nice little “rush” of motivation after sipping on a hot cup of CogniTea. Tony found it almost too potent at times – he liked the taste, but it made him feel a little jittery if he was already having a stressful day.
CogniTea isn’t purely herbal. Like many of the new “productive” teas, it packs in natural sources of caffeine, including organic yerba mate, guayasa, and tea extract. Herbs like L-Theanine and Ginseng reportedly help with the mental function and clarity aspects.
Tea Trends: Targeted Functional Wellness
Functionality is abundant in the natural food section these days, so why not tea? One of my favorite functional brands that is catering to specialty needs is Traditional Medicinals. I have a full review that covers many of their Organic Wellness Teas, but their new Women’s Teas really have me dazzled. Tony wasn’t too keen on sampling these (don’t worry men, their range of digestive, detox, and relaxation teas still have you covered), but I was elated by the selection.
They have about ten teas in the Women’s Wellness line, but I sampled just the Back on Tract, Healthy Cycle, and PMS blends. Since I didn’t have enough on hand to trial each one daily for a month or two, I can’t verify the benefits, but can say they were all full-bodied and comforting. My favorite was the PMS Tea, with a warm cinnamon flavor that was soothing all on its own.
In Traditional Medicinals fashion, the Women’s Teas are certified Organic, Fair Trade, and Non-GMO Verified.
Tea Trends: Purity
Supplements with a wide range of herbs became the rage years ago when scientists began exploring the curative properties provided by mother earth. Initially, consumers such as myself were led to believe that the more types of herbs packed into a single supplement, the more beneficial it would be. The problem is, there often wasn’t enough of any single herb for potency. As a result, some tea companies are scaling back and taking the 1 herb, 1 tea approach, with absolutely no other ingredients.
I just recently learned about Alvita Teas, a brand that is taking this pure approach to a new level with over 40 single herb supplement teas that are certified organic and certified gluten-free. By concentrating on just one herb in most of their teas, they are able to put quality sourcing and packaging above all else to deliver a product that tastes as pure as you can get in both taste and effectiveness.
I sampled just a few varieties from the Alvita Teas range, enjoying the Lemon Balm (the mellow, only lightly citrusy, flavor alone made me feel calmer) and Cranberry (more for peace of mind, but it was just moderately tangy in flavor).
Tea Trends: What’s Old is New Again
Ancient tea traditions from Asia are making their way west and much like how green and white teas have become the backdrop for many tea varietals, these “new” plants are branching out to provide a new flavor and nutritional range of teas.
One that has caught my interest lately is Tulsi tea. Also known as “Holy Basil” and “Queen of Herbs” this sacred plant is beloved in South Asia for its strong adaptogenic (anti-stress) and immune strengthening capabilities. I don’t know about you, but my ears perk up whenever I hear the words “stress relief” and in today’s epidemic of autoimmunity (of which, I’m not immune), Tulsi sounds like a welcome tea addition.
I sampled the Tulsi Ginger Lemon tea from Davidson’s Organics and enjoyed the unique minty essence that made the over flavor of the herbs more prominent. Davidson’s uses Tulsi as a base for many of their herbal teas, from Chamomile to Rooibos Chai to Spicy Green.
Tea Trends: Natural Indulgence
I think we can all agree that “low sugar” and “sugar free” are big buzzwords for this decade’s wellness community. Almost all of us are looking for ways to enjoy a treat without all of the sweet. Tisano emerged several years ago with their 100% cacao tea – yes, tea made purely of chocolate, but without any sugar. I still liked mine cup of cacao lightly sweetened, though a touch of stevia was all it needed.
But companies like Tisano are now expanding their ranges to include all-natural blends like Mint Cacao, Vanilla Rooibos Cacao, and Chai Cacao, for sips that help to fill the cravings void with pure, healthy ingredients. I’ve yet to sample any of these flavored cacao teas, but they are enticing! Perhaps an early holiday gift for myself is in order.
More Reasons to Love Tea!
Click on the image below for a very cool FULL infographic …