Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Teatime: Samurai Chai Mate

Tea has been an important part of my meditation rituals for the last nine years.  Tea is also significant from the point of view of Buddhist beliefs.  I came across this great free eBook, Buddhism and the Tea Ceremony from Buddha's Light Publishing, which goes into more detail about the relationship between Buddhist beliefs and tea.  Drinking tea gives you an opportunity to slow down and be in the moment, plus it has many health benefits, including:

  • speeding up the metabolism through caffeine and catechin polyphenols
  • providing antioxidants, including EGCG, which may protect against or suppress cancers
  • improves the immune system response to illness through the amino acid theanine
  • EGCG may reduce the chance of cognitive impairment as we get older

Green tea appears to have greater health benefits than other types, although other types of teas still provide significant benefits.  The greatest benefits can be achieved when you drink tea without adding dairy or sugar, although adding citrus, honey or other additives may improve the taste.

What am I drinking today?  Teavana's Samurai Chai Mate

Teavana Samurai Chai Mate, 2oz

Although this is not a traditional "tea", in that it's not made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, it is a great tisane, or what we would call "herbal tea".  This blend is a combination of the warm spice that you expect from chai, mixed with a delicious and refreshing hint of citrus.  If you've ever passed by a Tevana store, you've probably sampled this tea, mixed with White Ayurvedic Chai, and sweetened with rock sugar.  I prefer Samurai Chai Mate alone, slightly sweetened with either organic orange blossom honey or organic amber agave cectar.

This tisane is by far my favorite.  The warm and spicy flavor reminds me of family time at Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie.  I know, it's strange to be drinking this in summer when Miami is boiling hot, but this drink is my form of liquid comfort, especially when mixed with organic amber agave nectar, which adds a slight maple syrup flavor.  Just imagine all of your favorite family memories rolled into a delicious and warm beverage, and that's what you get with Samurai Chai tea.

Samurai Chai Mate contains green mate, green rooibos, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, lemongrass, orange peel, cornflower and other good stuff.  The experts at Teavana tell me that mate contains less caffeine than coffee and gives you a slower, more sustained boost of energy, without the harsh crash that sometimes comes with coffee or energy drinks.  I believe in limiting your caffeine consumption, so I don't drink this daily, but it is my absolute favorite.

What are you drinking?  And what is your favorite tea or tisane?

Posted as part of Rednesday.


arkaya (jess) said...

The tea you are enjoying currently sounds very nice, I may have to keep a look out for it :)
I am really enjoying green tea with orange and lotus flower at the moment, I find it the perfect mix of sweet and bitter - especially on a sunny day in the garden :)
arkaya ~ swapbot

★Carol★ said...

I'm a great believer in the benefits of tea, and I make sure to have a big cup of green every single day!
Happy REDnesday,

LV said...

I love good ole ice tea. Never have had too much green. Will have to give it a try.

Vintagesouthernlife said...

I am a big tea drinker. Unfortunately, I like the southern traditional way with lots of sugar.

Abramyan Avenue said...

I love tea!! My Russian mother in law introduced me to hot green tea and now I try to drink at least two cups a day. I have long read of the benefits of tea and I believe them!!
Hope you have a great week!

Coleen said...

I'm a coffee drinker and a tea drinker. I'm an American living in Ukraine and learned to drink tea here as that is what Ukrainians mostly drink.


Coleen in Ukraine