Don’t Accidentally Wreck Your Tea

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Tea preparation is a delicate procedure.

Tea is a wonderful beverage. It’s calming, energizing, hydrating, and just generally tastes good. It’s also chock-full of helpful antioxidants and catechins that’ll keep your blood flowing cleanly and your skin, hair, and nails smooth and healthy. But as is the case with, well, pretty much any nutritious food, that nutritional value can be thrown completely out of whack by improper preparation.

Tea, on its own, can have a very bitter, earthy taste, so it’s understandable that some like to add some cream and sugar to it. A single cube of sugar and a little drizzle of cream are perfectly fine, but if you dump the whole sugar bowl and an entire carton of cream into your tea, it stops being tea and starts being vaguely tea-flavored cream and sugar. All those sweeteners will muddle the tea’s health benefits, not to mention bog you down with unnecessary calories. The same goes for artificial sweeteners like Sweet n’ Low. It may not be real sugar, but that doesn’t give you a free pass to dump twenty packets in.

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Speaking of nutrition, you should always endeavor to make your own tea rather than buying it pre-bottled when possible. Pre-bottled teas from the supermarket usually tout all-natural flavors and labels with lots of pretty leaves on them, but a glance at the nutrition facts can reveal levels of sugar and additives that rival some soft drinks. Though, if you are making your own tea, you should be very careful with how long you steep it. The longer you steep a tea bag, the more caffeine will be in the tea. It’s the same problem as the additives; tea is best when it only gives you a slight perk, not an entirely Coke’s worth of caffeine.