I never took to tea. I was always a coffee person.
Nescafe, 2 sugars and a huge splash of milk. That was my hot drink of choice from the age of 12 onwards. Sweet, homely and lovely to wrap my hands around. Terrible for the teeth. Tea just seemed so weak and uninteresting.
At the age of 19, I discovered the Americano and fell for black, unsweetened coffee. Filter coffee and espresso too. Sophisticated and strong, and basically rocket fuel for the body, and the smell! My top favourite smells (and there’s another blog post idea) includes coffee being brewed. (I actually associate the smell of fresh coffee with Durham Cathedral. As a kid, we went there quite often, and the little café also had a pot on the go.)
But with age has come an increase in weight, and acid reflux. This means I’ve had to practically cut out coffee. Drinking coffee again is one of the reasons I’m keen to lose weight.
This week, I was sent a box of Clipper’s Pure Green Tea by TENA Men. (You can read about their MOT for men idea here.)
As you may know, many people believe that there are multiple health benefits from drinking green tea.
I’m always sceptical of such claims unless they’re supported by proof. There are, however, studies which associate a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease with daily consumption of green tea. There is also proof that drinking green tea (or taking green tea supplements) lowers cholesterol in the blood.
So, there are proven health benefits. The next test is therefore whether or not I can drink the stuff given my historic dislike of tea.
What I do know about tea is that leaving the bag in for too long makes it go bitter. I tried couple of cups of some salted caramel tea, which was quite nice, but having a cup with a very bitter aftertaste put me right off it. (Turns out the tea bag had been left in far too long.)
So when the Pure Green Tea box says that it should be allowed to infuse for 1 – 3 minutes, I’m taking that bad boy out after 60 seconds. My wife had warned me that it was quite a strong taste, so I was bracing myself.
The first cup was made. The resulting brew didn’t look too appetising. It was a murky greeny brown colour, much lighter than normal tea. It smelled okay.
After it cooled, I gave it a sip. It wasn’t at all unpleasant. It didn’t taste as green as I feared it might. It was a well-rounded taste with a warm dry aftertaste at the back of the mouth. It certainly wasn’t weak or watery.
I’m now on day four of green tea, drinking a couple of cups a day. I’m still okay with it, especially as I know that it can do me some good. It won’t give me the same warm, homely comfort of sweetened coffee, but it also won’t rot my teeth.