We all know that we brew tea to be hot, cold brewed, or hot brew then chilled. We might assume that when tea is HOT it has a warming action on the body and when its chilled it has a cooling effect on the system. But according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory-that's not the case. In case you missed it, my background before starting a tea company is in Chinese Martial Arts. In traditional Chinese Martial Arts, there is a vast world of concepts, skills and education in addition to any fighting techniques. In my training, I had a lot of education on Chinese medicine theory, meditation, herbs and tea.
According to TCM, foods, herbs and teas have actions and energies on the body. The general rule is that the less oxidized a tea is, the more cooling it is. The darker the tea, the more warming it is. Even if you chill or heat them, it doesn’t matter that much!
This is actually a pretty well known fact in Asian countries. When I would visit China in the hot summers, even the taxi drivers had green tea in a clear flask that they filled with HOT water all day. Every place I visited, I was serving hot green tea. It is the norm.
If we add in that, according to TCM, there are 5 seasons to take into account for the health of the body, and corresponding foods, herbs and teas, it gets quite interesting. However, each person has a different constitution- and what may be good for the season to eat or drink -may not be good for every single person! It can get complex but for this post, I just want to encourage you to drink more green and white teas in the spring and summer, and oolongs and black teas in the fall and winter. Does that mean you can’t drink what you want at all times? Of course not, but the more you know about the energies of the teas, the more you can adjust your personal style and schedule of drinking. 😀
Here's a very basic example:
Feeling hot, exhausted or constipated? Green or white teas will really help. If there are added herbs in it, it may counteract the effects, so a straightforward tea would be better. Although Jasmine Green is excellent in most cases. Jasmine Green is more neutral and a little less cold than a straight green tea, so its really good for people with sensitive stomachs.
Always chilly, cold hands and feet? Black teas and dark oolongs work well. Avoid green teas except in the hot weather.
The world of TCM is quite amazing and interesting. More info about this topic coming up soon!
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