Herbal teas have long since been cited as a beneficial addition to our diets. Words like ‘anti-oxidants’ and ‘regenerating’ are thrown around when talking about a wholesome cup of natural tea, but there are many other benefits too.
Ahead of the upcoming Dublin Coffee and Tea Festival, we caught up with Nicola Kearns of ‘Niks Tea’, to find out which herbal infusions we should be incorporating into our daily lives.
Nicola founded her award-winning company in 2012, using carefully selected leaves, flavoursome fruits and herbs to help Irish people fall in love with a healthier cuppa.
“I blend teas with beautiful ingredients for pure enjoyment and the pleasure of having a really good cup of tea,” she says. “The beauty is that something so natural can be blended with a combination of ingredients to create great flavours but with the extra bonus of being extremely healthy.”
Here are her recommendations for a beneficial cup of goodness:
For Sounder Sleep…..
Someone who suffers from insomnia or interrupted sleep would benefit from incorporating a remedy which includes valerian or chamomile.
For Fat Burning...
“Green tea hydrates like water and is a well-known metabolism booster that’s energising and burns fat,” explains Nicola.
“Catechin polyphenols are another chemical naturally found in Green Tea that aid weight loss by helping to boost your fat burning potential. This works by reducing the glucose absorbed into fat cells. Antioxidants also maintain a healthy immune system that fight the effects of smoke, fatty foods, sugar and toxins that make us feel ill.”
For the perfect cup of steaming green tea, add cooled freshly boiled water and leave the teabag or tea leaves steep for two minutes.
For a Caffeine-Free Kick...
If you’re aiming to reduce caffeine or tannins, Nicola recommends incorporating Rooibos tea. This tea, native of South Africa, is naturally relaxing, making it a good option for after dinner as it also aids digestion. If you’re looking for a calorie free hit of sweetness, Nicola recommends a soothing cup after a meal.
“I’m not a fan of plain Rooibos so I decided to blend my After Dinner Mint Chocolate with Rooibos, Cacao drops, Hazelnuts & peppermint leaves,” she shares.
Rooibos also has a calming effect on the nervous system and contains magnesium.
For the perfect cup, add cooled freshly boiled water and leave the teabag or tea leaves for five minutes.
For an Energy Boost…
Nicola cites her favourite energising tea as a blend of lemon and ginger.
“This keeps me energised all day, it detoxes and reduces fluid retention,” she says.
Here are some more of Nicola’s top tips for getting the most out of your herbal brew:
*Put them on your plants to add extra nutrients when watered.
* Steep Fruit in Cooled Earl Grey tea overnight for an extra flavour when making Tea Brack or Fruit Brack.
* For kids, freeze fruit tea ice lolly moulds for a sugar and gluten free summer treat.
* If you’re making a marinade for chicken, add some cooled lemon and ginger green tea for extra zing.
The Dublin Coffee and Tea Festival will take place in the RDS, Dublin from 11th to 13th September.
For more information about the event, visit www.dublincoffeefestival.com