Last month, we learned how to reduce a large amount of the empty calories that we may be taking in through our beverage choices by opting for flavoring our own water. However, since water has zero antioxidants, is there something that we could add to water to provide nutrition, without any calories, while preserving water's vital role in keeping us hydrated?
Yes! The answer is tea! All tea comes from a single plant, Camellia sinensis, with the differences between black, oolong, green and white teas, simply the degree of processing. Black tea is the most processed and has the highest level of caffeine, as it is wilted in the sun, fermented and then dried. Oolong has a shorter wilting phase after which it is fired to prevent continued fermentation. Green tea is steamed or pan fried and then dried, so that no fermentation occurs, and white tea is the least processed, with the young leaves and unopened buds simply dried in the sun or baked.