As a self-professed Tea Queen, I have a cup nearby at almost all times. I have teas I drink in the morning, teas I drink post-lunch and before bed, teas I drink to make myself calm, and teas I drink to perk myself up. Teas are win-win: They taste delicious, and they're incredibly anti-inflammatory and longevity-inducing (many of the Blue Zones, so-called for their notably long life spans, attribute their agelessness to tea). Numerous studies point to the ability of tea to help prevent cancer, protect heart health, increase resting metabolic rate (important for everything from dropping a few pounds to managing diabetes), and make your skin glow. It's no wonder it's the most widely consumed beverage in the world—but I knew we could do even more with it.
One day, while drinking my 5 p.m. sweet rose tulsi tea (the perfect wind-down from work blend, but that's another story), it occurred to me that tea was, essentially, flavored water. I use water, or a type of flavored water (broth), almost daily in my cooking—for my oatmeal, to cook my pasta in, for my quinoa, in my smoothies. I looked from my mug to my stove and back again.