From The Straits Times    |

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The day’s coming to a close, so what better way to end off the day than with a relaxing cuppa tea. Everyone knows that tea has its many benefits – from fat burning to helping insomniacs. Still, a lot of people prefer having coffee rather than tea. 

So we’re giving you the low-down that’ll make you switch over and live a tea life. 


Slimming effects

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Tea is known for encouraging weight loss and there are different teas which produce different results. 

For example, white tea breaks down stored fat, while green tea accelerates your metabolism. So if you’re looking to lose a few inches, you’d want to start drinking green tea first to increase your metabolism while you work out, and then have white tea which gives you a boost by breaking down fats. 




Lesser caffeine with enough kick

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Tea also has either less, or the same amount of caffeine as coffee does. The idea is that the lesser time you spend steeping the leaves, the lesser the caffeine. It comes from the leaves, so once you remove them, lesser caffeine seeps in. The water also dilutes them which gives you just enough of a kick, but with more health benefits.


It doesn’t lead to diabetes

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Some of you might say “No, we need our caffeine!” Well coffee is a contributing factor to diabetes, so really, skip it and get tea. It still has enough caffeine to perk you, but skips the diabetes hoo-ha. Compared to coffee, tea also has more of a calming effect rather than an adrenaline rush, which heightens anxiety. Some teas that do this are black tea and green tea. 

Tip: Instead of sugar, use a natural sweetener like honey. It takes some getting used to, no doubt, but the long-term benefits are worth it.


Soothing and relieving

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Herbal and citrus teas have all the soothing properties needed for our common digestive issues like gas and upset tummies. We’re all familiar with how ginger helps relieve gas. Spiced teas are also known to relieve heartburn, stomach cramps and even nausea. Similarly, lemon teas which have d-limonene content, help to relieve belly bloat which affects our digestion. 




Use it as a face mask

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You can use your leftover tea leaves as a face mask. If you used a tea bag, cut it open and put the leaves in a bowl with a few drops of water, enough to make sure the leaves stay on your face. Then, leave the leaves on your face till they are dry and wipe it off. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and tannins can help reduce dark eye circles, puffiness and swelling

If you’d like, you could just plump the whole tea bag under your eyes – but you’d need two of course. My personal preference is to run an ice cube all over my face before patting on the leaves, so it’s more refreshing and stimulates blood circulation in the face. 

If you’ve got matcha powder in storage, then you can use it as a face mask too! Just add a little bit of water until it forms a paste, then apply. 


Cleanse and refresh

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Leftover tea leaves can be used to cleanse your face, just add some leaves, apply and let it sit for five minutes while it softens dead skin cells. Then scrub and rinse it away – this removes dead skin cells and makes your skin look more polished. 

This can also be applied to body scrubs. Steep one tea bag in half a cup, then take the leaves and mix it with three parts sugar. Feel free to throw in other ingredients you like – lemons, yoghurt. Slather all over your body and scrub away! 

To keep your face feeling fresh all-day, – simply steep green tea leaves in room temperature water, then strain and put it into a spray bottle and spritz away.


For the tea-newbies or tea-fanatics


L- R: TWG’s Geisha Blossom Tea (Green tea with hibiscus and southern fruits), TWG’s Napoleon Tea, (Rich black with a blend of sweet French spices and a hint of vanilla), T2’s Beauty Queen Loose Leaves, (A blend of green tea, jasmine, nettle leaves, liquorice root and moringa), T2’s Oolong Berry Loose Leaves, (Raspberry mixed with oolong to give a fruity spin to the tea), Kusmi Tea’s Lemon Verbena(Herbal tea with a subtle hint of lemon that aids digestion – for those who prefer more sour teas), Green Tea SG’s Misaiki Organic Classic Uji Matcha Powder, (100 percent matcha powder with no additives, umami sweetness and lower bitterness).