The tea on tea: the best tea drinks to get you through winter


National Public Radio

With its simplicity, warmth, and calming aromas, tea can be the perfect way to relax after a stressful day at work or school.

Julia Bischoff, Features Editor

We have reached November, which is practically Christmas. The days are getting shorter, and the temperature is dropping. Now is the perfect time to transition from cold refreshing drinks, like iced teas, iced coffees, and fruity concoctions, to the warm winter teas.

In case you’re new to the tea scene, there is an elaborate variety of options. There are seven different types of teas: black, dark, oolong, green, white, and yellow.  

Black tea is your classic Lipton brand. This tea is usually allowed to fully undergo oxidation and has a higher concentration of caffeine compared to others.  Dark teas are naturally sweeter in flavor and can serve as a probiotic.  

Oolong teas are allowed to undergo partial oxidation, have a more subtle taste than that of black teas, and taste similar to that of fresh flowers or fruit.  

Green teas have less caffeine and are allowed to undergo less oxidation, which means they brew at lower temperatures.  

White teas are very delicate, sweet in flavor, and are not oxidized at all. 

Yellow tea is similar to green tea, but does not have a grassy flavor and is quite rare. 

From these six categories, makers of tea further diversify their tea by adding different flavors and elements to them. Some of these teas are best iced, and some are best piping hot. For the summertime, when the weather is hot and all you want is some refreshing coolness, try some teas that are fruity and taste best iced. Teas like this include some green teas, peach tea (and other fruit tea), and plain black tea (such as Lipton). 

However, as the colder months approach, you probably find yourself wanting something a little warmer (unless you’re that person that just drinks iced drinks even in subzero temperatures). In which case, you’re in luck. Hot teas are a great way to wind down (unless they have caffeine, of course). The warmth is a great way to relax and certain types of tea can help you get through the tough winter months. Peppermint teas are a great way to soothe any stomach aches (like the ones you get after eating too much at all these family holiday dinners), chamomile can help you destress and soothe your aching throat, and lavender tea can help you relax for midterms and college essays. 

If you want to try something new, head over to stores like David’s Teas and Teavana, which are coming up with some interesting new flavors.  Want something sweet?  Try David’s Teas’ white cookie dough tea.  Have a craving for breakfast, but it’s one in the morning? Look for David’s Teas black cardamom french tea.  Need a refresher after a really long night of studying? Reach for Teavana’s pineapple berry blue.  Does the two feet of snow outside have you needing a tropical get away? Try Teavana’s berry hot tea. 

With all of these options you are bound to make it through the winter, and you’ll probably make it all the way to the end of the year. Good luck, and sip that tea!