What do Mums really want for Mothers Day?
This question was originally answered on a guest post I did for Discover Your Style, a blog for, your guessed it, how to make the most of the way you dress and present yourself, which as I’m sure you know makes all the difference to how you feel and perform in your daily life, not just for Mothers Day (your day), even if you do need a little help working out how to do it.
With Mother’s Day around the corner in the UK, and as a Mother to two delightful if at times challenging little girls called Aurora and Bella (aka Roo and Bells) I asked myself and some other Mums at toddler group this very question.
I thought of listing some pretty standard ‘would likes please’ – a massage or reflexology session, some flowers or a plant (a type that stays alive a decent amount of time even though I never remember to water them), even a multipack of cotton knickers that haven’t been stretched in the wash would be useful.
But actually aside from the obligatory handmade card still wet with glue all I really want most days (and especially Mothers Day, my day) is a nice big mug of tea, in my favourite mug, and to not be disturbed for the entire duration of drinking it, whilst it is still hot.
I will point out that this mug technically belongs to my husband and was made by Bella at Nursary, but well, it’s just the perfect size (I get quite thirsty) and rim thickness, and of course that makes all the difference to how a brew tastes.
But the other great thing is that aside from being a sanity saver for most Mum-crises is that tea actually offers many health benefits, and with such a big variety on offer you’re there’s a tea for every need and occasion.
In Britain we drink 165 million cups of tea a day; 66% of us drink it every day. Despite the rise of coffee shop chains that’s still over double the 70 million cups of coffee consumed daily in the UK. That’s excellent news as tea provides numerous health benefits. Note that all of these benefits can be enhanced by using as hot water as possible, steeping the tea bag or leaves for longer (at least 5 minutes) and stirring well.
Antioxidants: Powerful flavonoids have been shown to be anti-cancerous, and could even be used for cancer prevention, though you would have to drink more tea than reasonably possible to be considered for serious medical use, so extracting the active compounds is something scientists are researching instead. Antioxidants help protect against many other diseases and also slow down ageing.
Minerals are present in small amounts in tea, but you need to drink at least four cups a day to see a contribution to your Recommended Daily Allowance.
Theanine is an amino acid that acts as a mild stimulant, but is also calming, hence tea relaxes as well as uplifts, whereas coffee can leave people feeling wired.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is addictive over time, but if used in moderation can improve alertness, and mental and physical performance including during exercise.
Tea has been shown to have beneficial effects on lowering blood pressure and blood fat levels, improving depression, preventing Alzheimer’s, and even gum disease!
There are thought to be over 1,500 types of tea, known botanically as Camellia Sinensis, but I don’t have that much time so here’s a rundown of the most popular varieties:
Black Tea: Dried, crushed, and oxidised for the longest of all teas; the most processed, with the deepest flavour. Usually drunk with milk, and sometimes sugar, though this is to be discouraged for obvious reasons.
Green Tea: Rolled, dried and heated to prevent oxidisation. Rich in antioxidants called catechins which make this tea popular with health enthusiasts.
Matcha Green Tea: Even richer in catechins than leaf green tea, so drank more for its health benefits than taste. It comes in powder form and is often mixed with milk to make a latte to balance the bitter taste.
White Tea: Minimally processed, white tea is often steamed to prevent oxidation. It has a mild flavour and contains similar properties to green tea.
Rooibos Tea: Also known as Redbush tea, this is a completely different African plant, dried and infused to give a mild and sweet, caffeine free drink.
Oolong Tea: Partially oxidised black tea, therefore producing a milder flavour.
Herbal Tea: Not actually tea, but an infusion of dried herbs or spices. Popular ones include peppermint, ginger, and fennel for digestion, chamomile and lemon balm to relax, and ginseng to uplift and energise.
Fruit Tea: Again not really a tea, but an infusion of dried fruit to give a refreshing drink that provides small quantities of antioxidants from the fruit, but nowhere near that of fresh fruit or other teas. Drunk purely for taste and hydration.
In some areas (notably China) toxic metals from power plants such as lead, aluminium, mercury and fluoride leech into the soil, which in turn contaminates crops, even organic ones. However the amounts are so insignificant that were there any doubts as to the safety of these tea crops then they would never be allowed to be on our shop shelves.
Now go put the kettle on, distract the kids with the TV (in times of need it works), and shut the door.