Hot Tea: It’s a Steamy Love Story

Tea cup and assortment of dry tea in spoons

Serving and enjoying hot tea is a daily ritual in many countries. Most Brits wouldn’t dream of skipping their 4 p.m. cuppa. Good for them, because black tea contains the FoodTrient catechins, as well as flavonoids, theaflavins, and magnesium. These antioxidants help reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack by lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. They protect against certain cancers, help prevent dental cavities, and enhance weight loss by stimulating metabolism. The compounds in black tea also improve blood flow (by strengthening blood-vessel walls), lower blood pressure, and promote artery health while reducing the risk of blood clots. The caffeine in black tea boosts energy and improves concentration.

The Japanese tea ceremony, or The Way of Tea, is a ritual involving powdered green tea (matcha) that dates back over a thousand years. In Japan, green tea is consumed more than black tea. That’s not a bad thing, because green tea has all the antioxidant power of black tea with a little less caffeine. Green tea isn’t fermented like black tea, so it has all the benefits of black tea, plus it shields against environmental toxins.

Layout 1I love to cook with tea and have created a number of recipes with tea in both of my cookbooks. In my Age GRACEfully Cookbook, try my recipe for Gingerroot Black Tea.  Gingerroot provides protection from inflammation to ease arthritis and allergy symptoms. I also have a trick for incorporating green tea in my meals. I boil my soba or udon noodles in green tea instead of just water so that they soak up all that antioxidant power. Then I use them as I normally would—see, for example, my recipe for Green Tea Noodles with Edamame. The noodles don’t take on a strong flavor, but they do absorb vital FoodTrients.

lemongrass-tea-cropIn my newest book, The Age BEAUTIFULLY Cookbook, I have a delicious recipe for Honey-Lemongrass Tea. In this recipe, you use the tough green parts of the herb along with the more edible white portion of the stalks, because you will only steep the plant. Like lemon-grass, honey — especially natural or raw honey — is an antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal food.

For something a little more exotic, you might want to try Jujube Tea. Asians generally steep slices of jujubes in hot water and make a jujube tea. Sometimes they reduce the tea on the stove and add sugar, creating jujube syrup that can be used in other teas. They believe that jujube strengthens the stomach, cleanses the blood, and extends life. They use jujube tea as a sedative and to alleviate stress and heal wounds. Other cultures also recognize jujubes’ benefits. Persians use jujubes to combat colds, flu, and coughing. You can buy them online at

jujube on wooden background

I’m not the only person who likes cooking with tea. Eric R. Braverman, M.D., ( author of Younger You, extols green and black tea for their brain-boosting power. In his latest book, Younger (Thinner) You Diet, Dr. Braverman recommends drinking tea with every meal. He says, “Black and green teas are metabolic enhancers that can help you burn calories and body fat.” He loves that tea has absolutely no calories “and can stimulate digestion, cleanse the body, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and give you lots of energy.” He adds, “Green tea may also reduce the absorption of dietary fats by approximately 40% by blocking the production of digestive enzymes that facilitate the absorption of dietary fats. It can also help reduce fat by inhibiting the effects of insulin so that sugars are sent directly to the muscles for instant use, instead of being stored as body fat.”

Dr. Braverman’s book includes a recipe for Jasmine Tea-Infused Brown Rice with Sweet Peas and Duck. He gave me permission to give this recipe to you, my FoodTrient readers.

Egg Fried Rice

Jasmine Tea-Infused Brown Rice with Sweet Peas and Duck


This Younger (Thinner) You meal supports all of your brain chemistry. The duck is a precursor to both dopamine and serotonin. Brown rice and peas are high in glutamine, which is necessary to create GABA. Serotonin is enhanced with basil. To top it off, this delicious meal is cooked with nutrient-rich tea.

Serves 8, 400 calories per serving

2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup brewed jasmine tea
¼ cup safflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound duck breast, cut into thin strips
2 cups brown rice
2 cups sweet peas
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into thin strips

  1. Combine the chicken broth and tea in a large pot and heat until boiling.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion starts to turn golden. Add duck breast and sauté until firm. Set aside.
  3. Add the rice to the chicken-tea broth and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until liquid is completely absorbed, about 45 minutes.
  4. Stir in the peas, oregano, coriander, and basil and mix until combined well. Divide into four portions and top with duck breast.

More Grace O tea recipes: Gingerroot Black Tea  Pomegranate Iced Tea





About Grace O

GRACE O is the creator of FoodTrients®, a unique program for optimizing wellness and longevity. She is the author of two award-winning cookbooks – The Age Gracefully Cookbook and The Age Beautifully Cookbook, which recently won the National award for Innovation from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She is a fusion chef with a mission to deliver delicious recipes built on a foundation of anti-aging science and her 20 years in the healthcare industry. Visit to learn more. Email us at
What Do FoodTrients Do?
Ai Anti- inflammatories

Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.

Ao Anti- oxidant

Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.

IB Immunity Boosters

Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.

MB Mind

Improves mood, memory, and focus.

F Disease Prevention

Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.