For many who regularly enjoy coffee or any other beverage, let me introduce you to the world of tea.

Tea is basically prepared from tea leaves infused with boiling water to produce an aromatic beverage.

Tea is and has always been, the staple drink in many parts of the world for centuries and for many good reasons. It contains the antioxidants, polyphenols which protect cells and body chemicals against damage caused by free radicals.

Studies have shown many health benefits attributed to tea such as reducing cancer risk, preventing obesity and even calming of the nerves.

Although both coffee and tea can keep you alert, coffee has a higher caffeine content level compared to tea.

There is a wide array of flavors to choose from and here are some:

Black teas, in general, have a stronger taste. The white and green teas have a lighter flavor to it.

If you want a strong tea to wake you up in the morning, you should try the so-called “breakfast teas” like English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast teas.

For some distinctive flavors, the Earl Grey teas are mild-flavored and have a delicate scent. Lapsang Souchong is strong-flavored and tastes like smoke. While the Genmaicha, a strong flavored Japanese green tea has some roasted brown rice to it making it taste “popcorn-like.” And many more.

Making a great tea is much the same as making a great coffee. It all depends on freshness, water quality, temperature, and timing.

Tea should be stored as whole leaves in a cool, dark place. The best quality teas should be bought as whole leaf teas instead of in tea bags. It can last as much as two years provided it is not exposed to air, light, odor, heat or moisture.

Using fresh, cold water for your brew, preferably filtered or bottled is important. Each variety has its own brewing temperature. Black teas, for instance, should be brewed after boiling while the delicate ones like the white and green teas should be below that. Anyway, it’s best to refer to your tea dealer.

Timing your brew is much the same, stronger ones like the Oolong teas should be brewed for seven-minute while the white teas can be as short as three minutes. Again, it’s best to refer to your dealer.

Tea making is just as simple. All you actually need are the basics like a teapot to steep the tea in, some strainer for the tea leaves, a water kettle to boil water and a container.

To enhance your tea experience, try getting some specialty cookware like a Japanese cast iron, an English porcelain, Fine China, etc. You can also use a French press to brew tea.

Like brewing coffee, preparing tea is still a matter of personal taste. So it is still up to you on what flavor you prefer and how strong or light you want your tea to be.