Health & Fitness

By Jasmin Guleria

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Its official – tea is the new coffee. This old-age drink is quickly becoming the beverage of choice for the masses of Manhattanites. Teashops are quietly opening up on street corners everywhere determined to compete with the massive coffee industry. This ancient drink originally, from the exotic lands of China, Japan, and India, has sparked an international interest – and according to Richard Guier, the chef at the fabulous Arium tearoom, tea will only continue to grow in popularity.

While there are many teashops in New York – if you are looking for a tea experience, Arium is the place to go. A pianist softly plays classical music on a grand piano as waiters pour tea from china kettles into dainty teacups. In a city where fast isn’t fast enough and patience wears thin, the Arium tearoom is a spot where slowing down isn’t frowned upon and indulgence is recommended.

Although the tea was excellent and the pastries divine, the real question in my mind was – what’s so great about tea? We keep hearing about its “health-benefits” – but what are they exactly? As I sat there sampling tea after tea, Chef Guier went on to tell me the countless health benefits of this drink that is slowly but surely winning the hearts of bona-fide coffee drinkers. The top five health benefits of drinking tea are:

1.) Antioxidants Abound – Tea contains antioxidants that help protect the body against certain age-related diseases. These antioxidants have also been shown to protect the body from skin, lung, and digestive cancers.
2.) Love is in the air – In the case of heart disease, studies have shown that tea (without milk) can help reduce inflammation connected with cardiovascular problems – your heart will love you for your tea fetish
3.) Doctors Rejoice – White tea specifically has been shown to aide in reducing blood cholesterol
4.) Keep those Pearly Whites Clean – While coffee is known to stain teeth, green tea contains fluoride content that helps to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce cavity development.
5.) TUMS are History – Tea contains other important enzymes that aide in digestion

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In addition to all these benefits, there have also been many studies that show how tea aids in weight-loss.

So next time you find yourself running to Starbucks for a tall latte, opt for a tall trendy tea and reap the benefits without the coffee breath!

Arium Tearoom is located on 31 Little West 12th street – reservations are not required.

Originally published March 2007
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