With temperatures in Ottawa plummeting to the negative 20s, there’s nothing like staying in and warming up with a steaming cup of tea. Not only does tea help to keep warm during this chilly weather, it even has health-boosting benefits!

Many teas contain caffeine. On average, there is about 25-110 mg of caffeine in a cup of black tea, which is less than a typical cup of coffee.1 You may have heard that caffeine found in beverages like tea leads to dehydration. Although we thought this in the past, newer research shows that for the average consumer of tea, the caffeine levels do not lead to dehydration. In fact, tea helps to keep us hydrated and counts towards our total fluid intake!

All teas contain antioxidants called polyphenols that help to fight against disease. Although more research is needed, there is some evidence showing that drinking tea can lower our risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Sounds promising, right? Just remember that not all teas are equal. Decaffeinated teas, ready-to-drink teas, iced teas and instant powdered teas contain a lot less antioxidants than a regularly brewed cup of tea made from a tea bag or tea leaves. The less processed the tea, the more antioxidants it contains. As a general rule, green and white teas are less processed than black tea.1

The bottom line is that we still need to learn more about how tea plays a role in disease prevention. However, we do know that tea has other benefits: unsweetened tea is calorie-free, tea helps to boost hydration, and tea can be a valuable way to help us de-stress and relax.

Did you know that all of the tea sold at Carleton is Fair Trade Certified? Fair Trade Certification ensures that the farmers that produced the tea are paid a secure and stable income. It also ensures that farmers are able to operate in an ecologically and socially sustainable manner, and that labor standards requiring safe and equitable work environments are strictly enforced. Read more about fair trade here: https://dining.carleton.ca/certifications/fairtrade-certified/

Mulled Tea Recipe2


  • 2 tea bags of your choice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 vanilla pod (optional)
  • 4 cups (1L) boiling water, plus more for warming the tea pot


  1. Place a small amount of boiling water in the tea pot to warm it up. Discard.
  2. Add tea bags, cinnamon, cloves and star anise to the tea pot and add the 4 cups (1 L) of boiling water.
  3. Let steep for 3 to 5 minutes and remove the teabags. Let steep for 2 minutes longer and serve immediately.

  1. Tea Time (2019) http://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Caffeine/Tea-Time.aspx
  2. Hot Mulled Tea (2017) http://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Recipes/Beverages/Hot-mulled-tea.aspx

Monday, January 14, 2019 in ,
Share: Twitter, Facebook