January is Hot Tea Month (following on the heels of a busy holiday season), which we’ve covered on this blog before but which is worth bringing up again here. A week of that month is already gone. How did you celebrate, and what will you be doing in the three weeks remaining? Is Hot Tea Month really just a way to sell tea? For the answer we look to how the month of January got this designation and how people celebrate it.

Glass teapots have the added advantage of putting on quite a show at tea time! (ETS image)

Glass teapots have the added advantage of putting on quite a show at tea time! (ETS image)

Promoting the Health Benefits During an Unhealthy Time of Year

I’ve been looking for some history of when the month of January was designated as Hot Tea Month, but no one seems to know (or want to take credit). However, it seems natural. January is quite a month for colds and flu, so promoting drinking hot tea is a great idea. Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Council of the USA, said: “January’s National Hot Tea Month can serve as a reminder to do something healthy for ourselves, like brew a hot cup of tea, which may provide a variety of health benefits, serve as a weight loss aid and help to ward off persistent cold and flu germs. What more could you ask for in a beverage?” While Simrany doesn’t quote medical studies here, many such studies are out there to support these claims. And in my personal experience, tea certainly doesn’t hurt!

Also, as I mentioned in my article Tea Can Clear a Cloudy Day, tea is like a cuppa sunshine! Many people suffer from the longer hours of darkness and also the increase in gray, cloudy days – they become depressed (a condition known as SAD – really!).

Tea vendors are eagerly promoting this month and usually with special deals associated. So your wallet gets healthier, too!

Ways to Celebrate

To me it seems that January being Hot Tea Month is a way to bring hot tea more into focus, especially after all that overindulgence during the holiday season. It also helps you get ready for all that chocolate coming up during the Valentine’s Day season coming up in February. So let’s see how to really celebrate this important time of year.

Have tea. Hee! Sorry, folks, but for me every day and every month is tea time! No disrespect intended to Mr. Simrany and the Tea Council of the USA.

But seriously, the best way I know of to celebrate here, since tea time is already part of my daily routine, is to invite others to a tea time and help them learn more about, and therefore better appreciate, this wonderful beverage. Education is the key. If you know someone who is still using those bags from the grocery store, treat them to a nice hot pot of one of my faves: English Breakfast Blend No. 1 Tea (I prefer the Loose Leaf Pouches) or, better yet, one of your faves.

Bottom Line

The one thing not to do is see January as some kind of time limit for enjoying tea. When February 1st comes, don’t hide away that teapot! Keep the tea steeping and stay happy, healthy, and well-libated all year long. What can I say? Tea, hot or cold, is just great stuff any time of year!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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