Ginger is a fiery root that brings some fire to both sweet and savory dishes and can also be turned into a delicious tea. It’s sweet and it’s full of flavor, so you don’t even need that many additional ingredients to make a quality tea out of this root. But how good is ginger tea for you, are there any significant health benefits and how can you make your own ginger tea at home?
What is Ginger Tea?
Ginger tea, in its most basic form, is just dried or fresh chunks of ginger that have been steeped in water before before removed and leaving a fiery liquor. This drink provides the user with all of the taste and the benefits of ginger without needing to chow-down on the stringy root. It also means they can benefit from the oils contained within this root without using a large amount of it.
Commercial ginger teas, and many of the ones made at home, nearly always contain some other ingredients. These are added to cut through the fiery bite of the ginger and tend to include an acidic ingredient like lemon or orange, as well as liquorice root, which works very well with dried ginger root.
Benefits of Ginger Tea?
Of course, a ginger tea is not going to provide you with as many benefits as actually eating drink chunks of ginger or even of consuming ginger ale, as you will consume considerably less ginger in tea form. However, there is one benefit that may actually be better in tea form and that’s ginger’s anti-nausea properties.
If you have ever eaten a piece of stem ginger when you’ve been suffering with nausea then you will know how effective this can be first-hand. With tea you’re not getting as much of the beneficial properties of the ginger, but you’re getting them in a way that will soothe your stomach more and a way that should not trigger further bouts of nausea, as is the case with stem ginger, which is often coated with sugar, syrup and preservatives.
Who Makes the Best Ginger Tea?
This is a toss-up between two top brands: TeaPigs and Whittard. When it comes to most forms of tea you can’t beat these two brands anyway and with ginger tea they have both created similar recipes that taste fantastic.
The ginger tea from TeaPigs goes by the name of Sweet Ginger and contains just 3 ingredients, of which dried ginger root is the main one, making up 50% of the ingredients by weight. There is also a mixture of licorice root, which goes great with ginger as mentioned above, and cinnamon, which adds even more bite.
The ginger tea from Whittard is Lemon Ginger and also contains licorice root, as well as a small proportion of ginger. But instead of cinnamon they add spearmint, which gives it just as much of a fiery kick but provides a fresher and fuller mouthfeel. Both of these brands are British, but TeaPigs sell online to the United States and Whittard products are easier to find these days than they used to be.
If you want great tea you have to opt for British brands, there are no two ways about it. These guys do tea better than anyone and it’s worth the extra money even if you have to have it shipped across the pond.
The Best Ginger Tea in the United States
If you are a big tea fan and you aren’t quite used to the way that they do it in the UK then we would definitely recommended placing an order with a brand like this at some point or another. You will get to see the sort of variety they have on offer and to experience Earl Grey from its home country while also getting easy access to the best Assam, Darjeeling and Ceylon tea blends.
Food is cheap and plentiful here in the US and tea is becoming popular, but we still don’t quite have the choice that you’ll find over the pond. But don’t worry, we won’t leave you hanging if you’re not prepared to order from these UK suppliers just yet. There are some very worthy ginger teas from brands here in the US that won’t cost you an arm and a leg in shipping and handling.
One of the best of these is Pukka Herbs, which began in the UK but quickly spread to the US and now has distributors here. Their Three Ginger tea contains turmeric and galangal to make this a super healthy drink as well as a tasty one. Lipton’s Lemon Ginger is also a good bet, although it’s as commercial as they come and is someway short of the best boutique brands out there.
How to Make Ginger Tea at Home
Dried chunks of ginger tend to work better for making ginger tea at home and they will also keep much longer than fresh ginger will. If you are going to use fresh ginger, whether because you prefer the taste or can’t buy the dried stuff, then make sure you freeze the surplus and then defrost as and when needed.
Try to avoid the powdered ginger you will find in most spice racks and look for big and hearty chunks. You should be able to find them in health food stores and even in grocery stores. Just pop them in, brew to taste and then add honey and lemon. Or even something like lemon verbena. Cinnamon is a difficult spice to get right, but we find that cinnamon sugar works beautifully well, adding the heat and a little sweetness.
Anther great tip for making ginger tea at home is to use a cordial made with real ginger, water, sugar and a few other basic ingredients. These drinks are mixers. They are super strong and should be watered down or added as a few drops to a cocktail. If you add them to a cup of tea instead you’ll have an instant warming cup of hot ginger on your hands. And you only need a capful, which means that one bottle can go a very long way.