Ginger tea can be a wonderful addition to everyday tea drinking and even afternoon tea. I know that ginger tea doesn’t contain any tea (i.e., leaves of Camellia sinensis) and is more properly categorized as a tisane or herbal infusion but I feel it deserves a spotlight for its healing properties.
I admit, I am not a big fan of ginger, especially when I accidentally bite into a chunk of it in a Chinese stir-fry or discover slivers of it in my masala potatoes. I like gingerbread and ginger snaps but … that doesn’t really count! I only started appreciating ginger a couple of years ago when I got sick with gastritis. Out of desperation, I started consuming ginger in drink form. For me, ginger tea has been a lifesaver when it comes to combatting nausea and soothing the stomach. Since then, I have enjoyed a cup a ginger tea everyday, usually before bedtime.
My favorite way to enjoy ginger tea is, of course, using fresh ginger. When I run out of fresh ginger, or don’t have time to grate or slice the ginger, I use ready tea bags or dried ginger. With the exception of the dried ginger, I’ve found that the flavor of ready tea bags pales greatly in comparison to fresh ginger. However, they are great to have on hand and the benefits are comparable to fresh ginger.
Below, I have listed my favorite ginger teas in order of preference. As you know, there are many, many ginger “teas” out there but I only buy tea bags that have ginger as the sole ingredient. Therefore, you will not find the more popular tea brands on my list such as Tazo, Yogi, Numi, Zhena’s Gypsy, Stash, Choice, or Bigelow, which all contain other ingredients such as licorice root, mint, lemon, lemongrass, chamomile, etc. Only 100% ginger for me! 🙂 This list is a work-in-progress since there are more ginger teas I would like to sample. I will add future reviews here.
- Fresh ginger: This is my favorite way to enjoy ginger tea. Peeled, sliced or grated, added to a cup of boiling water. I like using the vegetable peeler to get thin slices of ginger and I add as many slices as I like (usually the equivalent of a 1 inch block per cup of water). For grated ginger, I add it to a tea infuser to steep in boiling water. You may remove the ginger before drinking the tea but I leave it in the tea for maximum flavor. My talented friend, S. made this ginger grater for me. Isn’t it beautiful?
- Penzeys sliced ginger root: My friend L., who is also a big fan of ginger tea, turned me onto dried ginger. I have tried a few brands but I keep coming back to Penzeys, which tastes the sweetest and freshest. Some dried ginger root tastes bitter and has no “bite.” Having a bag of this in the pantry is soooo handy! Just drop a few slices into boiling water! I also use it for my masala chai when I don’t have fresh ginger.
- Tea Gallerie Ginger Root: I like the flavor of Tea Gallerie’s ginger root but since it’s in bits and pieces rather than slices, it requires a tea infuser or strainer. That makes it a less convenient choice if you’re on the go (unless you have a fancy commuter tea mug with built-in strainer!). It’s still a great backup to have in your pantry due to the longer shelf life of dried vs. fresh ginger.
- Maui Sun Tea: This is my favorite bagged ginger tea. I received this as a gift from M. and T. upon their return from Hawaii. Not only is it organic but it is the sweetest ginger you can get in a tea bag! I will be very sad when I run out of this. 😦 It’s great both hot and iced.
- Triple Leaf Ginger Tea Bags: This is a less expensive option to Maui Sun Tea, and not as good. This is my emergency tea bag.
- Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger Tea: This is one of the first ginger tea bags I tried and I still use it as my emergency tea.
Here are some ginger tea bags that I don’t recommend (alphabetical order). I have nothing more to say about them except they just taste bad!:
Other ginger teas:
Prince of Peace Ginger Honey Crystals: This is a 100% ginger tea but with sugar and honey added. I make an exception for this because the ginger flavor is good and spicy. Again, it’s great when you’re in a hurry and when you feel like having a sweet treat. It is a little too sweet for me so I add extra water.
I wanted to end this post by highlighting some benefits of ginger from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Nina Simonds, who wrote, A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible, Health-Giving Recipes from Asian Kitchens.
- Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating and is even more effective than Dramamine. [though my sister would disagree with this!]
- Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds which explains why it provides reductions in pain levels for people suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis when consumed regularly.
- Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flu. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections.
- Chewing on a fresh piece of ginger relieves a sore throat, and hoarseness.
So, what do you think of an afternoon tea featuring all things ginger? 🙂 Ginger tea, ginger soup, ginger scones, ginger jam, ginger cakes …!
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