Tea crystals. Sounds fancy and intriguing -- yet complicated, right? That was my initial impression when a friend told me about them. In reality, it was the simplicity of Pique Tea Crystals (no brewing time! no tea bags!) that got me to try them, and it was the amazingly quick health benefits that got me hooked.
Here’s the story of my first week on tea crystals, or, as I like to call it, “How I Became a Tea Drinker Without Even Trying.”
I’ve always wished I could be a tea drinker. You’re constantly hearing how healthy it is to drink tea, and people who drink it seem to be really into it, you know? I used to feel like I was missing out on some secret, so I’d go buy a box of fancy teabags at the store.
The box would sit in my cupboard for a week or so, until I summoned the patience to go through the process of: (1) finding a thermometer so I could boil water to the right temperature; (2) boiling the water; (3) setting a timer to make sure I didn’t steep the tea bag for too long, or (god forbid!) not long enough; (4) wrinkling my nose at the nasty texture and look of the tea bag when I removed it.
Once I finally had my cup of tea, I would eagerly sit down to enjoy it, only to inevitably be disappointed by the flat or bitter taste. Honestly? I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished a cup of tea in my life. I’ve definitely never gotten through more than maybe 3 or 4 teabags in a box, and most of those were only consumed out of desperation when I was sick.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you’d be hard-pressed to find a LESS likely candidate to become a passionate tea drinker. And yet, here I am.
How the heck did this happen? Let’s investigate.
What I Drank
I was persuaded by my friend’s enthusiasm in describing the Pique process to me.
Pour the tea crystals into the water.
Now, I happen to be deeply suspicious of anything described as “instant.” Instant coffee, instant soup, remember that instant orange juice made for astronauts . . . Tang? Yuck. Typically, anything instant feels like it’s completely devoid of nutritional value, right? So I was surprised to learn about all the awards Pique has won for its high quality and antioxidant levels (12 times what you’d get from a teabag!)
Still slightly suspicious, I headed into day one with a (mostly) open mind. Here’s an overview of the routine I followed for a week, and then further down I’ll share with you how each of the teas made me feel:
I started my day with a cup of black tea, either English Breakfast or Earl Grey. I knew that black teas have the highest caffeine content, so I figured that I’d drink those in the morning. By late morning, I’d make a cup of either sencha green or jasmine green. Depending on my day, I might make another cup of green tea in the early afternoon. And in the evenings, I’d either make the mint green tea or an herbal (like hibiscus mint or vanilla rooibos).
How I felt after each tea:
Morning: Black Teas
Now, you don’t want me to get into a conversation about my pre-existing coffee habit, because we’ll be here all day. Suffice to say I was a 2-3 cups of coffee per day (minimum) person prior to starting this tea adventure. I had ZERO intention of giving up coffee. I simply intended to add tea to my life.
How many cups of coffee do I drink today? ZERO. How much do I miss it? ZERO. Okay, I miss the aroma and flavor. I do not miss the way I felt while I was drinking it -- especially as compared to how tea made me feel. How’s that you ask? Like a rockstar. A lighter, more focused, refreshed Zen rockstar.
I made my morning black teas with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a dash of cinnamon. Delicious. My tummy felt happy after drinking them, and believe me, I know how lame that sounds. In retrospect, I think I had developed an unconscious habit of ignoring the low-level burning in my stomach that coffee used to give me. Less easy to ignore was the mild heartburn I used to experience throughout the day.
All of that disappeared while I drank Pique Tea Crystals. There’s no better way to describe it than as a happy tummy. It felt soothed and calm. My digestion seemed to improve right away too.
A couple days in, I read on the Pique website that black tea is a great prebiotic! No wonder my tummy was feeling so good.
Mid-day: Green Teas
I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed sipping my first cup of sencha tea crystals, and I remember being even more surprised to find the cup empty! I’ve never particularly enjoyed green teas, but the savory, grassy flavor of this one was delicious. I found it to be very smooth. Major bonus? It made my afternoon snack cravings fade away.
The first time I tried Jasmine green, I found the flavor to be a bit too overwhelmingly floral. I didn't drink it again for 4 days. Weirdly, on day 5, about two hours after my midday cup of sencha, I found myself thinking about the Jasmine and craving it. I don't know what kind of plant magic actually triggers tea cravings. I certainly would never have believed it if I hadn't experienced it for myself.
Evening: Mint Green and Herbals
I noticed on the box that, out of all the green teas, mint green has the least amount of caffeine. I made a soothing cup in the evening and had no trouble sleeping. I felt calm and relaxed and slept like a baby.
I also tried a couple of Pique’s herbal teas, including the hibiscus mint and the vanilla rooibos. The hibiscus is divine, sweetened with just a bit of stevia leaf, and it makes an excellent dessert replacement. The rooibos is earthy and satisfying as well, and I woke in the morning feeling more rested than usual.
It only took a week (maybe less) on Pique Tea Crystals to turn me into an avid tea drinker. It’s been several months now, and I still drink at least 4 (and sometimes as many as 6) cups of tea per day.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for the simplicity of this tea, I doubt I would’ve stuck with it long enough to notice the amazing extent of health benefits it provides. I keep sachets of tea crystals in my purse so that I can quickly mix up some tea anywhere I go. Even at home, the process is basically as quick as pouring yourself a glass of water.
I’m so happy (and grateful!) for this innovation because the way I feel now is markedly improved from how I felt before this. I have more energy, fewer cravings, clearer skin, better digestion, and my brain feels clearer and less foggy too.
Written by Jessica E. Jessica is a certified fitness nutrition specialist, wellness educator, yoga teacher and outdoor enthusiast.