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When we speak of tea, it is commonly assumed to be black tea with milk and sugar. However, the word ‘Tea’ means any herb. This means even hot Tulsi water is Tulsi tea or hot mint water is Mint tea. Many herbs can be converted into tea such as jasmine tea, lemon tea, lemon grass tea, masala tea, sounf tea, etc.
When the decoction of the leaves and the water is reduced to 50% on boiling, it is called Kadha. Black tea without milk and sugar is much healthier than black tea with milk and sugar.
Classical tea without sugar and milk has an astringent taste. But according to Ayurveda, this is good for health as it reduces Kapha imbalance. When sugar and milk are added, both of which have sweet taste, they neutralize the weight reducing and kapha-relieving properties of the black tea. Therefore, milk or sugar should not be added to tea. For the purpose of taste, one can add Gur or jaggery or artificial plant sweetener Stevia.
Black tea is also a mild diuretic and increases urination as it contains caffeine, which is also a stimulant. This is the reason why tea is used to remain awake. In this regard, coffee is stronger than tea. When taken in moderation, black tea is good for the heart and general health. If one has to choose a tea, then jasmine, lemon and lemongrass teas are better.
In Ayurveda, different teas have been prescribed for different personalities. Therefore, you can get vata–pacifying tea, pitta–pacifying tea and kapha–pacifying tea.