In Italy, drinking tea used to be something only sick people did to feel better. And different teas are still suggested for different ailments here – if not as cures, at least as temporary remedies. For example, have a look at this article in Donna Moderna to be inspired by some concoctions that are supposed to help you fight off a cold or even the flu. Or simply have one of the many mixes by one of the popular Italian tea brands (scroll down to see a few).
Tea Trends in Italy
Tea has become a lot more popular in recent years in the country of espresso connoisseurs as a way to simply enjoy a beverage. According to a report by Euromonitor International, what drives tea popularity in Italy (as of 2018 at least) is the health and wellness trend that makes Italian consumers seek out the naturalness of tea. They state: “A key focus area will be combining the original properties of tea leaves with functionality, therefore fortified functional herbal teas are likely to perform well.” So true! In fact, while a few years ago you would be hard-pressed to find anything but a breakfast tea and maybe a chamomile tea in most bars, now many more forward-thinking coffee shops and hangout places happily bring you a menu with all the different teas they offer: black and green teas with or without additional flavors, chamomile and mint teas, and the ever-growing selection of tisane.
A tisana is an herbal tea. And often there are tons to choose from. All with varying health claims or desired results attached to them of course. There usually are herbal teas to help you digest or relax, to have more energy, to lose weight, etc. And given the fact that these teas are usually way more expensive than a café latte for example, drinking tea seems almost like the posh thing to do nowadays in Italy.
So, on your next trip to Italy, don’t hold back. Order yourself a tea. Or a tisana. A simple “un tè per favore” or “una tisana per favore” will more than likely result in them bringing you the menu for the different teas or simply serving you a cup of hot water and a box with all the different teas they have. And in the meantime, you can start creating your own at home. Are you curious about which kind of herbs tend to be recommended for what in Italy? Here’s some inspiration for your tea habit then.
Different Herbal Teas for Different Purposes
If you have been to Italy, you know that Italians don’t tend to shy away from discussing what ails them. I personally think it’s much more common to discuss your migraines or your digestive issues or your insomnia here than in other countries. That and food of course. But let’s stick with tea and health issues for the moment. The two most popular tisane in supermarkets and coffee shops are those to aid your digestion or to help you relax. For specific recipes or different tisane altogether, check out for example this website: Viversano.
Tisane for Digestion
Digestion is a favorite topic among many Italians I know. People seem to be worried about upsetting their digestion by eating the wrong foods or doing the wrong thing (like working out too soon after eating or drinking milk or going out in the cold after a meal). And it’s kind of catching on with me! Now I don’t want to catch a cold tummy after eating either… and this wasn’t anything I was ever concerned with before! Anyways, given the popularity of the topic, there are many tisane that are supposed to aid digestion. Just come and check out my tea cabinet for proof! Very popular are fennel, anis, licorice and something called genziana, a super bitter root.
Tisane for Relaxation
The hours most people work here are pretty crazy. So, I’m not surprised about how many tisane there are which aim to help Italians relax at the end of the day. Very popular are mixes containing one of more of the following: valerian, chamomile and melissa.
Tea Brands in Italy
So, either buy a prepared mix or just the herbs, add them in your tea filter or tea press and drink up. Or just buy one of the many commercial brands. According to statistica, as of December 2018 the tea brand Bonomelli had more Facebook page fans than even Illy or Lavazza! Incredible, given that they are two of the most popular coffee brands in Italy. Star Tea is another brand you see often in the supermarket. Their upmarket brand Sogni d’Oro is very popular. Also…. The name is super cute – it means Dreams of Gold. They have some fun mixes that are aimed at, not surprisingly, helping you relax and/or get a good sleep. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to sell the same selection in the US (yet). Maybe create your own in the meantime.
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