How A Daily Afternoon Tea Could Benefit Your Health

An "afternoon tea" may sound like the domain of the Royals or some other "Downton Abbey"-ish clique, but the truth is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages with nary a sprawling estate in sight. Replacing your mid-day fancy coffee house drinks (and their tonnage of empty calories) with a tea not only ensures that you can still socialize with your java-inhaling compatriots, but it allows you to make a healthier beverage choice. And it's even better when the experience is shared with a communal pot. 

The interesting thing about enjoying an afternoon tea is that both the beverage and the social gathering that surround it can be good for you. We've all heard the benefits of drinking tea — the good-for-you antioxidants, its possible anti-inflammatory properties, the immune system boost it may provide, and maybe some cancer-fighting benefits. But, it turns out that the act of having an afternoon tea, in itself, might be highly beneficial to your health, too.

Nothing beats the communal aspect of an afternoon tea

In many cultures, it isn't unusual to take a break in the afternoon — that time of day when workers start to lose their steam. The "siesta" nap that so many countries abide by is a prime example. The nice thing about an afternoon tea, however, is that — unlike a siesta — it doesn't involve a circadian rhythm-disturbing sleep. Rather, it provides your work-weary brain with a much-needed break simply through the act of socializing and conversing about things other than the daily grind.

If you're used to meeting your coworkers or social circle at the nearby pub for a round of drinks, the afternoon tea is much easier on your wallet, as it doesn't take a lot of cocktails — or even mocktails —to make a serious dent in your bank account. Plus, alcoholic beverages are not great for the waistline. Even better, having one too many chamomile teas won't leave you feeling like death in the morning.

Whether you opt for a formal affair with fascinators and fancy tea sandwiches stacked on a silver tray, or a comfy yoga pant affair with store-bought snacks — or even something in between — it is the act of coming together that truly matters. If you're short on afternoon tea ideas, the internet has a treasure trove of tips on what you need for a tea party. And, if you dread the thought of having to organize one yourself, most cities have an ample array of restaurants and hotels that offer afternoon tea service, making it even more convenient.

Don't worry if you've never taken a shine to your grandmother's orange pekoe. Tea people are more adventurous than you may think, offering a seemingly endless variety of teas and flavors. You're bound to find something that pleases even the pickiest palate.