In a recent study conducted in Thailand, researchers have found that drinking tea can help your health in a surprising way. In the study, researchers had people drink a sugary beverage with either low doses of black tea polyphenols, (a form of antioxidants) high doses of the polyphenols, or a placebo that contained no polyphenols. The people who consumed the black tea polyphenols experienced less of a blood sugar spike after drinking the sugary beverage. The results of the study show that drinking black tea polyphenols seems to reduce the blood sugar spike you’d normally experience after drinking a sugary drink.

Walking into Spice of Life Tea on St. Germain Street, you’re struck first by the incredible aroma — simultaneously spicy and sweet, roasted yet fresh and vegetal. If you find the scent hard to place, that’s because it could be emanating from one of 100 canisters that line the colorful tea shop’s back wall. 

“I would really challenge people who think they don’t like tea to give a few a try, and see if they change their mind,” laughed Terri Emmerich, owner and operator of the store since 2015. “It’s pretty hard not to find one they like with such a vast selection.” 

Such a vast selection, indeed: Emmerich’s store sells a variety of black teas, white teas, green teas, oolong teas and green teas, as well as bubble tea, specialty matcha, pour-over coffee and lattes.

If those options have your head spinning, you’re not alone, and Emmerich is here to help. Between her knowledge of tea and her knowledge of herbs, thanks to her 25-year background in produce gardening, Emmerich is no stranger to teaching folks a thing or two about what tea is — and what it isn’t. 

“First, we have to differentiate between tea and herbs,” Emmerich said. “Tea is grown mostly…