Scientists have found that downing a cuppa three times a week might actually help you to live longer.
It is particularly true of green tea - which has the strongest health benefits - but regular tea drinkers may also benefit, as a study has shown the hot drink could significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Scientists have estimated from their findings that 50-year-old green tea drinkers (who drink it regularly) will develop coronary heart disease and strokes 17 months later than those who never or rarely drink tea. They are also set to live 15 months longer.
Drinkers can also feel smug in the knowledge that they have a 20 per cent lower risk of heart disease and stroke, 22 per cent lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke and 15 per cent decreased risk of death from any cause.
In terms of the science, it is believed the health benefits are down to the polyphenols found in the brew which protect against heart disease and blood pressure.
Due to the fact our bodies cannot store it, regular tea drinkers are the ones getting the most beneficial dose.
However, it is unclear just how big the benefits are of the British favourite, breakfast tea, due to only eight per cent of people in the South East Asian study (published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology) drinking it. The study concluded no significant associations between drinking it and health benefits, but this is more due to lack of relevant participants.
The polyphenols are found in both types of tea, but are richer in green tea. In black tea, it is fully fermented so may lose some effects and adding milk could also counteract the favourable health effects.
Senior author Dr Dongfeng Gu, from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said: "In our study population, 49 per cent of habitual tea drinkers consumed green tea most frequently, while only eight per cent preferred black tea.
"The small proportion of habitual black tea drinkers might make it more difficult to observe robust associations, but our findings hint at a differential effect between tea types."
Still, by drinking your tea black, you may still receive positive health effects, or even better swap a few out for green to guarantee the benefits.
We think we could sacrifice a few milky teas for green, given that Britons drink a total of 100 million cuppas per day, or 36 billion a year according to the UK Tea & Infusions Association.
Lead study author Dr Xinyan Wang, from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, said: "Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death.
"The favourable health effects are the most robust for green tea and for long-term habitual tea drinkers."
Excuse us, we're just off to put the kettle back on.
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