There are many benefits to drinking tea. The most obvious being that it’s relaxing and calming. It can also boost exercise endurance, reduce the risk of heart attack, protect against cancers, fight free radicals, hydrates, reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease, protect against ultraviolet rays, counteract against negative effects of smoking, helps the body recover from radiation, improve bones mineral density and strength, and more. So it’s not surprising that there are two tea bars in San Luis Obispo County where you can sit and drink in all the benefits of drinking tea. The Secret Garden Organic Herb Shop in San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach and Wilwand Tea Co. & Healing Arts offer an array of herbs and teas that help with all kinds of ailments and that satisfy all pallets. According to The Economist, tea is the second most popular beverage, after water. The Tea Association of the USA Specialty Tea Institute reported that the last three-year rolling average for tea imported into the United States grew more than four percent. Wilwand Tea owner Shannon Wilwand that that people come into her shop both as avid tea drinkers for the taste and those drinking tea of the health benefits. The tea shops, which serve only tea, no coffee, have jar after jar of teas and herbs, which can be blended for specific health purposes or for taste. The specialty at Wilwand Tea are Wilwand’s magical blends. She makes a new magical blend each day that is available for tasting, as well as certain magical blends that can be ordered off the menu. She also makes individual magical blends that she muscle tests on each individual. “I have a list of herbs that I muscle test from when I access or test the person’s body for what herbs are healing for them,” Wilwand said. “Muscle testing is like using a pendulum, we ask a yes or no questions or we ask what is beneficial from a list of herbs. I use my own fingers to muscle test — through the energy field I am accessing another person’s body.” The Secret Garden been open in SLO since 2004 and just recently opened a tea bar in Avila Beach. Tea bars, Wilwand said, have been growing in popularity as people realize the health benefits of drinking tea. No matter what your preference: hot or cold or for taste or health benefits, try a tea and see what happens.