Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I believe, of course, that there are definite health benefits to drinking tea, some that I think have been proven, BUT, so that we don't get into any trouble here with claims, I will stick with the above title. You can read more about the health benefits, drink the tea, and watch for yourself. So, let's talk about those supposed benefits. I hope if you don't or can't find any health benefits at all, that you start or continue drinking tea just for the pure pleasure and flavor. It certainly doesn't seem to hurt you, that's for sure:)!
Oh yeah, before we get going on our tea lesson today, I need to interrupt "this regularly scheduled program for an annoncement from our sponsor...ME." Last week I told you that there would be another tea-giveaway contest for March, and that it would probably be an organic tea that was sent to me by accident in my last shipment. Well, "by accident," I opened that bag instead of one that was similar to it, and now I'm having to consume it myself. It really was an accident guys. BUT, never fear!! I have the one similar to it unopened, brand spanking new, in the package, and FRESH, waiting to be consumed by YOU!! The new tea for giveaway is called Genmaicha-Matcha iri (sencha tea leaves mixed with puffed and popped brown rice, lightly coated with matcha (powdered green tea), having a very obvious roasted grain flavor--great for a starter in the morning). Anyway, the way to enter the contest is to leave me a comment at the end of this post, letting me know you want to enter and any other comments you might have about this or any previous tea posts, and you will be entered. It's that simple. Hope to hear from you soon! On with the lesson!!
Green tea is filled with nutrients and other natural elements. It would be hard for scientists to pick this plant apart and find that there is little to no nutritional value. Different countries have used this as the top choice of beverage for regular consumption for many many centuries, and we would know by now if this was bad for your health or simply no good at all. There are countries, like Japan, that drink this beverage all day long. Places in England may not drink as much during the day, but don't or usually won't go all day without drinking a few cups. There are countries all over the world that enjoy tea, for pleasure and for medicinal purposes.
Green tea has catechin (also called tannin). Catechin is a bioflavonoid that is said to have both antiviral and antioxidant qualities. It is said that catechins can prevent cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Some other supposed benefits of catechins are removing free radicals, reducing cholesterol, reducing fat, being antibacterial, antiviral, moderating allergies, aids in oral care by killing the germs that cause bad breath (good to drink a cup after you eat), and helps prevent some cavities. Sounds like it might be good to me!!
Green tea also has theanine (also called teanin). Theanine stimulates alpha brain waves, which is associated with a relaxed but alert mental state. It helps you relax but focus on the task at hand. Catechin is bitter and theanine is sweet, creating a perfect balance in the beverage. If you wonder how a beverage that contains some caffeine could be calming, the answer is the theanine. It balances out the effects of caffeine, leaving you not overly relaxed and not jittery, but perfectly balanced.
This great drink also contains vitamin c. This vitamin is water soluble in tea and the heat for brewing tea doesn't reduce its potency.
It is said that the caffeine in tea has been found to increase cognitive performance, alertness, and boost energy. It may also be able to help with weight loss through its stimulating effects and diuretic effects. I know personally of its diuretic effects. Tea can also take the place of some of your necessary water consumption during the day.
Tea is rich in minerals. Some of the minerals found in tea are manganese, potassium, and calcium, which helps to alkalinize the blood, regulate the heartbeat, and build strong teeth and bones.
I hope this has been good information for you today. The internet is full of information about tea health benefits. You might even want to explore some of the lab tests and results that have been found, proving some of the health benefits of tea. I'm off now, again, brewing myself a "cuppa." Make whatever tea or tisane you enjoy a part of your daily routine or lifestyle. I think you'll be glad you did.


The Real said...

What are the temps to brew these teas at?

Peculiar said...

"The Real,"

If you're talking about what temp to brew the tea that you can win for the tea contest (Genmaicha-Matcha iri), you steep it using boiling water for 1 minute (2 Tbs. of tea for 300cc of water). For all the other J Greens that I have talked about: Gyokuro(140-158F), Sencha (176F), and Houjicha (boiling water). If you want to know how much water to use and how long a steep for these, let me know. I'll be glad to share. Thanks for asking.

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