Thursday, April 14, 2005

Great article on green tea in "InsideBayArea"

I ran across a very interesting, very well-written article about green tea—its popularity, health benefits, and the various "spin off" products out there.

I take issue, however, with a couple of things the article says:

"It tastes like grass, smells like seaweed …"

Seaweed? What kind of green tea are they drinking? Not ours, that's for sure!

The article quotes a spokesperson of a certain tea company:

"A lot of people don't like green tea because they haven't had good green tea."

Yes, so far so good. But then the spokesperson continues:

"If you drink last year's tea … you will get a much more grassy, astringent flavor."

Wait a minute. The "astringent" part I agree with, but a grassy aroma and flavor are signs of a tea chock full of antioxidants and other good stuff, which are greatly reduced by the fermentation and oxidation that take place in the making of oolong and black teas.

Referring to another company's "foil pouches of dry instant tea powder," the article states:

Because of processing methods [used in making this powdered tea], caffeine levels don't multiply quite as fast as the benefits — one concentrated cup of green tea delivers 45 milligrams of caffeine, or about half that of a cup of coffee.

Traditional loose-leaf green tea already has less than half the caffeine of coffee.

But the article closes with a great quote from green tea expert Diana Rose, author of The Book of Green Tea (Story Books, $16. 95). This quote concisely states one of the founding tenets of Mellow Monk:

"Tea offers people what they need. It makes us slow down. We can't rush tea. We have to wait for the water to boil, then wait for the tea to steep, then we have to allow time to sip it. I think people forget that slowing down is also beneficial to their health."

I couldn't agree more! As I said in a previous post ("DOUBLE your green tea's health benefits!" Feb. 23, 2005), tea has traditionally been a drink to be enjoyed serenely, or as part of a friendly, laid-back conversation (the traditional "tea break"). Since emotional health is a major part of overall health, taking the time to enjoy the brewing process and the actual drinking of the tea—the aroma, color, and flavo—can double the tea's benefits.

This article also has green tea recipes!—something you don't run across too often.

--Mellow Monk

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