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Green tea is already known for its multiple health benefits. It’s brimming with antioxidants, making it one of the magic potions for reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. Catechins, particular antioxidants contained in this plant, can improve brain function, and they also have beneficial effects on neurons, thus lowering the risk of two of the most common neurodegenerative diseases that affect elderly people – Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. But, many people don’t know that this delicious beverage can also do wonders for oral health. Fresh breath
Halitosis, a fancy name for bad breath, is a highly unpleasant problem that plagues an estimated 25% of people globally. It can be a result of poor dental hygiene, but it can also be a symptom of some other health issues. In some cases, this embarrassing condition even leads to social anxiety and withdrawal. Various over-the-counter mouthwashes, dental rinses, gums, or mints usually improve the situation only slightly and temporarily as they don’t treat the root of the problem. The main culprits behind halitosis are volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) produced by bacteria in the mouth. According to a research study, green tea is very efficient in reducing unpleasant odor by eliminating bacteria that produce VSCs.Cavity protection
Green tea reduces the acidity of saliva and accumulation of dental plaque, responsible for cavities. Apart from drinking it, you should also rinse your mouth with green tea for about five minutes, especially after eating candy, as this can highly improve your oral hygiene and boost your oral health. There’s also evidence for this claim, as a recent study reported that people who rinsed their mouth with green tea had fewer bacteria and their gums were healthier.Healthy gums
Anti-inflammatory properties of green tea are highly beneficial for periodontal health. As there’s a long tradition of drinking this healthy beverage in Asia, Japanese researchers have conducted a study in order to find out what effects it has on the gums. The results have shown that people who drink at least one cup of green tea a day, have better oral health based on 3 indicators of periodontal disease: periodontal pocket depth, attachment loss of gum tissue, and bleeding on probing of the gum tissues. Again, catechins play a crucial role in fighting gum disease. If we bear in mind that gum disease is associated with heart disease and diabetes, among other things, it’s clear that having healthy gums is important for overall health.Cancer prevention
As we’ve already mentioned, antioxidants in green tea are responsible for cancer prevention. They can even slow down the growth of cancer cells, and stimulate normal cell growth. EGCG, a type of catechin found in green tea, triggers a process which kills oral cancer cells while it leaves normal, healthy cells intact. Regular dental appointments are essential for oral cancer prevention, and I must say that we in Sydney are lucky as we can consult experienced Australian Dental Specialists who are authorities on all kinds of oral diseases, willing to address any concern that their clients might have.Tooth loss prevention
It’s a no-brainer that something as healthy and beneficial for the health of gums and teeth can also prevent tooth loss. A large-scale study on 25,078 men and women in Japan, has shown that 19% of men and 13% who drank at least one cup of green tea a day were more likely to have over 20 teeth than those who didn’t have this habit. However, it’s important to emphasize that by green tea, we mean brewed unprocessed, unfermented green tea leaves. Bottled, sweetened beverages don’t contain some important components of green tea, while the sugar in them leads to enamel erosion and decay.
Dental hygiene is a must for healthy teeth, but green tea can additionally boost your efforts and prevent some common diseases.
Being a mom to four boys, two dogs, and a hectic schedule to boot. . . .the quiet relaxing moments for me are sometimes few and far between. I try to make sure that I get a little “me” time every day which typically involves a few pots of tea. The other day it involved insane amounts of Jasmine Green from Chai Kai Tea. Prepped with 190F water and allowed to brew for 3 minutes and cooled for an additional two minutes, this tea begs you to take a moment and really enjoy the tea leaves. This is one Read More
This tea (available again in May!) is an orange creamsicle confection! It has orange peel bits floating right in the mix, boasting of their bold flavor. The black tea isn’t hiding, though, it’s a nice, slightly tart black with plum* notes. * (Appropriate to Plum Deluxe!) This blend is recommended as frozen into a popsicle form as a treat. I wish it weren’t 40 degrees out; I’m always into trying out oddball suggestions like that. I’d totally lap at it in a friend’s hammock. Because, alas, this tea has reminded me of a thing I’ve always wanted, but never had: Read More
You know that episode of Friends where Rachel accidentally combines two recipes and makes a trifle with ladyfingers, jam, and beef sautéed with peas and onions? My favorite part comes shortly thereafter when Joey takes a bite and loves it. With his mouth full, he proclaims “Custard: good. Jam: goooood. Meat: good!” I promise you, this tea tastes nothing like a custard-y jam trifle with a layer of beef and peas. HOWEVER. I was totally inspired by Joey when coming up with my review. Apple cider? Good. Tea? Goood. Green Rooibos? Good! This one is a delightful apple cider tea– Read More
It’s fun every now and then to test one’s taste perceptions and challenge one’s ability to appreciate the subtle differences between teas from one region. Lately I have been doing just that by brewing cups of Assams from different gardens and taking notes to compare them—Duflating with its honeyed and malty aroma; Ramanugger with a somewhat Darjeeling-like personality, redolent of orange blossoms and with an undernote of lemon; Akiya, broken-leafed with peachy notes; Halmari, tippy with a honeyed cinnamon undertone and a deep amber/ reddish liquor.
Through my tasting, I established that each of these teas has its own flavor personality. Brewed using exactly the same weight of tea leaf, dosage of good quality water, temperature and steeping time, it’s tempting to parse which factors can influence (and to what degree) how these teas taste when they arrive in the cup. Cultivation practices, terroir (or should we call it tea-oir) including atypical climatic fluctuations, age of the tea bushes, processing after picking —all of these come into play. And then there is that intangible something that one would have to call finesse—the art of the brewer, coaxing every last nuance of flavor and even mouth feel from the leaves.
Through my tasting, I established that each of these teas has its own flavor personality. (I did this sequential brewing using the four teas noted above and then turned the task of brewing the same teas according to the same parameters over to another tea aficionado and then we compared results—we found different intensities and subtleties of flavor in the two brewing sessions). I liken this scenario to one in my role as baking instructor: in any given class, I assign twenty-five of my professional baking students the same simple recipe and then find that, in different hands, the results can be startlingly different.
How to account for this? Is it the mood of the baker (or brewer) on any given day? Is it the position in the oven or how precisely the recipe was followed in the smaller details—scraping the mixing down thoroughly, incorporating the dry ingredients gently or vigorously? In the case of the tea, is it something seemingly less significant such as how the tea leaves float in the water, freely or constrained? I can only attribute this phenomenon to highly unscientific factors and have come to appreciate (and in fact, embrace) that in the hands of one person, the tea will taste one way, and in the hands of another, completely different.
I’m convinced that the personality of the brewer is imprinted on the tea. Traveling through the world of tea is a constantly evolving journey not always completely decipherable, and given the numbers of tea estates worldwide, staggeringly unknowable. Does your experience echo mine?
In honor of Easter, DAVIDsTEA brought back some old tea blends to celebrate, among which is their Chocolate Cake black tea. They also released some adorable tea-infused chocolate bunnies. When I saw them, I couldn’t resist and grabbed a milk chocolate bunny infused with the chocolate cake tea, despite not loving the the tea itself when I tried it in the past. Now that I am eating this little chocolate bunny, I can say I am happy I picked this up. Seriously, it is awesome. Often I find the tea-infused chocolates just taste like chocolate and that could have easily Read More
I have never done a tea swap, until now. I am so glad I found out about the world of tea swapping. It is so awesome! I just got a bunch of tea while clearing out my own cabinet a little bit. How can you go wrong with free tea? The first I decided to try was my tea swap buddy’s favorite, and it is called Almond Sugar Cookie. It is a black tea blend by Simpson and Vail. I have never had a tea from Simpson and Vail before and was excited to try it out. I love cookies Read More
This blend is interesting…and healthy! I like healthy teas, who doesn’t? The product description says that it includes black tea, milk thistle seed, dandelion root, eleuthero root, and butter pecan flavor. I was really curious about what all these healthy ingredients do and what they would taste like. Apparently, milk thistle seed is mild and nutty and detoxes, dandelion root is earthy and nutty and also is good for detoxing, and eleuthero root is mild and sweet and is good for detoxification as well. My assessment: this tea is great if you’re looking to detox and also seems to be Read More
Weight loss teas or diet teas are something that I typically stay away from. Every once in a while, one will jump out at me and I’ll try it, but end up usually giving the tea away because of the way too herbaceous flavor or overly spiced ginger notes. So when Slim from Wild Leaf arrived at my door, I was skeptical on whether or not I would like the tea. This tea has a different flavor profile compared to those other weight loss teas I’ve tried in the past. Slim consists of puerh, Siberian gingseng, cranberry, cocoa nibs, and Read More
Tea blogging isn't the most glamorous of niches but every once in a while I get invited to something that makes all of my friends jealous. Last week I attended a fantastic tea and cheese pairing event put together by The French Cheese Board and Royal Tea NY. I have no idea how I have gone this long without knowing about this studio devoted to all things French cheese. They had me at brie! I was the first guest to arrive which gave me a chance to talk shop with Ravi from Royal Tea NY. It was also a perfect time to indulge in some deliciously cheesy appetizers (along with a glass of white wine).
I was pleasantly surprised when fellow tea bloggers +sara shacket and +Natasha N walked in. They both have fantastic palates so I really appreciated being able to compare notes with them as we went through each of the pairings.
The first pairing of the night was Époisses and sencha. Our hosts explained that this cheese is from the Burgundy region of France. The rind is washed with Marc de Bourgogne, giving it a distinctive reddish color. I had never heard of this liquor before but it is a type of brandy that is made out of pomace, the waste materials that are left over after making wine. Japanese green tea can be a bit tricky to pair foods with but this combination worked amazingly well. The sencha was an asamushi style from Chiran in Kagoshima Prefecture. Although light bodied, it packed a lot of umami. The creamy notes of the tea matched the silky texture of the Époisses.
Next up was Mimolette paired with a Phoenix oolong. This is a hard cheese that is produced in Pas-de-Calais. Not only was this combination delicious but it also gave us a bit of a history lesson as well. This cheese was originally invented at the request of King Louis XIV in order to replicate a popular Dutch cheese called Edam. The rind is full of pockmarks that are created by cheese mites. It was a bit sharper than I was expecting but it also had a natural sweetness that I really enjoyed. The tea selected was an aromatic and enjoyable Mi Lan Xiang, or honey orchid fragrance. Dancong oolongs can be very tricky to brew but this one had been prepared perfectly. The charcoal roasting of the tea along with its fruity and floral aromas matched well with the nutty and fruity notes of the Mimolette.
The next selection paired an organic 2nd flush Darjeeling with Bûche de Chèvre from the Loir Valley. This was our only goat cheese of the night and it came in a large log. The taste was creamy yet pungent and was balanced well by the fruity character of Darjeeling. I'm usually not a fan of goat cheese but this one wasn't overly gamey as they sometimes tend to be. The tea was lightly astringent with a brisk and refreshing finish. I have not tried anything from the Phuguri Estate but I definitely want to explore their offerings a bit more now.
The final pairing of the night was a Brillat-Savarin and Golden Yunnan black tea. It is a very soft triple-cream cheese. It garnered oohs and ahs from everyone at the event even before we took a bite. It was so creamy that it looked like almost like a smear of Irish butter. Holy cow was this stuff good! The Golden Yunnan was super chocolaty, so much so that it felt like I was eating chocolate cheesecake. It also had all of the caramel and yam-like notes that I look for in a Dian Hong.
I'd like to thank The French Cheese Board and Royal Tea NY for a wonderful evening. They sent us home with goody bags which included a ton of information about cheese as well as a bag of that delicious Golden Yunnan. I went home inspired to try to put together my own pairing event.
There are some teas from specific tea companies that have been on my own personal WISH LIST for EVER it seems. Teas from Bruu Tea Club are among those teas. Recently I was FINALLY able to sip on China Keemun from BRUU Tea Club and I have to say that it was worth the wait! The flavor was on the stronger side of medium with notes of smoke and roasted nuts, even. It was even a bit floral at times – fading in and out – gently but elegantly, too! The aftertaste was a bit more smoky that the sip Read More
Inspiration can be found everywhere, music can be very inspiring. I experienced a musically inspired moment while preparing a Moonlight White Pu’erh Tea and listening to a Beatles song written by George Harrison, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and coincidentally the song is from the White Album. Tealightfully inspired by this, I swapped the words ‘while my guitar gently weeps’ with ’while my white tea gently steeps’ and smiled: tea humor from a Beatles song! I penned the following lyrics, inspired by the Beatles and I dedicate this parody to everyone who loves tea.
While My Moonlight White Gently SteepsI look and I see your leaves sweetly floating While my white tea gently steeps I look at the white tea pur’er ready for devoting Still my white tea gently steeps
I know why this Moonlight White is so lovely as the leaves float with love I know you are aged, someone controlled you the sweet honey finish sold you
I look at the tea and see leaves are turning While my tea gently steeps With every moment there is a deep yearning Still my tea gently steeps
I know you are delicate and smooth you are subtly sweet too I know you are like moonlight, you soothe still my white tea gently steeps
I look and I see leaves sweetly floating While my white tea gently steeps I lovingly wait for your delicate aging Still my white tea gently steeps
Moonlight White Tea Sipping Notes:
Add one to two spoons per 16 oz/475ml. Use near boiling water and steep the long leaves 4-7 minutes
Enjoy a delicate, smooth, honey finish. The leaves are long, light and dark colors as the white tea is pu’erh aged.
Moonlight White Tea grows in Yunnan Province China and it’s available at Davids Tea.
The post Illustrated Review: While My Moonlight White Gently Steeps appeared first on T Ching.
Mount Kenya Black is the first tea I have tried from Justea and I’m already in LOVE. I adore the tins, the labels, the packaging, the SPOONS, and of course the Mount Kenya Black from Justea! Before I get to the tasting notes I have to point out that this tea has one and only ingredient and that is 100% Rainforest Alliance Kenyan Black Tea. It’s certified. It’s also Non-GMO Project Verified. PLUS this company is a Fair Trade Federation Member. Mount Kenya Black Tea from Justea is small-scale farmer grown, pesticide-free, and no chemicals were ever sprayed on the Read More
This is a picture from my friend L, who is visiting Yiwu again this year. He’s been going for some years now, the first visit of his from 2007. He said when he first went to Yiwu, this tree was supposed to be 600 years old. It was just growing in the wild, one of the older trees, but certainly nothing too special. A few years later, in 2012 when he visited this spot again, the tree was now 1400 years old, not 600. By then, it had been “protected” with this metal cage you see surrounding it, and also some concrete poured around it to help protect it from, presumably, falling off the slope or something. Fast forward a few more years to today – as you can see in the picture, the tree is either dead or about to die, with no leaves and no real sign of life. It’s not the first tree like this and won’t be the last. Nannuo mountain had a similar, much bigger (physically) tree that was also “protected” and died in the process.
But fear not – there’s already a newly crowned “1000 years old” tree at the front of the village with a sign hanging from the tree proclaiming so. Tourists who are entering the region need not worry – they will still be able to see 1000 years old tree and buy magical leaves from them!
Now, aside from the utter absurdity of the story and the sadness of it all, I think it’s safe to say that those of us who have watched the puerh market for a decade or more know this sort of thing has been going on for some time now. The ever-increasing age of certain trees is not surprising – it’s been that way since at least 2005, when people first started getting crazy about older trees. Prices for the leaves have never really fallen since then, and now ever-fancier things are happening, with single tree cakes being pressed, etc. Just look at this tree though – how much tea do you think it can realistically produce? It’s no taller than a person and half. Even if you chop down the entire tree and took down all the leaves when it was in full bloom, chances are it’s no more than a couple kilos when fried and dried.
That brings us to a more salient point – this area of China has never, ever been rich. For pretty much its entire history, human beings living in these mountains have lived a subsistence lifestyle – they produce enough to sustain their life, but not much more. When tea traders first visited these areas in the early 2000s, conditions were primitive. Huts were shabby, sanitation basic, food, while they exist, were not exactly free flowing. In earlier decades many farmers actually chopped down their tea trees to plant rubber, because rubber trees offered a more steady income. Old tree tea was cheaper – they were considered less good back then, and more troublesome to harvest. Prices only really reversed starting somewhere in 2003, and hasn’t looked back since.
So in the face of this sudden rush of fortune, it is not a surprise that farmers in this area would want to exploit it to the full. This is, after all, their one chance of getting comfortable, even rich if you were one of those lucky ones to live in a famous village like Banzhang. You can finally make some decent money, send your kids to school comfortably, buy some creature comfort, build a new, better house, get a motorcycle or even a pickup truck. You can have some money in the bank, and enjoy life a little more. If the cost of all that is, say, the over-harvesting of some trees in the slopes above your house…. that’s ok, no? These trees finally will pull them out of poverty, and with an endless supply of newcomers who don’t know that much about tea, business is good.
In the last few years as tea-tourism has increased exponentially (I read one account that said this year 500,000 people are visiting the tea mountains during harvest season) there is an increasing number of people who really have no business going to the mountains in there, buying tea. If you are a rich, city professional interested in tea, and are spending a couple weeks in Yiwu looking at things, well, you would want some of your own tea, no? Here, here’s some tea from my 800 years old tea tree. That bag there? It’s the 600 years old one. If you are visiting only that one time – you’ll want to get your hands on some of these things. What’s a few thousand RMB for half a kilo of tea? It’s the memory that counts, and you can press it into a cake or a couple cakes and store it forever, knowing that you personally went up to the mountain to press these unique, old, single-tree cakes.
At that point, does it actually matter what trees these leaves are from? These guys are just buying tour souvenirs. It can be trash tea and it won’t matter. And a lot of it is indeed trash tea sold to people who really don’t know what they’re doing when buying maocha. When you compare a few bags of tea, one of them will always be better than the others. That doesn’t mean the bag is good, unless you really know what you’re doing. Most people have never really tried really fresh maocha enough to know the difference.
Eager customers from faraway places who don’t get to go to Yunnan easily are also lured in by the same promise. Like this tree that magically went from 600 years to 1400 years old – outlandish claims exist, even among vendors whose primary customer are in Western countries – and people buy them hoping that they, too, can experience these amazing teas. Let it sink in for a moment how old those trees are really, and think about how likely it is that these claims have any semblance of truth. Meanwhile, spare a thought for this tree that perished in the process.
Jun Chiyabari is one of the most recognized names in Nepal’s tea industry. The high mountain tea garden was started by two brothers, Lochan and Bachan Gyawali. I’ve been enjoying...
The post The Moonlit Tea Garden: A Conversation with the Founders of Jun Chiyabari appeared first on World of Tea.
Satemwa is a family-run tea and coffee estate located in the southern portion of Malawi in East Africa. The estate was founded in 1923 by a Scotsman named Maclean Kay. The garden...
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