If you can buy tea, but you can buy happiness! Yea.. tea makes me happy. It has the same affect on a lot of people all over the world.
Social gatherings are centered around tea, bridge games are played while sipping tea, even business partnerships are established during tea time. I can say with confidence that you may not be able to buy happiness, but tea can definitely make you happy. For many, to buy tea is to buy happiness. Even, if the sentiment is fueled by laughter and fun times.
It’s no wonder teas has the stuff of happiness.
Are you a dedicated tea drinker? After reading this blog, I can assure you that you will be well on your way to being a “Tea Guru”.
The origin of tea dates back to 2700 B.C., which is the era in which Shennong, the father of Chinese medicine and agriculture lived. The mythical emperor Shennong was said to have used tea to learn its medical value. Wow! Can you believe tea existed that long ago?! The first book about buying and preparing tea was published in 59 B.C., by Wang Bao, of Sichuan Province. This book was titled “A Contract with a Srevant” and soon led to tea as a vital part of society’s diet and a best-selling trading commodity. In the early days of tea-drinking, only imperial court nobles and Buddhist monks drank it. I think it’s safe to say tea was ‘a rich mans’ beverage.
Theorists believed that Sancha (mountain tea) originally grew wild in remote areas of Japan’s mountains. The first tea grown in Japan is said to have been planted in Seburisan, Saga Prefecture, from seeds brought from China by Eisai. Tea ceremonies, culture, gatherings and Tocha (tea competitions) began to emerge in Jane during the 15th and 16th century. Many tea ceremonial practices are still common today.
In 1610, tea exportation began in Japan, and soon spread rapidly – Europe being its first destination. In 1859, when the ports of Nagasaki, Yokohama and Hakodate were opened to foreign trade, tea became one of Japan’s main export commodities, along with raw silk thread. Tea plantations soon emerged which led to the establishment of the modern tea industry. The formation of large groups of tea plantations was not limited to the establishment of the plantations themselves but also encompassed the development of distribution systems, tea merchants, intermediary traders and tea wholesalers as well as the invention of various types of machinery. In 1979, ITO EN launched a product by adapting Chinese oolong tea to Japanese tastes. Oolong tea was created to alleviate feelings of “dissatisfaction caused by having only green tea” in ordinary households, oolong tea started to gain significant attention as a tea suitable to go with oily foods and as a tea that could be consumed in large quantities. To keep up with the fast paced modern lifestyle, ITO EN, developed a ready-to-drink tea, a canned oolong tea in 1981 followed by a canned green and black tea in 1985. Tea is now used in a myriad of ways, which are not limited to just beverages.
Interesting right? Well, enough about the history of tea. Allow me to introduce you to the various types of tea and its health benefits.
Black Tea is allowed to wither, which precedes a process called oxidation (sometimes incorrectly referred to as fermentation) during which water evaporates out of the leaf and the leaf absorbs more oxygen from the air. Its health benefits include:
- Reduces risk of heart ailments
- Effective for intestinal disorders
- Provides relief from asthma
- Prevents breast cancer
- Helps cure digestive disorders
- Reduces bad cholesterol levels
Dark Tea is from Hunan and Sichuan provinces of China and is a flavorful aged probiotic tea that steeps up very smooth with a natural slightly sweet note. Its health benefits include:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Weight loss
- Fights diabetes
Oolong Tea has a caffeine content between that of green teas and black teas. Oolongs (pronounced wulongs) are often compared to the taste and aroma of fresh flowers or fresh fruit. Its health benefits include:
- Reduces obesity and stress
- Protects against tooth decay
- Prevents development of cancerous cells
- Relieves atopic dermatitis
- Functions as an antioxidant
- Controls diabetes
- Improves mental health problems
- Protects bone mineral density
Green Tea is allowed to wither only slightly after being picked. Then the oxidation process is stopped very quickly by firing (rapidly heating) the leaves. Its health benefits includes:
- Eliminates hangovers
- Delays signs and symptoms of aging
- Improves blood circulation
- Tones muscles and skin
- Reduces risks of cancer
- Prevents thickening of blood
- Reduces blood glucose level
- Helps lose weight
White Teas are the most delicate of all teas. They are appreciated for their subtlety, complexity, and natural sweetness. They are hand-processed using the youngest shoots of the tea plant, with no oxidation. Its health benefits include:
- Helps in weight loss
- Aids in managing diabetes
- Beneficial in preventing cancer such as lung cancer
- Helps to reduce the risk of premature aging
- Aids in maintain healthy and youthful skin
- Effective in reducing risk of dental caries or tooth decay/cavity
- Reduces risk of various cardiovascular disorders
- Beneficial in protecting skin against effects of ultra-violent light
Rooibos Tea, often called red tea or red bush tea. It is also one of the best well known herbal teas and possibly the best alternative to regular black or green tea. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this is a wonderfully beneficial tea suitable both for adults and children. Its health benefits include:
- Weight loss
- Infantile colic
- Prevents infection
- Defense against free radicals
- Supports respiratory health
- Calers the skin, acne, sunburn, insect bites
- Liver and kidney support
- Pancreatic support
By now, you are probably thinking which tea is the healthiest for you right?
The healthiest tea for you is the tea you like the most, because you will drink a lot of it. Don’t approach tea as something you are drinking because it is “good for you.” We suggest that you simply find teas you enjoy and drink a lot of them. That way, you get all the health benefits without even thinking about it.
Dispelling Myths about Tea
- The category of tea (black, oolong, green, white, puer, or dark) does not determine the caffeine content. Contrary to popular belief, green and white teas do not necessarily contain less caffeine than black tea
- Herbals (or tisanes) are drinks that are made from plants other than the camellia sinensis, such as chamomile, peppermint, and hibiscus. They are not actually tea and most do not contain caffeine.
- Even “decaffeinated” teas contain some caffeine. After undergoing the decaffeination process, teas may contain up to 1/2 of one percent of caffeine by weight.