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To Tea or Not to Tea?

 

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Last year, for a short time, Tupperware sold different blends of tea.     They did have good Hashgacha, so I gave it a try.  Although, I was not a tea drinker, it was a nice beverage to add to my drinking choices.  Green tea has numerous benefits over the common black tea.     Normally, if my family sees me drinking a cup of tea, it’s because I have a sore throat and I am imminently ready to lose my voice—again!  I drink many cups of tea over a two day period of time with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a bit of Splenda, and it helps me stave off laryngitis.

Tea as a beverage can be traced to China about 5,000 years ago; it was later brought to the West by Turkish traders.  Traditionally, tea was consumed by Buddhist monks to stay awake during long meditation sessions. Green tea does contain some caffeine, but it is much less than what a cup of coffee contains: there is about 15 mg of caffeine in an 8-oz. cup of green tea as opposed to around 100 mg in an 8-oz. cup of coffee.
A Buddhist story about the origins of tea recounts how the Buddha, unable to stay awake during mediation, tore off his eyelids and threw them to the ground out of frustration. Where the eyelids fell, tea plants sprouted and helped him and his monks stay awake during meditation.

Tea has been found to have many health benefits.  All teas can be beneficial if they displace the role of drinks that are known to be harmful, such as coffee, liquor or sugary sodas.  Teas come in many varieties, but one variety that has clear health benefits is green tea. Green tea has been studied extensively, and has shown promise in reducing the risk of heart attacks, reducing hot flashes and disordered sleep in menopausal women, and also helping to prevent the common cold and flu, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Most of the studies need more research, but so far the findings are positive.

Tea has been shown to boost your immune system, something we all need in the winter.

  • Tea contains disease fighting antioxidants which may offer protection against heart disease, stroke and many types of cancer including: lung, mouth, breast, pancreas, colorectal, esophageal, bladder and skin.
  • Polyphenols in tea (one of the antioxidants) can help to counteract the effects bad effects of caffeine (rise in blood pressure, “crashing”.
  • Contains fluoride which may help your tooth enamel remain healthy and inhibit the formation of cavities and plaque. Fluoride is also essential for keeping your bones strong and healthy.

All teas come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis).  The Most common are: White, Green, Oolong and Black. The differences come in the variety of the plant and how the tea is processed.

White tea: Young leaves, minimally processed (usually only picked and air dried).

Green tea: Picked and heated quickly by steaming or pan trying. Most well known come from China or Japan. Because the leaf is so delicate, best to use water below the boiling temperature to brew with.

Black tea:   Result of complete oxidation (exposed to air) of the leaf. Leaf is spread out , it’s heated to stop the process.

Oolong tea: Semi oxidized (in between a green tea and a black tea)

Note: Herbal infusions are not teas: they are made from other plants or flowers and they contain no caffeine: ex. Chamomile, lavender, mint, etc…. Only in the U.S. are they referred to as “teas”

Storage: should be stored in a dark, airtight container (sunlight can degrade it). Can last for up to a year.

Warning

  • If you are pregnant or have any serious medical issues, do not consume any new types of teas. Some herbal teas are not appropriate for pregnant women, for example, since they contain substances that may be harmful to the fetus, or may otherwise be contra-indicated for pregnancy. Always check with your physician first.

What about Caffeine?

Tea has more caffeine than coffee PER POUND….but A pound of tea = about 200-250 cups A pound of coffee = 30-40 cups

Caffeine content: Depends on the type, variety and brewing style:

Generally per 8 ounce cup:

Green tea: 5-20 milligrams of caffeine

Black tea: 45-60 mg

Coffee: 125-185 mg

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About Rochelle Rothman

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"Rochelle is a Mom of six and Bubie to many more, kinaraha! Her cookbook can be seen at www.notjustacookbook.com. It also features many “multi-ethnic” recipes that were adapted for the kosher cook. Rochelle’s book examines food around the year by month. Her new DVD recipe organizer includes the book. What a GREAT gift! Rochelle is available for cooking demo events for fundraisers, hotels, stores, as well as private Tupperware demonstrations. Rochelle is often asked to share her amazing Freezer Tricks demonstration at many locations including several national televsion shows.

 

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One Response to To Tea or Not to Tea?

  1. I’ve always loved tea but was somewhat concerned that it had more caffine than coffee; I didn’t realize it was per pound and how many cups went into the pound. Thanks for that info! Teatime!

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