Beverage Guidelines

Staying healthy in a world that is continuously “growing smaller”, with germs circling the globe as we travel from one country to another in hours rather than days, can be alarming.  Drinking tea can help.  Tea will improve your state of mind as well as improve your immunity.  Check out the article by Dr. Balz Frei, The Beverage Guidelines: What Should You Drink to Stay Healthy? You will find it in the Fall/Winter 2006 research newsletter from the Linus Pauling Institute 

Loose Leaf 

munching tea leaves?

I have been drinking green tea for some time to obtain its purported health benefits.  I cannot say to what extent I am in better shape, but I have certainly come to enjoy both the taste and the ritual – and I have gotten fond of munching the leaves lying in the bottom of my cup.  Does anyone have an opinion as to whether this is a good thing (extractives, fiber, etc.)?

Fluoride in Tea

With all the new awareness of trying to get back to purity in foods and going organic we also think about our water and what chemicals are put into it to make it safe to drink. Many of you have purifying systems to take out some of these chemicals. That is one way of getting rid of chemicals we deem harmful to ourselves and our children. One very important natural chemical that occurs in tea leaves is fluoride. Black tea carries the most fluoride but all tea has this most important content for our bones and teeth. For further information read Dr. Jane Higdon’s research on fluoride at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

Loose Leaf

Darjeeling Tea Punch

This recipe is great for a summer day, and as a starting place for additional creativity.

1/2 pint strong Darjeeling Tea
6 ounces sugar
1/2 pint orange juice
4 TBS lemon juice
1 large bottle lemonade
2 small bottles ginger ale
1 orange, sliced

Put the tea in a bowl; add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the orange juice and lemon juice and strain. Chill. Just before serving, mix in the ginger ale lemonade and orange slices.

Courtesy; The Darjeeling Planters Association

Tea Bags; Convienence or Compromise?

You may have heard that the tea bag was an accidental discovery. The story goes that in the earlier part of the last century Thomas Sullivan, a tea merchant, sent out samples in hand sewn silk pouches. His customers actually brewed the tea in those and demanded more. He was shipping loose leaf tea, and had that been the end of the story, we would not have had the great advantage of being able to dunk tea bags containing fannings in tepid water, and having that considered to be what tea is. Okay, maybe I am being just a little harsh. After all tea bags are used all over the US and Europe, even in Afternoon Teas. And you can get some nice teas and flavored teas in them, and they certainly are convenient.

My gripe is that like so many other things, we have traded convenience and speed for quality and taste. When I say quality, I am not referring only to the taste of the tea, but to the quality of the experience of tea as well. The process of making a good pot of tea, serving it, and drinking it is not a complicated process, but it does take a little time. Time which can allow us to slow down a little, and actually enjoy tea and the process. After all multi tasking is not absolutely essential to our existence.

Next time you want to ‘enjoy’ your tea, heat the water to the proper temperature, (and not in a microwave, that is cheating), measure out the amount of tea that should be in your cup or pot, give the leave the proper time in the water, and after you pour your first cup, let it cool slightly so that you can really sense the aromas and taste that is in that wonderful leaf that you bought.