Tea Love: Instilling a Love of Tea, One Sip At A Time

Archive for the ‘Tea And Your Health’ Category

Another Great Talk!

Hello Tea Love readers!   So, as many of you know, I just gave a Tea Love talk this past Wednesday and, my goodness, 63 people showed up to the Randolph Public Library to hear me speak!   That sort of outpouring of love and support was overwhelming!   I hope all the patrons enjoyed the talk as much as I enjoyed giving the talk :-)   A special thanks to the Randolph Public Library for hosting me and a thank you to all who showed!

I got many questions while there and I figured I would address a few of them below.   Hope this helps you in your tea journey:

What are some different things you can do with used tea?

Compost, compost, compost.   Yes, this was my favorite answer for the talk.   I do enjoy helping the environment whenever I can and what better way than to using your tea to create something new?   Now, I have blogged about different uses for tea, including my oh-so-popular tea bag earrings, but there are many uses for tea.   For example, you can cut grease, hydrate your skin, help relieve those bags under your eyes, control odors, use it for cooking…   The possibilities are endless!   What are some of your favorite methods?

With all the scary news about different foods and everything in the news, how can you trust the tea that you buy?

That’s a tough one.   After all, we all want to ensure that our tea is of high quality and will not harm us in any way.   However, due to the ever-useful nature of tea, the FDA has trouble regulating it under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.   After all, tea can be used for cosmetics, health reasons, and as a delightful beverage.   How does one classify it?   Honestly, the best way to go about it is to just purchase tea from a trusted retailer.   You can find tea vendors who are members of The Tea Association of the U.S.A. or research your vendors before you buy.

What is bubble tea?

Bubble tea is amazingness wrapped in awesome wrapped in fantastic.   Bubble tea is a tea-based drink, invented in the 1980s in Taiwan.   The tea is often mixed with a fruit flavor or a milk with tapioca balls, known as pearls or bobas, added to it.   You are then usually given a large straw that can fit the bobas through in order to imbibe your drink of tastiness.   Bubble tea shops are starting to sprout up more and more.   Frozen yogurt restaurants are starting to sell them as well.   I definitely would recommend finding a bubble tea shop by you so you can sample some.

Can you decaffeinate tea by brewing it longer and dumping out the old tea?

According to “Caffeine and Tea: Myth ad Reality” by Nigel Melican, it’s sort of a yes and no.   It really all depends on how long you want to brew your tea.   A study published in Food Research International breaks it down by the numbers:

30 seconds: 9% caffeine removal
1 minute: 18% caffeine removal
2 minutes: 34% caffeine removal
3 minutes: 48% caffeine removal
4 minutes: 60% caffeine removal
5 minutes: 69% caffeine removal
10 minutes: 92% caffeine removal
15 minutes: 100% caffeine removal

So yes, you can remove the caffeine from a tea by brewing it.   However, it depends on how long.   If you want to remove all of it, you’ll need to go a full 15 minutes, which is possible, but if you are looking for a brew to bring with you to work, it isn’t the most appealing option.   However, it is more holistic than some decaffeination methods, which can include chemicals to remove the caffeine.   So, make sure you pick which option you are more comfortable with.

So, those are just a smattering of questions that I received at the Tea Love talk the other day.   Want to know the answer to a question?   Feel free to comment here or write it on my Facebook wall and I will do my best to get you an answer :-)

Shedding Pounds With Green Tea?

People who know me know that I like my gym.   I might not get to go as often as I would like to, but when I do, I work out and I work out hard (and fun, usually doing something stupid like trying new machines and almost killing myself in the process).   I have been on a mission to lose weight for quite some time.   While working out this past week, a thought struck me.   Everyone always talks about losing weight with green tea.   While we all know how many snake oil products are out there, promoting their ability to help you shed the pounds in little to no time at all, I was curious if this one had any, well, weight to it.

So, curious, I turned to Facebook to ask for your opinion.   General consensus is that yes, it does help.

But Does It Really Help?

But Does It Really Help?

But, while it would be nice to take a Facebook poll and find out the secrets of the world, real life dictates you need to do your research to find out the truth, not just go by social media.

So, does it actually help?

I tried punching “green tea lose weight” into Google and came up with 22,300,000 results!   Articles ranged from WikiHow explaining how to drink tea (not necessarily green tea) to get a tiny waist, to Science Daily posting studies regarding weight loss and green tea.   Even popular website Calorie Count (of which I am a huge fan, especially for their yummy, healthy, low-fat recipes) chronicle how green tea has helped with weight loss.

There are lots of weight loss products that explain how they use the power of green tea to boost your metabolism and thus help you lose weight.   Again, a quick Google search pulled up 1,980 products in my area alone.   I think that I can go out on a limb and say that’s a lot!

Now, what do the heavier, scholarly articles say?

Well, we can’t make this easy, can we?

According to an article in Obesity: A Research Journal, a scientific study, funded by Novartis Consumer Health in Nyon, Switzerland, decided to look at 76 men and women who had BMIs ranging from 25 to 35 kg/m2, considered to be clinically obese.   The group was split where some received placebos and some received green tea pills.   From there, each division was then given a dose of low caffeine and high caffeine.   Those that had a lot of caffeine in the study seemed to have lost more weight!   However, if you do not drink a lot of caffeine, then green tea seems to help you with weight management, partially due to fat oxidation (breaking down fatty acids, which increases energy) and thermogenesis (generation of heat).

In the end, I would still always recommend exercise and eating well.   However, incorporating some tea will not hurt you in your weight loss journey and may even help out with your weight management, depending on your caffeine intake.

Drink tea, be happy, and maybe even have a happier waistline.

Tea Cleaning

Hello fellow tea sippers!   First, an apology.   I have not posted in quite some time!   One week, my friend was up from Bethlehem, PA so that we could see Taylor Swift in concert (AMAZING, by the way), then this week, my parents were away on vacation so I was keeping house.   This involved cooking and cleaning.   However, not just any cleaning.   I gave my parents a nice welcome-back with having the house practically sparkle, only relaxing last night when I got to brew myself around four cups of tea to unwind with some nice incense smoke whipping around the room to help me calm down after an active week.

Not only does tea help relax, it also helps clean!   Tea, with all its tannins, vitamins, and overall yummy goodness, helps to polish and shine.   Here are some great tea-cleaning ideas for the next time you decide to spruce up your living area:

Use tea on wooden floors to help give the floors a beautiful shine - If you have some black tea on hand, you can get your floors shining like new.   The tannins in the tea help bring out the natural shine of the wood.   Simply brew three or four tea bags in some boiling water and let it cool.   Mop the floor as normal and follow up with the black tea.

Need a wood polish?   Black tea can help - For the very same reason that black tea helps with wood floors, it can also help to polish wood.   Simply damp a rag with black tea and polish away.

Dust mites, yuck!   Clean them away with black tea - Take a spray bottle with black tea and spray away.   Not only will you have a nice smell of black tea permeating through your house, you’ll kill the dust mites in the process.

A clean throne is a happy throne - Sometimes, some toilet stains simply will not come out, no matter how hard you scrub.   Drop a few tea bags in and let them soak for a few hours before trying to clean again.

Get rid of that rust - Soak any rusty tools in a cold solution of black tea for at least an hour, and that rust should come right off.

What’s that smell?… - A smelly garbage is a nasty garbage!   Throw some green tea in to naturally deodorize your trash can.   A plus?   You have to drink the tea in order to get the leaves!   Don’t you love those little bonuses?

Got any more cleaning tips using tea?   Share them below!

Another Tea Review – Salada Peach Nectarine Green Tea Iced Tea

Tea Love is hosting a contest!

If you follow my Facebook page, then you saw that I posted a picture of a mysterious package.   Wanna know what was inside?

A Fun Package Of TEA!

Tea Love will be giving away some of this lovely tea, courtesy of Red Rose and Salada Tea!   You might remember my blog post on Red Rose Tea from January 27th this year.   Well, now Tea Love will be giving away a collection of tea to one lucky winner!   All you need to do is send an email to CAFelegi@aol.com with your name, your address, and your best tea story (500 words maximum), anything you want as long as you write about tea.   The winner will have their story posted on my blog on Sunday, July 14th and will have this shipped to them:

If You Win The Contest, You Will Receive These Lovely Teas

The package will include 1 (one) box each of Salada Raspberry Green Tea Iced Tea, Salada Peach Nectarine Green Tea Iced Tea, Salada Berry Patch Black Tea Iced Tea, and Red Rose Original Tea.   Winners must be located within the U.s. to receive this prize.   Sorry, all international readers!   The blog post with the winner will hold the first name and first initial of the last name only.   Tea Love will not use any information provided outside of the contest.   No purchase necessary.

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For the rest of June up until July 7th, I will be reviewing these amazing tea packages for you and telling you how wonderfully fantastic they are!   Our second tea?   We’ll discuss the Salada Peach Nectarine Green Tea Iced Tea.

Salada Peach Nectarine Green Tea Iced Tea

Salada Peach Nectarine Green Tea Iced Tea

I am sipping on a cup right now and it’s interesting.   It’s slightly lighter in color compared to the Raspberry Green Tea that I reviewed last week, almost like a copper color.   What impressed me was that, almost immediately after pouring the brew into my glass, I smelled the peaches and nectarines.   Sounds like it’s too much?   Nope!   The strong smell of the tea is surprising but not bad!

The taste is nothing like I expected, either.   There is only a twinge of green tea taste in the drink, more so the peaches and the nectarines.   I feel that this is more like I am drinking an herbal tea rather than a green tea.   This one will do a good job keeping you awake like a caffeinated drink, but will keep you relaxed like an herbal.

Do not add sugar to this one.   Even if you have a strong sweet tooth (which I do), you will not need it.   So now, with the temperatures starting to soar, kick back, relax, and sip on a glass of Salada Peach Nectarine Green Tea Iced Tea.

Man Cannot Live By Bread Alone. Tea, On The Other Hand…

Now, I love my tea.   Let no man nor woman ever question that fact.   When time allows, I’ve been known to sip 5-6 cups in a single sitting.

I also love my food.   As I write this, I munch on a slice of pizza, sullen that I could not find my chocolate fudge that some children in my Youth Group made me.

If you ever asked me if I would be willing to give up food and drink tea for the rest of my life?   I would have to turn you down.   However, a gentleman from Calcutta decided that, after what was apparently a terrible offense to his stomach when his wife arrived late with lunch, he would never drink food again.

According to The Telegraph, Bhismadeb Sarkar was waiting for his lunch one afternoon, 1PM sharp.   Well, his wife came in at 1:30PM with a plate of rice, fish, and vegetables.   Mr. Sarkar was so offended with his wife’s tardiness that he immediately threw the plate and exclaimed that he would “stop eating totally.”

… Um, wait, what?   Isn’t that kinda against the laws of science and all things holy?

Well, per 2007 The Telegraph article, since 1985, Sarkar has gone on living without eating a single thing.   Instead, he prefers about 18-20 cups of tea a day.   He insists that he feels fine with only the tea, stating, “Call me crazy if you like but since then I have not had anything except tea. I drink 18 to 20 cups daily without milk.”

Bhismadeb Sarkar Enjoying a Cuppa

Bhismadeb Sarkar Enjoying a Cuppa

Even stranger, this same article references another person who decided that surviving on only tea for the rest of his life would be a good idea.   Debabrata Dutta, however, decided that he would rather live on tea than on what he deemed to be sub-par food.

Dutta was once a wealthy man, being born to a well-off farmer family, became a pauper after his family died.   His inheritance ran out after only ten years.   He never thought he would have to work a day in his life and now, he was stuck washing dishes at a local hotel.

Dutta states, “I don’t like eating ordinary food like rice and vegetables.   The hotel owner, Subrata Sit, offered me Rs 100 ($1.88) a month and a lunch of rice, lentils and vegetables every day.   I refused it.”   Instead, Dutta decided to drink 22 cups of tea a day.

“I have never tasted such food in my life. I used to eat quality rice, meat and various kinds of fish delicacies,” he states.

Doctors at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital said a person can survive on tea but would lose physical strength.

“Normally, a cup of tea contains around 100 calories, which means they are both getting around 2,000 calories daily,” states Dr Madhusudhan Chatterjee.

Hospital superintendent Debashish Bhattacharjee advises that, “They would fall ill sooner or later. Everyone needs a balanced diet.”

Now, admittedly, I have had days where, rather than eat, I will just continually drink tea, not paying attention and eventually realizing that I hadn’t eaten anything all day.   However, I would NOT advise this kind of diet for anyone.

Now, 22 years of this?   What are your thoughts?   Is this a hoax?   Or are Dutta and Sarkar really going this long without any food?

Tea, the drink that civilises – By Jem Beedoo

Today, while perusing my tea news, I noticed an editorial called, “Tea, the drink that civilises” in the New Zealand Herald.

Now, there are some writings that you can paraphrase, that you can edit, include your own words, etc, but this is a story that I would prompt all my readers to look at straight from Mr. Beedoo.

Read away, learn more about why tea is the drink that civilizes and revel in the fact that you are amongst those more refined for the simple fact that you drink tea.

Bubble Tea Pearls As A Carcinogen and How To Combat It

Now, those who read this blog know about my love for bubble tea.   Whether it be in a smoothie or iced tea, the taste of tea intermittent by the sudden gulp of tapioca balls is a nice surprise in a drink.

Cute Cups of Tea!

Cute Cups of Tea!

So, imagine my surprise when I saw news articles on how the bubbles in bubble tea are carcinogens!   Apparently, a German-certified government lab tested some tapioca balls coming out of an unnamed German bubble tea factory and found that the tea contains PCBs, a material that was once used in coolant fluids but, due to toxicity, was banned from the US in 1979 and by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001.   On top of that, this organization argues, the balls pose a choking hazard.

Now, bubble tea’s history is no clearer than that of regular tea.   The exact origins are unclear but it is believes that bubble tea was started in the 1980s, possibly by a Taiwanese tea shop owner Liu Han Chieh who wanted to start a new creation.   Eventually, a Japanese TV show happened upon the intriguing drink and showcased it, releasing the beverage to the world.   Since its inception, there have not been any reported accidents of bubble-tea related accidents.   If there have not been any accidents in 30 years, I would argue that bubble tea’s drink-ability is fine.

Obviously, not being a scientist, I cannot argue with the PCBs.   However, as a tea fanatic, I have searched around and found a quick recipe online for making your own tapioca pearls.   The process is not difficult at all, is very forgiving and can prove to be a fun activity to do with the kids:

For this activity, you will need:

- Tapioca starch

- Food coloring (if you want to have a bit of fun with it.)

Directions:

- Put your tapioca starch in a bowl (no measurement, as that will vary depending on how many balls you want to make) and slowly add boiling water.   Make sure your water is boiling, or this will not work.

- For a bit of fun, add in your food coloring.

- This is the part that you can have fun with.   Knead the starch until it has the same consistency of play-doh.

- Roll your play-doh dough into bite-size pearls on a wet towel.   Make sure they’re not too big!   If your dough starts drying, then just add a little bit of water.   If it gets gooey, throw in some more starch.

- Let the tapioca balls dry.    This will vary depending upon preference, but overnight should be perfect.

- In order to make the drink, throw your pearls into some boiling water and wait for them to rise.

- Depending on preference, you can leave them in for a few more minutes (since once they rise, they are only half-way cooked) or you can let them soak for longer.   Personally, I like mine a little chewy, so the shorter amount of time, the better.   Otherwise, they turn gooey and make me feel like I am drinking fish eyes.

- Drain your pearls and quickly put them on ice.

- Throw in your tea and enjoy!

While I must say, I do not think that this tea is a carcinogen nor do I think it poses a choking hazard, having a recipe on hand is fun and handy, allowing there to be no question what you are putting into your body.   Since you can roll the pearls to whatever size you would like, you can also avoid a choking hazard.   Have fun, make a night of making delicious tapioca balls and then spend the next day reaping the rewards by sipping on a nice, cool cup of bubble tea.

Yet Another Green Tea Benefit – An Anti-Smoking Agent

 

 

I freely admit, I abhor cigarettes.   There’s no medical benefit to them, it harms those around you, it frankly doesn’t smell that great and close to 90% of lung cancer in men and 80% in women are caused by these white sticks that rob you of your life.   I tell people it’s their choice whether or not they choose to smoke but quite frankly, I also tell them that I feel they’re making a stupid choice.   However, past that, if you really want to smoke, who am I to stop you?

A Break-Down Of What You're Smoking

A Break-Down Of What You’re Smoking

With that being said, I know people who do smoke that, sadly, due to the cigarette’s addictive nature, feel like they simply can’t.   Sure, we all know about e-cigarettes, the patch, etc.   However, did you know that green tea is now shown to help kick the habit of smoking?

An article recently published in Science China Life Sciences called ‘A Revolutionary Approach for the Cessation of Smoking’, claims that you can make custom-designed cigarettes laced with green tea components in order to help get rid of those smoking cravings.   In clinical trials, after 2 months of smoking this unique cigarette, people reduced their smoking intake by 52%!   The famed nicotine patches and gum, it has been reported by the New York Times, might not help at all and in fact, may even be more harmful than good.

Phinse Philip, a lecturer in the Community Oncology Division of the Malabar Cancer Centre, said, “A majority of users smoke as it purportedly gives them some form of relaxation. The oral intake of the amino acid L-Theanine, uniquely found in green tea, is known to have anti-stress effects and acts as a relaxing agent. The study conducted in China shows that green tea may be an alternative to quit this addictive habit.”

Thomas Varughese, head of surgical oncology and reconstructive surgery at Kochi’s Lakeshore Hospital and Research Centre, even said drinking green tea after quitting smoking completely could contribute to reversing the possibility of lung cancer.   Imagine the revolutionary idea that green tea can not only help people kick a potentially deadly habit, but can also reverse the negative effects!

The health benefits of green tea, at this point, is rather common knowledge.   We are plagued by the media with thoughts of how green tea can cure cancer, make you lose weight, destroy free radicals, etc.   Well, here is another one to add onto this ever-growing list!

So, next time you want to light up, maybe drink up instead.

 

 

Drink Ban And Tea?

Those around the New York tri-state area have heard numerous times about the sugary drink ban being placed into effect by Mayor Bloomberg.   A huge debate complete with PSAs denouncing the other side, ads showing up in prominent areas and news stories are taking up the media.   One side argues that by banning large sugary drinks, the mayor is actually robbing the citizens of their freedom to choose and treating them as infants.   The other side points to the fact that obesity is a growing concern in America with 2/3 of Americans being considered clinically obese.

 

One of the PSAs Against Sugary Drinks

One of the PSAs Against Sugary Drinks

But the reason why I mention this ban here?   A drink that is growing in popularity, bubble tea, could be thrown out with all the sodas.

Bubble tea is a drink that is found in Taiwanese culture and has quickly spread to other nations as a delightful beverage.   The drink typically contains tea, milk and “bubbles,” or tapioca balls, at the bottom.   The person imbibing the beverage gets an enlarged straw so that when they drink their tea (sometimes as a tea, sometimes as a smoothie), they can also get gulps of the tapioca balls at the bottom (on the Tea Love Facebook page, you can see pictures of this drink from one of my favorite tea places, The Tea Spot in downtown Cranford, NJ).

However, this absolutely delicious beverage does come at a cost to the waist line – a 16 oz. cup can total as much as 232 calories (as a point of reference, that’s just shy of McDonald’s 250-calorie hamburger).   Due to the high calorie-count for a drink mixed with America’s rising obesity problem, bubble tea is coming under more scrutiny.

Restaurants that offer the drink to their customers can be fined up to $200 if they do not serve a variation that has at least 50% milk.   Some businesses cater exclusively to those who drink bubble tea, serving up different sizes and different varieties.   With the ban that is being discussed, these businesses would risk losing merchandise that might be pre-purchased, losing customers that might not like their new drink that much or even face dissatisfied customers who just want something larger than a 16-oz. bubble tea so that they could indulge a little.

If you have yet to try bubble tea, I highly recommend giving it at least a shot, even if you are on a diet.   Let it be your guilty pleasure for a night and find out whether or not you like how this drink ban will affect your choice.   Think you should be restricted to 16 oz?

SEEN AND HOOTED: THE OWL AT GRACIOUS HOME!

Hello everyone!   I follow this wonderful blog called The Teaologist, who posts all this useful information about tea and different places to grab a good cuppa.   Recently, she posted an item called, “SEEN AND HOOTED: THE OWL AT GRACIOUS HOME!” that I felt was worthy of a re-blog.

She talks about the different teas and their different health benefits.   If you ask me, that’s always handy information you should know in case you want to try some holistic remedies before going to the doctor if sick.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND – This blog is NOT meant to substitute the advice of a doctor.   If you are sick, please seek medical attention.   Use your own discretion regarding this matter.

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