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.

Experiences With Tea

 

 

As far as tea goes, most people know I am a tea addict.   Whether it be someone that I have known for years or someone that I have just met, the first thing that they learn is that I love my tea.

My Jasmine Green Tea With Some Green Tea Ice Cream for Lunch Yesterday

My Jasmine Green Tea With Some Green Tea Ice Cream for Lunch Yesterday

With that being said, what is the big deal with tea?   Why love tea any more than coffee?   Admittedly, I go through periods where I tend to drink more coffee than tea.   Wouldn’t it make sense to have a vibrant, zealot obsession with coffee instead?

The fact of the matter is, tea and I have had some wonderful experiences together and continue to do so.   I’m in awe over how much tea has helped me in my personal life, compared to coffee, which likes to give me heart burn and heart palpitation.

So, this is a personal post, a “memoir” of why exactly I am so obsessed with tea.

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I remember, as a child, being at my church at Coffee Hour.   Adults mulling around, sipping from Styrofoam cups as they asked each other what they thought of the sermon, chatted about what the kids were up to, and lamented over not knowing what to cook for dinner that night.

I would watch the older women, usually in their seventies or eighties, go over to the hot water urn, pour out their scalding water, and grab a little yellow and white bag.   Curious, I went over and saw they were brewing bag after bag of Lipton’s tea.   Well, of course, just like every other little girl, I had my own hot pink and purple plastic tea set that I used to play with and, wanting to be an “adult,” I grabbed a cup of tea for myself.

hated it!   It was bitter and funny-tasting.   But, not wanting to waste anything (nasty-tasting tea included), I doused it with milk and sugar and soon found it appealing.

As time went on, my tea versus milk and sugar ratio decreased, and soon, I was enjoying a cup of unadulterated black tea.

Time past and my love for tea remained surprisingly stable.   I dabbled, I sipped, but never really heavily drank.   For me, it was still milk, water, and juice.

Then, I was introduced to the Asian Food Market in Green Brook, New Jersey.   The grand array of boxes of 25-100 bags of tea, flavored past my wildest dreams in all different forms.   There were plum teas, green teas, hibiscus teas and white teas.   I witnessed loose tea, tea bags, powdered teas.   the whole thing astounded me.   I bought a few teas that I knew I would not find elsewhere and brought them home.

Soon, tea became my relaxer, my comforter, my Zen.   When I was depressed, the tea pot would boil.   Every time, like clockwork, after cleaning my house from top to bottom and completing heavy work, I would light a sweet-smelling candle and sip on some tea as I embroidered and watched my favorite TV shows.   Tea was rarely used in the morning; it was not meant to wake me.

Not only would tea be used to relax me, I would use it before I turned to medicines when I got sick (which is rare, since I hardly get sick).   Normally, I do not need to turn to pills.   Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t, but it definitely was worth it to me.

My knowledge for tea expanded the more I drank it.   Why did the rice tea make my mouth dry?   Why did some tea taste bitter when I brewed it for too long?   Soon, I wanted to write a book on tea.   I started exploring different teas and sampling different tea places, including Tea Spot, InsaniTea, and Teavana.   My obsession for tea grew.

Not only that, my passion to share tea with others grew.   On October 20, 2011, I posted my first blog post and quickly became known as “the tea girl” among friends, family and acquaintances.   When a co-worker went to the hospital, she was overjoyed to find a tin of matcha tea on her desk when she came back and we formed a quick bond.   Another co-worker was excited when I introduced her to the world of loose teas.   My friend’s daughter requested that I make her a custom Tea Love necklace for her birthday.   Friends who suddenly became homeless, lost, or depressed knew that they could come to my house for a warm bed and a hot cup of tea while they worked to get their lives back together.

My love for tea has not died and my quest to learn will never end.   No matter how many times I have read how tea came into being, I will always listen to a new story, hoping to gain a new insight or learn a new passion for the beverage.   I can’t become a tea snob and hope to never be, as that would close me off from the “more common” teas that can still cause a tingling pleasure throughout my being.

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This is a short “memoir” into my love of tea.   I welcome you to share why you drink tea, why you love it and what memories you would like to share of the drink.   Most of all, I welcome you to keep drinking in good health.

 

 

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.

Tea Versus Cofee, Part Two

I have written blogs about tea versus coffee in the past, citing their origin, their caffeine dosage and the different health benefits.

Someone has picked up on my blog about that and posted an awesome Infograph, explaining all about tea versus coffee in a great picture that I had to share!

Make sure to go visit Coffee Grounds to Ground and like the page!   Sure, it’s coffee, but you know, they did also talk about tea 🙂

Enjoy!

Isn't This Infograph Awesome?

Isn’t This Infograph Awesome?

Original Infograph can be found at :

http://tiny99.com/288992

Tea – Wonderful For The Fashionable

Hello everyone!

So, the results of the great tea versus coffee debate was sadly in favor of coffee.   However, people said that, while they use coffee to stay awake, they use tea to relax.   Maybe we were comparing apples to oranges?

Anyway, while commenting on Lorna’s Tearoom Delights blog (which I do highly recommend, a lovely woman with a lovely blog), she asked how the tea bag earrings were coming along from my blog on re-using your tea.   Honestly, it’s been quite a whirlwind of a few weeks and I plumb forgot about it.   So, with her motivation behind me, I decided to make my first ever tea bag earrings!

Make sure to view the slideshow!   I might make myself a necklace next.   But, that will be a project for another day.

Happy sipping!

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The Great Tea And Coffee Debate

I must admit, as much as it pains me to say this, I do drink coffee.   It feels like a betrayal, cheating on my love of tea but there are times when simply, I cannot wake up.   At this moment, I have a cup of coffee by my side to stay awake and meet with friends later.   Coffee is my pick-me-up.   Tea is my meditation.

Now, there are plenty of benefits for both drinks.   But who honestly is the true winner?   If you ask The Color of Tea, neither.   Both have separate benefits.   But let’s compare the two drinks and I will let you decide in the comments!

Where does it come from?

Coffee: Coffee comes from the coffee seed (not the bean, which is a misnomer), originated in Yemen.

Tea: Tea, as we well know from my blog on the history of tea, comes from a plant called the Camellia sinensis from China.

What’s the origin story?

Coffee: Coffee, like tea, does not have a concrete origin story.   One legend believes that Sufi mystic Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin saw some very energetic birds flying about.   Upon sampling the berries that the birds were feasting on, he found the coffee seed.

Another story states that Sheik Abou’l Hasan Schadheli’s disciple, Omar, found the beans and tried to eat them.   When he found them to be bitter, he roasted them.   That did not help so he boiled them.   When he boiled them, he saw that it created a brown liquid and sampled some and discovered coffee.

Yet another account says that young goat herder Kaldi saw his hyper flock chewing on the berries.   Naturally curious, he chewed on a few himself and, upon finding himself energized, brought it to the Muslim holy man.   The holy man disapproved and threw them into the fire, causing a pleasing aroma.   The other holy men followed the smell, raked the berries from the embers and boiled them to produce the first cup of coffee.

Tea: When Emperor Shen Nong, who was well-known for his knowledge of both agriculture and medicine, was resting and boiling water one day, he saw a leaf fall into his drink.   Rather than toss out that water and boil a new batch, he decided to try this gold liquid, producing the first cup of tea.

How are they made?

Coffee: Coffee berries are picked and roasted depending on what the manufacturer wants to produce.   From there, they can be ground and boiled for your enjoyment.   You can also eat some delicious chocolate-covered coffee berries, if you so choose.

Tea: Tea will vary depending on what the manufacturer would like but typically, the leaves are picked, wilted, oxidized, bruised and packaged.

How much caffeine is there in each drink?

*Note* Caffeine is an important topic.   If you are pregnant or have a medical condition, please look up caffeine content of all drinks.

Coffee: Coffee is well-known for its caffeine content and, if you are like me, you more drink it to stay awake more than anything else.   Coffee, depending on the cup, can range anywhere from 0 mg (when drinking decaf) up to 200 mg for a generic brew.

Tea: Tea also varies for caffeine content.   While a “pure” tea (that with the camellia sinensis plant), will always have caffeine, you can opt for an herbal tea that does not have any caffeine.   However, a cup of tea can go up to 61 mg for a black tea brew.

What are the health benefits?

Coffee: Coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, gallstones and type 2 diabetes!   However, keep in mind that too much can raise blood pressure and cause the case of the jitters, so drink in moderation.

Tea: Tea has many health benefits depending on the tea.   They can help with everything from weight loss to pregnancy.   However, it is not firmly proven that tea does perform all these benefits, so please bear that in mind.

And now, I pose the question to you.   Which is better, tea or coffee?

Organic Tea Versus Regular Tea

Organic certification

Organic certification (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, I wish to issue an apology to all my readers.   The past few days have been a hectic, cold blur.   In fact, I am still fighting off this darn cold that is trying to take over!   But, no matter.   With plenty of matcha tea and water by my side, I’ll muscle my way through.

And now, for the reason that you came to this blog in the first place – tea.

At work last week, my employer came into the office raving about these wonderful organic almonds that she bought and the delicious organic green tea she was sipping on.   Now, I am sure that, just like me, you hear the phrase “organic” being thrown around constantly.   I have personally seen organic toothpaste, organic band-aids and even organic dirt.

I am not knocking organic anything.   However, I am curious – what’s the difference between organic tea and regular tea?

Turns out, organic tea is better for health benefits.   It does not have the chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which means that less of that gunk and junk goes into your body.   For those that are earth-conscious, it also allows a friendlier farming strategy as well, allowing us to also be a bit kinder to the earth.   Rather than rely on ineffective solutions, organic farming allows for farmers to do green methods, such as using “green” manure to fertilize crops.

Either way, Tea Gschwendner, a tea store started in Trier, Germany, states that, “tea, whether grown organically or conventionally, is one of the cleanest foods on earth.”

With the miracles that tea provide, I don’t doubt this.   Though, to help Mother Nature every once in a while, it can’t hurt to imbibe a bit of organic tea.