Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tea for the Holidays? Are you a tea snob?

Ever observe a restaurant patron bearing their esoteric tea bags requesting a pot of hot water, “…and it better be hot, Bub!” 

Tea’s my cup of Joe, diet cola, and red wine; my ‘longevi-tea.’  I  am thankful for my tenderly brewed tea leaf friends, for if I am too cold, tea warms me; if I’m too heated, it cools me down; if I’m depressed, it cheers me, and when excited, it mellows my harsh. Charles Dickens wrote, “My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head, I should better understand your affairs.”  Tea touches our souls-- a stand-up celebration of simplicity.  

As a youthful food server, tea drinkers were pain in the tea bag since maintaining a civilized cup-o-tea required more responsiveness than decanting a cup of Java. Tea bags need refreshing, the pot of water kept hot and frequently refilled; “Waiter, where’s the lemon? Would you please warm the tea cup first with hot water?”  Servers instantly roll their eyes at the ‘needy nerdy tea snob'.  Tea gets a bad rap, despite its uber health mojo.

Japanese studies urge eight to ten cups of green tea per day to positively affect cholesterol levels and generally reduce risk for cardiovascular disease whether you smoke, drink, or are weighty.  The connection; green and some black tea contain the same nutrients and antioxidants in red wine and cocoa that undo the effects of a fatty diet and smoking.
Purdue’s School of Consumer and Family Sciences say drinking more than four cups of green tea a day provide enough active compounds to speed-bump cancer cell growth; prevention in a teacup.
Our family dentist noticed our cavities frequency declined, so when I read  black or green tea, hot or cold, aid digestion, are antibacterial, and contain anti-aging properties, we had our explanation. Once a day, I slush the green tea around my mouth, as I would a mouthwash, becoming a bacterial mass-murderer. The Dental Clinics of North America explain the ideal anti-plaque agents in tea can eliminate disease-causing bacteria, reduce plaque and gingivitis. Natural Health Magazine reports Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) contains Catechins which destroy bacterial bugs, yes bugs that cause bad breath. Those bugs turn sugar into a sticky colony of living bacteria, sugars, proteins, and cavity-causing acid when it comes in contact with sugary or starchy foods.
Malty, smoky, full bodied aromatic Green tea comes from the leaves of the tea tree, Camellia Sinensis.  For centuries, woodsy green tea has been produced from leaves laborers handled gently and heated soon after harvesting, as opposed to black tea leaves which are vigorously rolled to make them release a particular enzyme, then left to sit for a few hours, during which time the enzymes interact with oxygen causing the leaves to develop a heartier flavor and a darker hue. Please shun tea from China.

Holidays are perfect for sipping green tea to undo the annual sugar-glazed Holiday dietary carnage. Next time you attend a holiday buffet, ceremoniously brew your favorite then savor civilization’s second most popular beverage second place to water. Join me this holiday season, and become a tea snob.  Invite your ‘nerdy’ friends over to share a freshly brewed pot of tea graced with raw, local honey. As you’ve deduced, a wee bit of tea is good for thee, accompanied by a little sympathy. Preparing tea is the ceremony of pouring all one's attention into the predefined, patient method. The process isn’t about drinking tea as much as it’s aesthetics of preparing a bowl of tea from the love from one's heart. 

Recipe for Blissful Holidays

1 cup unconditional love
½ cup joy
2 dollops of compassion and acceptance
2 tbs. white light
2 tsp. belly laughter
2 tears of joy
30 minutes of peaceful meditation
  • Remove ego and mix gently.
  • Serve abundantly to all you greet