“Tea, tea, for you and me
me and you
lets have a brew
ooh ooh ooh.”
Each year, Canadians drink more than 7 billion cups of tea. A survey shows that nine out 10 Canadians drink some type of tea.
Tea is an all-natural beverage, containing no additives, no artificial flavors or colors.
If taken without milk or sugar, tea has no calories. It is a good way to increase fluid intake with some taste and style.
It has vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Antioxidants rich foods may help in reducing the risk of cancers, heart disease and stroke.
Black and green teas have comparable health benefits. Adding milk to tea does not compromise its healthy benefits.
Green or regular black teas contain about one-third the caffeine found in coffee, Most of us can drink 10 to 12 cups of regular tea a day and stay within the 400 to 450 mg daily caffeine limit recommended by Health Canada.
A cup of black coffee has 99 mg of caffeine. A cup of green or black tea has 34 mg of caffeine. Decaffeinated black tea has only 4 mg of caffeine.
Legend has it that tea was first discovered in 2737 B.C. by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, when a tea leaf accidentally fell into the bowl of hot water he was drinking.
In 1644, the East India Company, an importer chartered by Britain’s Elizabeth I, had its first tea dealings with Chinese merchants. Sailors brought back the packets of tea as presents, leading to its introduction into London’s coffee houses.
Now tea is consumed all over the world and amongst different cultures and nationalities.
Tea Council of Canada (www.tea.ca) and the British Tea Council can provide you with wealth of information on the subject of tea. Some time ago, the Globe and Mail had also published several articles on tea. Following information is taken from these sources.
How can you brew a perfect cup of tea?
-Use a good quality loose leaf or bagged tea
-Tea must be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature
-Always use fresh boiling water
-In order to draw the best flavor out of the tea the water must contain oxygen, this is reduced if the water is boiled more than once
-Measure the tea carefully
-Use one tea bag or one rounded teaspoon of loose tea for each cup to be served
-Allow the tea to brew for the recommended time (generally three to five minutes) before pouring
The three main categories of tea are green, black, and oolong. All three kinds are made from the same plant species. The major differences between them are a result of the different processing methods they undergo. Black teas undergo several hours of oxidation in their preparation for market; oolongs receive less oxidation, and green teas are not oxidized at all. More than 3,000 varieties of tea come from the three major types of tea.
What about herbal teas?
Hundreds of different herbs have been used in beverages. These are sometimes called herbal teas. Tea professionals and connoisseurs usually prefer to restrict the name ‘tea’ to real tea, so you may see the following terms used as well:
-‘Herbal infusion’, which simply means a drink made by steeping an
herb in hot water. (Tea itself is an infusion of tea leaves.)
-‘Tisane’ [pronounced tee-ZAHN], which in French means any herbal
Some common herbs that are used as tisanes are peppermint, chamomile, rose hips, lemon verbena, and fennel.
Some exaggerated claims have been made for the medicinal properties of herbal infusions. Even so, some herbs do have generally recognized benefits. For instance, rose hips contain vitamin C; chamomile helps many people relax; and peppermint has a noticeable soothing effect on the stomach. Herbs can also cause problems. Chamomile, for example, can cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to ragweed.
For many people, tea is a cup of life. As somebody has said, “Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn’t try it on.” And a Japanese proverb says, “If a man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty”
I presume, some women know how to choose their men, with just a cup of tea!
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