Friday, June 26, 2009

Tea; Te; Tee; The; Sweet tea...

For my first post, I am choosing to write about tea. It isn't one of my most recent "opportunities for enthusiastic obsession" however it is a life long obsession so I will share my journey.

Are you a person who enjoys drinking either hot or cold tea? Maybe you've tried it and thought, "hmmm tastes like dirt" but wouldn't admit you've tasted dirt and just commented that you "didn't like it." Well, that was my first experience with tea way back in high school (alllll the way back). Healthy eating habits hadn't escaped my dad's understanding of nutrition. I think he had either acquired some tea from a family member, or found himself in the tea isle one day. But what he brought home was named something like "joint comfort" and "weight loss" tea
. Now on the yummy scale, these were really close to the yuck side. Well, when dad says "you kids should drink tea, it is good for you!" Then you drink tea. This was precisely the moment when tea reminded me of dirt, which I didn't admit of course.

The summer between sophomore and junior years at the U of MN I was introduced to a woman who would become a best friend, and reintroduced to tea all at my new job in Academic Advising. This woman, we will call her AG, brought in some tea because the AC was pushing out some mad cold air. She brought in Lipton Blackberry. Imagine, a tea that tasted like fruit, and had a kick of caffeine. I was in love. We drank and drank this tea until she said "do you think other flavors are as good?" We slowly began a journey of tasting. Today, we have gone in slightly different directions with flavor preferences, however very much enjoy this obsession together just as much. We even report to each other when we have "brought another on board the tea loving express."

Now for the fun part. Here is what I want you to know about tea. I'm sure you know a few tidbits (or all of this) if you have jumped on the recent tea craze wagon, but hopefully you can pick something up from my life long obsession.

Did you know:
-There are 4 types of tea all made from the same leaves? Yup!

  • Black, oolong, green & white- in order of processing. Black is most processed, white is least.

  • The leaves are processed differently, and sometimes grown differently (but from the same type of plant)
-Teas like chamomile and rose hips aren't actually tea? Yes again!
  • these teas are actually called tisane's, and are a source of judgement from me. Yes, people loving, super understanding me judges the people who only love chamomile tea. IT ISN'T TEA PEOPLE!!! IT IS A TISANE. How could you even miss that.

-That tea dates back to 600 BC (probably before)? There is so much history and tradition around tea that you really should just google this one.

-Tea is VERY good for you? I will list my favorite stats- which only represents some of the benefits. (from: &

  • Anti cancer properties: There has been much research surrounding this topic. Bottom line is that they found antioxidants in tea.

  • Boosts mental alertness

  • Boosts immune system

  • Lowers stress hormone levels

  • Effects on bad breath: Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago stated that polyphenols help inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath. I'm not so sure about this one- I am always feeling like I have "tea breath"...

  • Cardiovascular health: Research published in April 2009 by the University of L'Aquila suggests that drinking just one cup of regular, black tea per day may help to protect against cardiovascular disease.

Please note that I am not a doctor, nor an expert, and this blog isn't meant as professional advice. Always ask your doctor when making decisions about your health.

So this concludes my first blog. Albeit a long one, I could write for days about tea- but then you would stop reading my blog and NEVER return for fear of complete boredom. I will leave you with some words steeped with history...

Tea that helps our head and heart.
Tea medicates most every part.
Tea rejuvenates the very old.
Tea warms the hands of those who're cold.
J. Jonker, Amsterdam, circa 1670