The Astounding Benefits of Tea
by Contributing editor: Andrew Abrams
With all of this talk about coffee it is sometimes easy to forget about its partner in taste; tea. Joffrey’s not only specializes in coffee but also in a variety of astounding teas. What is it that makes tea so special? Better yet, what kind of benefits are we getting when we indulge in steeping those exotic leaves? With the vast array of teas and with such an intricate history, it is amazing to see what tea brings to our lives.
Regarded for thousands of years in the East as a key to good health, happiness, and wisdom, tea has captivated the attention of researchers in the West, who are discovering the many health benefits of the different types of teas. In fact, studies have found that some teas may help with cancer, heart disease and diabetes; encourage weight loss; lower cholesterol; and improve mental alertness. Tea also appears to have antimicrobial qualities. So let’s break down the different types of teas and see how each can benefit us. The most widely touted Green tea, made with steamed tea leaves, has a high concentration of EGCG (an antioxidant that can help fight free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries) has been the most widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain reducing risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke and improve cholesterol levels. With all these benefits it is hard to leave Green tea out of your diet. Most common in the U.S. is Black tea, which has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with iced teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs and may reduce the risk of stroke. A third tea to evaluate is White tea. Uncured and unfermented, one study at Tufts University showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas. Not to be omitted are Oolong and Pu-erh teas. In one particular study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to lower bad cholesterol levels. One popular variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, though science hasn’t backed the claims fully, studies are beginning to support the bold assumptions. Finally we have Pu-erh tea, which is made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, one study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL Cholesterol (artery clogging cholesterol).
With all these incredible benefits, it is easy to find at least one tea variety suited for your taste and enjoyment. What is even more incredible is that we haven’t even discussed the benefits of Herbal teas, which are just as amazing as Green, Oolong, Black, White, and Pu-erh (coming soon to a blog near you). Here at Joffrey’s we have a great respect for tea, it doesn’t command the spotlight like coffee does, but after seeing the benefits it provides, it definitely should take its place in your mug. And whether all the health claims continue to be supported by research, the taste of Joffrey’s hand blended teas offer a world of flavor.