Life is a cup of tea
someone casually said this golden phrase. I was intrigued to find what is so much special in tea. So, with a spoon of curiosity I traveled to a tea plantation.
There are different qualities of levels in tea and is classified as high quality, mediocre, economy etc. But the raw material for all types of tea is the same. The powdering methods and variations in the production cause the tea to be classified as Green Tea, Silver Tea, Oolong Tea, Black Tea, Yellow Tea and Dust Tea.
Tea contains more than 700 molecules. Especially protein chain based amino acids and immunity boosting anti-oxidants are found in abundance. Flavonoids, which are known to help fend off heart diseases, are also found in large quantities – that is in one cup of tea there is 21% of Flavonoids. Tea plays an important part in the health of mouth and teeth. While keeping the normal blood pressure within control, it also helps in preventing diabetes. Due to the presence of oxalic acid, it is better to drink tea in moderate quantities for people having renal problems. We can take up to 3 or 4 cups of tea in a day. It is best to drink tea without milk. Drinking dust tea in large quantities cause acidity, dizziness and vomiting. Dust tea is easily adulterated and as such cause problems like discolored teeth.
Tea is produced from the leaves of the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis. Leaves plucked from the tea gardens are processed to produce different types of tea such as dust tea, green tea oolong tea and silver tips tea. Tea manufacturing companies have research departments to come up with new types of tea to entice as well as satisfy the customers. Although the production of different types of tea is different their nutrition does not vary much. However, this does not apply to dust tea.
The production method of tea determines its price. Apart from this, additions such as ginger, lemon, almonds etc. improve the taste and add to the nutrition of tea.
Tea is a natural drink. The best method to drink it is after boiling in water and filtering. When milk is mixed to tea, the chemical substances of milk nullify the nutrients in tea. Experts say tea powder should not be boiled for a long time in water – it should be put in a container and boiling water should be poured in it and allowed to stay for few minutes. This way, the nutrients in tea powder mix with the hot water and can be directly taken in.
Tea contains 6 varieties of polyphenols. Tea also contains caffeine and small amounts of theobromine and theophylline, alkaloids which are stimulants. Studies show that theobromine reduces the extent of nicotine accumulation from smoking.
Anti-oxidants which delay the ageing process are found in plenty in tea. These remove the excessive fat from the body and help in maintaining the balance and increase immunity of the body. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in tea, helps to improve the functioning of our brain. Polyphenols stop the growth of cancer-causing cells and stimulate alpha waves and makes the mind calm. Tea also contains vitamins B, C, E, K, potassium, zinc and manganese. There are no calories in tea. The extent of nutrients is maximum in green tea and least in dust tea.
Go – make your cup of tea now !