Crazy For Tea Blog

About the health benefits of tea and related information

Find up-to-date news about all types of tea, including my own personal spin on a couple of issues happening in the tea world, and much more such as recipes, where to get the best prices on tea, research findings, and how tea can benefit your health!


 Crazy For Tea : Tea Happenings Home : January 2007

January 1, 2007 09:51 - Kickin Off The New Year

Happy New Year!

With the new year comes a slew of resolutions that virually no one will ever keep. Gym memberships increase dramatically in the months of January, February, and shortly into March, but then drop off quickly because people are suddenly "too busy, dont have enough time, or they simply don't feel motivated enough anymore".

I think the problem is that folks are keeping resolutions, instead of making goals.

My "resolution" this year is that I'm not going to make a resolution, but rather make small goals that will help me achieve my larger health, financial (mainly finishing this website), and college goals.

For example, instead of making a resolution to lose 8 pounds, i'm going to make it a goal to workout 4 times a week and eat healthy food. I'm also going to make it a resolution to try at least one new tea every month. To help with this I'm going to buy a small hydroponics-like kit and grow my own herbs in my basement. That way I can have a bunch of different herbs on hand. When I look into this system more and buy it for myself, i'll be sure to pass it along to my visitors along with some reviews.

My goal for this website is to work on it for at least a half-hour every single day so that by the end of the year it will be completely done with great information and I will be educating hundreds of people every single day about tea. I am also going to write a review on each tea I try in the new year and where I got it from so my visitors can have the best possible. I'm also going to perform a few experiments to show with my visitors about some things you can do with tea.

For college, my goals are to get my work done as soon as they are assigned so that I can work on them a bit longer to keep my GPA up. I've been averaging a 3.7 GPA the last 3 semesters (3.0 average for the first 2 semesters) and I plan to increase that to a 3.8 for my last 3 semesters.

Enough about me, I'd love to here your goals, not resolutions, for this new year.

E-mail me at Jeremy@crazyfortea.com

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 2, 2007 19:17 - Growing My Own Herbal Tea

I've wanted to grow herbs at my house for awhile now, and I've finally decided to take the plunge. When I first started looking up products I found a hydroponics kit which grew the camellia sinesis plant (the tea plant) which could then be turned into green tea, black tea, white tea, or oolong tea.

Researching further, I came along another website which sold kits that grew medicinal herbs such as echinacea, valerian, St. johnswort, and other things of that sort. These are called "herbal teas" and it is one area that I've been getting more involved with lately.

Herbal tea, unlike regular tea, consists of dozens or even hundreds of different kinds of herbs. Herbal tea includes things such as Chamomile or Meadowsweet for acid reflux, to alfalfa or Papaya for weight control. They were discovered in all different parts of the world hundreds and thousands of years ago and still exist today, which shows alot for the validity of them!

Anyway, the kit I purchased for $37 contains the following herbs included in the kit: Echinacea, Milk Thistle, Sage, Yarrow, German Chamomile, St. Johnswort, Burdock, Fever Few, Lemon Balm, Valerian, Cayenne, and Astragalus. Keep checking my herbal tea page for updates on the various herbs available and their effects on the body.

Also, feel free to e-mail me if you want to try and cure some ailment through herbs and need helping finding out which one you need (although you should always check with a doctor as well).

I just ordered the kit today, so in the upcoming weeks i'll be giving updates on the quality of materials as well as the progression of the herbs, including pictures!

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 3, 2007 11:24 - We Can Learn Alot From The Okinawans

I don't know what country you're from while reading this, but I can tell you one thing about Americans. As a country, we are becoming fatter and less healthy each year.

I'm not trying to play down the people of this country because I love living here, but it's a known fact that Americans are extremely lazy and people are getting lazier with each generation. I know when I was a kid I was hardly ever in my house, but the kids today seem to be in their house at least twice as long as they are outside!

Not only are we getting lazier, but we are being less healthy in many areas of life. It's actually to the point now where when someone see's me turn down some kind of junk food for a healthier alternative, i'm labeled as a "health-freak".

I think we need to sit back and study other cultures, such as the okinawans from the island of Okinawa, and see why they are outliving us with ease.

On the island of Okinawa, they don't have snacks like the rest of the world does. The funny thing is that most people think carbohydrates are horrible for your body. Well guess what? The diet of the people of Okinawa contains largely of legumes, beans, rice, and other high carbohydrate foods. However, the foods they eat are natural, not processed like most of the food in the rest of the world.

The term Okinawan Tea stems from the fact that the folks on this island make sure to drink large amounts of tea (mostly green tea). Therefore, people who figured they would make money from them coined the term "okinawan tea" and tried to fool people into thinking that it was some special type of tea which made you as healthy as the people on the island are!

The tea they drink on the beautiful island of Okinawa is nothing more than a type of green tea. Don't be fooled into buying it for more than you would pay for regular green tea.

Oh and by the way - The folks on this island have the record for the largest number of centurians (people who are 100+ years old) of anywhere in the world.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 4, 2007 12:40 - 30% Off Special on Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea is considered one of the finest teas in the world. Coming from India, it is called the "champagne of tea".

The special for the month of January from www.dragonwater.com is on their house darjeeling tea. They're offering 30% off the purchase price, which means it's only $4.80 to buy 1/4 pound of tea! Stock up while you can because with those prices i'm sure their limited supplies won't last very long.

This means you will only be paying 9 cents per cup, which is pretty amazing in my opinion. Think about it, most people spend about $1.50 for a cup of coffee while you can be spending only 9 cents for a cup of better tasting and much more health enhancing drink! It's almost unfair to coffee drinkers. Actually, not almost..it IS unfair!

By the way, 1/4 pound makes about 50 cups of tea, not including multiple infusions. I typically use get about 3-4 cups per teaspoon I use, so that could possibly be a few months worth of tea for under 10 bucks!

If you've been reading about tea and finding out the health benefits it contains, don't hesitate any longer. Get yourself some house darjeeling tea today before supplies are gone.

www.dragonwater.com

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January 5, 2007 09:58 - A Difference In Culture Between Tea Loving Countries

I don't know if you've ever noticed, but there seems to be a direct correlation between the way in which people drink tea and their overall lifestyles. Now maybe I'm over-exaggerating this because of my psychological background, but I'd like to hear what other people have to say about this as well. After all, it's hard to know if you're crazy unless someone tells you.

In the United States, there are not many tea games, tea wedding favors, or any kind of ceremony which revolves around tea. Tea parties are starting to come back little by little, but for the most part the only thing we do is drink it. There are no set times to have tea and enjoy it like friends like in some other countries, nor we do really take in the whole tranquil experience while drinking tea like we should.

However, in other countries tea is looked at in a much different manner. For example, the chinese have the chinese gong fu tea ceremony and think of tea as harmonizing the body and soul.

Other countries think of tea as not just a drink, but something that literally heals and uplifts their spirits. They practice deep breathing while the tea is steeping, and the entire experience, from the water boiling to the last drop in the cup, can be thought of as a deep meditation period. They are in essence becoming one with nature. Unfortunately, the number of countries who regard tea in this manner is declining because they feel the need to modernize.

I think it's kind of funny though, that if you look at the way people enjoy tea and then look at the overall health of that country, there is a direct relationship. For example, the United States thinks of it as only a drink and gives it almost no significance. The United States is also the unhealthiest country on the planet.

On the other hand, the Okinawan's highly respect tea and nature and therefore are probably the healthiest island on the planet.

I'm not saying that tea itself is causing this relationship, but I just thought that was interesting. The way you drink tea says a lot about how you live the rest of your life.

Today, instead of just drinking tea, try to develop a deeper relationship with it. Lightly smell the tea as it pours into your tea cup. Hold the cup in your hands to warm them and take another smell. Make your daily cup of tea the most relaxing and uplifting part of your day.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 6, 2007 09:58 - More Good News For Tea

I just got done reading a press release from New York which further strengthened the fact that everybody should be drinking more tea.

It said that over 100 researching articles were written in 2006, supporting the fact that tea is an incredibly healthy drink. Most of these supported the notion that tea helps support and maintain your cardiovascular system, helps your body in the fight against certain types of cancer, combats type-2 diabetes by controlling blood sugar, and is very important in maintaining weight!

According to Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council of the USA, "Adding tea as part of a healthy diet may be one of the healthiest choices to start this year to help manage weight and maintain a healthy heart."

Although i'm not big on making resolutions, I really think you should make it a goal/resolution/lifestyle change...whatever you'd like to call it - to drink more tea. It's a no-brainer way to lose a few pounds, relax your body and mind, and soak your body in health-benefiting antioxidants.

Drink Up,

Jeremy Original Article

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January 8, 2007 08:33 - The Ever-Popular Aloe Vera

Ever get a nasty sunburn and need to rub lotion on yourself to make it feel better and go back to normal? I don't know about you, but I live in Pennsylvania and the weather in the winter here is very dry and my hands dry up in a matter of hours. Therefore I put on hand lotion about 3-5 times a day, and I'm sure you all know what the main ingredient is right? Aloe Vera!

You may have noticed these plants in American households (if you live in America obviously). They are used for small burns, irritations, and cuts. If you want to pick one up for your house, make sure you find a mature plant that has spiny teeth along the edge of the plant because they take 2-3 years to mature. You don't want to buy a baby and wait that long right?

External Uses

Aloe vera is commonly used in virtually every moisturizer in the world, and this comes from the time when Cleopatra used it to protect her skin from the scorching Egyptian desert sun hundreds of years ago.

It is also used to increase the healing time of radiation burns or after skin surgery. If you like to take baths, feel free to take an aloe bath. Just get 2-4 bags of tea and put them into a cool bath. Then just soak in it for awhile, let the aloe heal your skin, and feel better the next day!

Internal Uses

Although aloe vera is typically known for it's external uses that i've just described, it can also be used internally. Aloe tea is a great digestive aid, particularly for constipation. By relaxing the bowels it lets the large intestine do its job. It also helps stimulate more bile, which in turns promotes better digestion.

Aloe vera is also an antifungal, removing the bad fungus from your stomach and helping you feel more energetic. It is also one of the most effective treatments against internal parasites like worms from the intestines.

Note: If you take it in high doses it may causes cramps. Therefore, it should be combined with something like peppermint to offset the cramps. The only reason a person should take high doses of this is to fight off digestive disorders that won't go away or if you come down with some type of aggresive intestinal bacteria. It should be taken in small doses, and isn't recommended to be used internally for children, elderly, or pregnant women.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 9, 2007 11:46 - New Research Says Not To Add Milk To Tea

New research has published today from the European Heart Journal and it has a little bit of bad news for folks who add milk to their tea. The researchers found that by adding milk to tea you are diminishing the positive effects of tea on the cardiovascular system.

Previous tests have shown that black tea lets the arteries relax and expand much easier, but this new study is showing that by adding milk, it takes away that positive effect.

These research findings are bad news for nations like Britain who normally add milk to their black tea to enhance it's flavor. However, experts are now suggesting that tea drinkers keep milk out of the tea, at least some or most of the time.

The reason for this? Well milk contains a chemical called caseins which interact with the catechins found in tea. The catechins are the chemicals in tea that give it the cardiovascular benefit it has. When the caseins and catechins interact, they cancel each other out, therefore producing almost no benefit for the cardiovascular system.

So what does this all mean for you? Simply put, if you currently add milk to your tea, try to drink it without tea and see how you like it. I personally only put milk in black tea so this doesn't affect me too much. Hopefully you aren't too picky about putting milk in your tea and can drink it without milk!

The researchers say they will conduct more studies to see if milk influences the rest of the positive effects tea has on the body, so stay tuned in the next few months for more updates on this matter.

Drink Up,

Jeremy Original Article

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January 10, 2007 08:43 - The Reason I Drink Oolong Most Often

For some reason or another, alot of people tend to stick with 1 type of tea, and 1 type only. In my opinion, they all taste great, which is why I'm a big fan of variety packs and small quantities.

However, I would have to say that oolong tea is my favorite. I drink oolong probably about 60% of time, with the other teas filling in the other 40%. I understand that green or white tea has more antioxidants and health enhancing qualities, but I would rather drink someting I enjoy than something I didn't enjoy as much.

What I mean is that you should drink what you like, not something you hate just to squeak out a few more antioxidants from it. The fact of the matter is, ALL tea is healthy for you and will help combat illness, high blood pressure, and other things. There are just variations as to how aggresive they are at helping your body.

Plus, although oolong tea has slightly less health enhancing qualities, it has more of a fat burning effect than green tea. Yes, that's right - green tea isn't the magical tea that has the best of everything. (Although it does have the best of most things)

Although I probably drink green tea the second most, oolong is still my favorite. It gives you more weight loss characteristics than green tea, has only a slightly less amount of antioxidants, and has a taste inbetween green and black tea which is phenomenol.

If you've never tried oolong tea today, or if you'd just like to try a few different flavors of it, please check out this oolong tea sampler from Adagio Teas

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 12, 2007 14:32 - The Difference Between Tea and Coffee

Sometimes I love to evaluate different things just to see the difference between them. I guess it's just part of my psychological nature that I like to analyze things.

Today I was thinking of the difference between coffee and tea, and realized how much better tea is than coffee. So here is what I came up with.

1) Coffee is up to 10x more expensive than tea, of course depending on the flavors, quality, and how you use it.

2) Coffee has more caffeine and usually larger serving sizes, which makes it even worse.

3) Tea's image consists relaxation, health, and peace. When you think of coffee, it reminds you of a stressed out, rushed person who can't relax and is overweight.

4) There are various different kinds of tea (herbal, black, white, green, rooibos, oolong). Within each type of tea also contains various flavors. Coffee has probably less than 12 altogether.

5) Tea contains over 100 antioxidants per serving (being conservative). Coffee doesn't even come close to that number.

6) The caffeine in tea is spread out in your body slowly, giving you a very subtle lift. The caffeine in coffee makes you jittery.

7) The history of tea dates back thousands of years, and for quite awhile it was reserved strictly for wealthy individuals. Coffee contains no such history that I know of.

That's all that comes to my head at the moment, but i'm sure there are more ways in which tea is better than coffee. If you can think of anymore, please leave a comment.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 13, 2007 13:17 - Can White Tea Out Perform Green Tea?

I'm sure you've heard about the various different types of tea. White, green, oolong, black, and rooibos. With the exception of rooibos, each other tea comes from the same plant, the camellia sinesis.

The difference really comes with what comes after the leaves have been picked from the plant. The darker the tea, the longer the leaf has been fermented. The only reason for fermenting a leaf is for the flavor desired. However, white tea is derived from immature buds or leaves. White tea is harvested just before the buds are fully opened. The name "White Tea" comes from the fact that it is covered in small white hairs that make it appear silverish to white and a little fuzzy.

Creating white tea is very short and probably the easiest to do out of all the teas available. There is no withering or fermentation involved. The leaves are steamed to prevent oxidation, but after that they are ready to be used. Then you can finally enjoy the sweet, silky flavor it produces. Although the health benefits of white tea are still considerably unknown because of the popularity of green tea, little by little people are starting to realize that white tea may produce even more benefits than green tea.

Research and studies have shown that because of it's virtually unprocessed nature, it is able to retain almost of all it's polyphenols. This tea has been shown to contain a greater number of polyphenols then oolong, black, and even green tea.

Polyphenols are anti-oxidants that rid the body of free radicals and are one of the most health-benefiting chemicals you can put in your body. Of course, even if that were all the health benefits, that would be enough for many people.

White tea has also been shown to boost the immune system of the body. It has properties that allow the body to fight viruses and bacteria that may cause infections. It has also been shown to reduce or eliminate dental plaque, due to it's richness in fluoride. Talk about killing 2 birds with 1 stone. If you add up all the health benefits it contains, you would be killing dozens of birds with 1 stone!

White tea tends to be the most expensive out of all the other kinds, but it is still very cheap compared to our rival - coffee. You can get a great sampler pack from adagio teas for just under $14 and get 4 ounces of fantastic white tea!

This will give you roughly 50 cups of tea for $14. That's only 28 cents per cup, compared to almost $1.50 for a cup of coffee. In my opinion, there is no contest. Drink the drink that keeps you healthy and puts more money back in your wallet.

Check it out at www.adagio.com

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 15, 2007 23:03 - A New Flavor For Your Tea

When brewing a cup of tea you have a few different options.

1) Drink the tea with no milk, sugar or lemon.

2) Drink the tea with milk and sugar. Be careful though, a new report is saying that adding milk reduces all cardiovascular benefits. Here's My Blog Post About It.

3) Drink the tea with lemon.

I guess you could put sugar and lemon together, but i've never tried that and can't imagine it being very good. Too sweet for me.

Anyway, today I was eating an orange while the tea was brewing so I decided to give it a whirl and use an orange slice instead of a lemon for the tea.
I didn't know exactly what to expect, but I was very gladly surprised!

All I did was get 1 piece of the orange and squeeze it into the cup. Then I just made the tea like usual and enjoyed. The only problem was that the orange flavored seem to sit on the bottom more than the top, so tomorrow i'm going to stir it.

I know this isn't exactly a "recipe" or anything special..but I figured I'd share with you that it's quite tasty. I'm going to try it out with some darker oolong tea that I have and see if I like it with that as well. I'll update tomorrow night to let you know what I think.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 16, 2007 16:12 - What Does The Movie Fearless Have To Do With Tea?

Last night I finally got to see the movie "Fearless" starring Jet-Li. I wanted to see it while it was in the movies but due to lack of time (not to mention a lack of interest on my girlfriends part) I couldn't get to it.

In the movie Jet Li stars as a man who wants to recapture his family name through winning the championship for martial arts.

Martial arts fighters are among the healthiest people in the entire world, and they sure do know how to pick the best drink for them. Throughout the movie, tea is almost the only drink that's even showed. The only other 2 are wine (when they are having a party) and in one scene Jet Li's character Huo tries a cup of coffee and almost spits it out because it tasted so bad.

They drink tea almost constantly it seemed like. They drink it in smaller amounts per serving, much more frequently, and by no surprise they are so healthy it's almost unreal.

In the United States and probably alot of other countries, when a round comes to an end the fighter is given water to drink. Can you guess what they are given to drink in the movie? You guessed it...tea!

All I can say is that if tea is good enough for these super-healthy, ultimate fighters, then it's definetely good enough for me.

PS - By the way, the movie was absolutely fantastic and I'd highly recommend it to anybody.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 17, 2007 13:18 - A New Flavor For Your Tea, Part 2

In my post the other day, A New Flavor For Your Tea, I mentioned that instead of adding milk or lemon to my tea, I decided to try something else.

I got an orange, took off 1 part of it and squeeze it into my tea cup. Then I poured the brewed tea over it. While it was a wonderful drink, there were a few things missing that I've corrected today.

Today I tried using the orange in a cup of darker oolong tea. I brewed some oolong #8 and squeezed the orange into the cup. However, after pouring the brewed tea into the cup I also stirred it around. This seemed to make a pretty big difference.

I just wanted to update and let everyone know that using an orange instead of a lemon in tea is great and you should definetely try it!

PS - Just make sure you eat the whole orange. They're good for you!

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 19, 2007 16:31 - Chocolate Mint Tea Recipe

I found a great recipe recently and wanted to share it with everybody. If you like mint and chocolate, you're bound to love this unique chocolate mint tea combination!

INGREDIENTS:
6 mint tea bags (or real tea leaves)
6 cups milk
6 tbs hot chocolate mix


Preparing It:
Put the milk and mint tea into a saucepan and heat up until it is just about boiling. Steep the mint tea bags for about 3-4 minutes, then strain them out and discard of them. Now just pour the "mint milk" into 6 mugs and add 1 tablespoon of chocolate mix to each one. Stir, and enjoy the wonderful cup of chocolate mint tea!

Note: Change the amounts of ingredients as you wish. For example, if you only want 2 mugs, you should only use 2 cups of milk, 2 tablespoons of chocolate mix (1 per mug), and 2 mint tea bags.

This is a great time of year for this kind of drink. Try some tonight while you're relaxing by a fire watching a movie.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 26, 2007 07:28 - Mixing Green Tea With Chicken? Hmm There's An Idea

Like you probably already know, green tea contains polyphenol compounds with strong antioxidant properties. It is a great drink for battling illness, reducing inflammation, and generally improving health in all areas. However, did you know that it can also be used in cooking?

Here's something you may not have known. Food scientists at the University of Arkansas in the United States reported that green tea could prevent chicken meat from oxidation and maintain the colour and taste of the cooked meat.

From what I read they didn't explain exactly why that happens, but I would be willing to bet it's because of it's amazing antioxidants it contains. They do more than heal your body you know!

If you visit my Household Uses For Tea page, you'll see how you can use tea for many other things besides drinking it. Cooking with it is yet another!

More information will be coming on how you can use your tea for cooking in the future, so stay tuned.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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January 30, 2007 17:56 - Why America Is Lagging Behind

Due to a generous grant of $10,000 from the Albert E. & Birdie W. Einstein Fund by the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, folks in the Delray Beach community are going to be able to learn a little bit more about the culture of tea.

Run by the artist Mari Omori, the community project will allow students and community members to take part in a hands-on workshop, exploring the customs of various cultures and creating tea-related visual aids. The workshop will also be free for participating members.

Named "The Culture of Tea: Shared Experiences, Individual Expressions" - this workshop will allow the community the understand the Japanese culture with a deeper meaning. Although the workshop will educate on Japanese culture, the focus will be on how tea is an essential part of their daily life.

Now let me ask you a question. How often do you see things such as this occurring in the United States?

In Japan they are having free workshops to educate communities about an essential part of their daily life, which just so happens to be tea, and making a fun day of it at the same time.

In the United States most kids come home from school, complain about doing their homework, then watch TV for hours on end, all the while munching down on bag after bag of processed, fatty snacks.

Think about what I just said for a minute, then think about the difference in health between America and Japan. I think you'll understand what I'm getting at.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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