Friday, August 21, 2009

Ode to green tea


Delicious and full of antioxidant power
You invigorate my soul
Drink a cup to stay awake
share a mug to meditate

Green Tea is not just a beverage, it is a way of life! So much so that in Japan they have rituals for a proper tea ceremony. I have a morning ritual for espresso, but that's mostly to help the ol bowels out. It seems in the east the beautiful emerald beverage actually transcends to a spiritual hierarchy.

Of course we all have heard the many health benefits of green tea. The high amounts of antioxidants in the form of catechins, and a very unique one know as "EGCG". We've heard tea attributed to reductions in certain cancers, and having benefits for our cardiovascular system. Maybe even lowering cholesterol (though that may not necessarily be a good thing: lower cholesterol scores are tied to higher total mortality rates!), and preventing strokes and diabetes.

Despite all the possible benefits, it is important to first enjoy Green Tea. The asian populations that seem to benefit the most, are the ones who hold it in highest esteem (Japan and China). It is not just medicine to them, it is the beverage of choice, drinking as much as 8 cups per day. Remember that tea is not meant to be drunk super concentrated, it is meant to be sipped throughout the day, while the same leaves are steeped several times. I highly recommend getting a ceramic teapot with several teacups like this one or this one. These have built in filters so loose tea can be placed in the pot and sipped through inspiring mugs throughout the day. I actually feel that besides all the health benefits, it improves my mood, enhances creativity and may even cause spontaneous moments of zen meditation (known as "satori")!

If you don't like the flavor of tea at first, keep it up, much like coffee it has an almost addictive nature! A chinese proverb goes " better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one".

There are a lot of different varieties of green tea, and all are healthy. My favorites are Sencha, Genmaicha, and jasmine pearls (little tea leaves, rolled into a ball that slowly unfurls in hot water).

Mountain Rose Herbs is my favorite company to buy tea from. Based in Eugene, OR. they have a great selection of Organic green tea, as well as many other Organic herbal varieties.

2 comments:

  1. Hello Mike, please take some recipe to us, about these delicious...
    "namastê"
    Jane

    ReplyDelete