May 07, 2007

Tea: Green, Black, Red, and Encapsulated

Fortunately, tea tends to be Really Good for you, so this will be mostly a cheerful post.

But first, a blogging aside--non-bloggers may want to skip this next paragraph.

So who knew that accidentally hitting "Control S" (which is the way to save a file in Word, so a natural thing to do), would publish the damn post you're working on when you're still in the middle of it? Crabby certainly didn't. At least she thinks that's what happened. She was compiling notes for a post and was only trying to save the draft and then suddenly a "Congratulations, You Successfully Posted" message appeared. Crabby screamed "Nooooooo!" and deleted it (deleting her notes in the process), but she suspects it's still out in there in an RSS feed or a blog index or something, just waiting to embarass her.

Anyway, back to tea.

So we know green tea has a lot of health benefits. According to Whole Foods, (which has a pretty good database of nutritional info if you ever need one), green tea can lower risks for a bunch of diseases: bacterial or viral infections, cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis.

However, taking green tea supplements (or drinking more than ten cups a day of green tea) can actually be harmful to your kidneys and liver. So, as with most healthy foods and beverages: have the real stuff, don't try to cheat and get your polyphenols in a handy-dandy supplement.

And in other tea news, drinking a couple of cups of tea a day (they didn't say which kind, which was rude of them) seems to offer some protection against skin cancer.

Black tea also seems to offer some pretection against diabetes and cardiovascular problems, but there's a catch:

The cardiovascular protection doesn't work if you add milk.

Crabby drinks her tea with milk, and can't seem to do without, so she didn't like this result much.

Crabby actually drinks a mixture of green, black and red teas. Red tea, or rooibos, is not really a tea at all, but has lots of antioxidants and associated health benefits. (She knows her source is only a Rooibos tea promotional site, but she swears she's seen Real Research that bears this out.)

And coffee drinkers, don't worry. Crabby likes coffee better than tea and there's plenty of good news about coffee too, which will be the subject of a future post.


  1. Hey Crabby!
    We just covered teas in one of my classes last week. Here is a little extra info.
    Black tea and green tea are from the same plant. They are just processed differently. Most experts agree that they both offer the same benefits, just green tea more so (it has more flavonoids).
    The smaller the leaf, the better the tea. So, most good tea leaves are hand picked for size.
    Oolong Tea is a mixture of green and black tea.
    Orange Pekoe is the same tea plant, just the bigger leaves.

    That is weird about the milk thing. I wonder why?

  2. I drink black tea with sugar on occasion, especially in winter on good writing days. Green tea is okay, and white tea (same thing, different stage)is okay, too.
    I can't hack rooibos. It tastes fine, in fact I find it rather pleasant, but it puts me in a foul mood. Some other herbal teas do the same so I know it wasn't a coincidence.
    Good tip on the Control "S" thing.

  3. Your missing notes haven't turned up here, Crabby, but then things like RSS feeds are far too complicated for me. I do intend to work it out because I need to add it to my blog. Thanks for the tip, anyway because that is just the sort of thing I do - then I get in such a panic trying to delete it that I delete half of cyberspace in the process!

    I try to drink a few cups of tea each day, mostly just to lower my coffee intake. I hadn't even heard of red tea!

  4. Another tea drinker that adds milk?? I was starting to think I was the only person not in the UK that did that....or are you in the UK??

    I drink both coffee and tea all day long and was thrilled to hear that they were actually good for us (I always felt they weren't harmful, but never expected them to be good!). I find it really hard to believe, however, that a few drops of milk mixed in with several ounces of tea can negate all the good of the tea!

    I know, probably denial talking, but I'm still going to enjoy my tea with milk. I gave up the sugar in it....that's enough!!

  5. Hi Samantha--I forgot about oolong, which has such a cool name. And yeah, I keep forgetting that black and green are the same plant, since they're always talked about as though they're entirely different from each other. Thanks for being, as usual, so informative. And I think the milk problem has to do with catechins (tea) vs. caseins (milk) doing battle when it would be so much better for everyone if they just would just try to get along.

    Leah--how intriguing, a foul mood from rooibos? I never pegged you for the foul mood sort; you always sound so reasonable. Oddly enough, given my propensity for foul moods, I haven't noticed this about rooibos but I'm just about to have some so we'll see. Grrrrr....

    Hi dawn--So I think you should just skip the tea altogether, red or green or black, and have some more bubbly instead. Compose an incoherent blog post or two and hit "control S" a bunch of times just to see what happens. You have a book coming out! It even exists now, in physical form! I think that's so cool. (Readers who want to see what it looks like should go visit Dawn's blog, where she's posted a picture of the cover).

    And welcome, Cindy! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Like you, I was beginning to think I was the only one in the US who had to put milk in her tea. (And truth be told, splenda too.)

    The weird thing is how strong I drink it. Because I'm more used to being a coffee drinker, I like my tea really strong and milky and sweet, like cappucino. So I use 6 or 7 teabags per cup. I'm not even exaggerating. So the milk and spenda I don't see as optional, no matter what the scientists say.


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