THE BENEFICIAL PROPERTY OF TEA
You can write in different ways – tea, tea or tea – and it is the most widespread drink in the world after water. The tea is obtained from the leaves of the plantCamelia Sinensis, an evergreen shrub that can reach a height of two meters at most. The leaves of this shrub are harvested four times a year in China, Japan and India while in Kenya, for example, it takes place throughout the year.
The use of tea dates back to the dawn of time. At the beginning were the Chinese and, thanks to the monks, spread also to Japan and Korea. The Portuguese brought it first to Europe but it was the Dutch to market it in Europe. Over the centuries then, this drink became very popular even in Europe, to become a true icon of English traditions. Given the very high price, given by taxes, it was at first a drink for the nobility and the bourgeoisie that used fine china services, coming from China, and served initially after lunch to go drinking at four in the afternoon.
The tea has many beneficial effects but to be able to fully enjoy its qualities, it is necessary to pay attention to its preparation: If you prepare tea respecting some simple rules, such as temperature and time of infusion, you will have a low extraction of the tea.
Types of tea
The six most common types of tea on the market are: PU’Er fermented black tea, red tea / Indian black tea, oolong (or blue-green), green tea, yellow tea and white tea. All these varieties depend on the processing process for which there will be no oxidized, slightly oxidized, oxidized or fermented tea. Its flavor can be herbaceous, floral, fruity, malt, etc.
– PU’Er fermented tea, the real black tea: Originally from the city of Pu’Er in Yunnan, a region in the South-West of China, this tea was traveling to Tibet where it was exchanged with horses. It can be found in leaves or pressed into cakes similar to cakes on the surface of the drawings representing, for example, the phoenix or the dragon. It undergoes microbial fermentation during processing and subsequent curing. And it is tea that has always been considered by the Chinese, by the Tibetans and now also by the Westerners, thanks to the chemical studies, “tea medicine” for its properties to purify the blood from cholesterol and glucose.
– The red: The Chinese call red tea what the English call black tea, because of the color of the infusion. They are completely oxidized and therefore not fermented tea as they are used to believe.
– The blue-green: the best known name is Oolong and comes with the leaves rolled up on themselves from the color tending to green or with leaves twisted for the sense of length that will appear brown. The taste varies according to the degree of oxidation that can vary between 12 and 65%.
– Green tea: it is not oxidized and it is the one that contains the most teina (not the black one, as many believe).
– The yellow: Its working process is quite similar to that for green tea and differs from it only for the particular procedure to which it is subjected.
– The white: it is slightly oxidized and its name derives from the fact that the shoots are harvested (before their opening) covered with a species of white hair. It has a delicate flavor and is a rather rare quality, as well as yellow tea.
Properties of the tea
The tea is considered a healthy drink, rich in beneficial properties: it acts very well as an antioxidant because it contains polyphenolic substances, known since ancient times, able to counter the spread of free radicals, responsible for aging and cell degeneration. But not only: antioxidants also called flavonoids, present in both green and black tea, are considered very effective weapons in the prevention of ischemic heart disease. Some American studies have highlighted the cardiovascular benefits mainly related to black tea and have seen a reduction of 6% of cardiovascular diseases, in subjects who consumed the drink on a daily basis. The Oolong teas and Pu’Er teas have been found to be excellent allies in the fight against smoking, such as detoxing and against obesity and cholesterol. The moisturizing characteristics of tea are also known, a perfect drink to restore lost liquids: specialists recommend consuming it frequently and in small quantities to obtain the best results. Even in calorie counting, the “weighs” little because it “boasts” zero calories and zero fat; if consumed with a moderate amount of milk, the calories become a maximum of 14. The tea is therefore an excellent snack during the day, especially if it is paired with a couple of biscuits.
The ally of prevention
Doctors recommend consuming plenty of green and black to reduce the risk of cancer because this drink has the ability to prevent the formation of cancer cells due to the high number of polyphenols. The green tea has also proved to be very effective in fighting leukemia, due to a component, known as EGCG (epigallocatechine-gallate), which has an oxidizing power 20 times greater than Vitamin E in protecting the lipids of the brain. Polyphenols are also useful to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the blood, to prevent the formation of clots in the bloodstream and also to collect and deactivate free radicals responsible for cellular aging that can lead to cardiovascular problems, tumors, inflammation, arthritis beyond to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Furthermore, those who frequently drink tea have a reduced risk of developing hypertension. Green tea also effectively fights cellulite because it “limits” the absorption of fats and drink it regularly for 10 years, it seems it can increase mineral density by 5% and protect bone from osteoporosis.
The beneficial effects of black tea
All types of tea are excellent allies to combat physical and intellectual fatigue because tea is able to accelerate brain speed and improve concentration. In black tea, however, the tea is more easily absorbed. It is not true, then, that black tea contains more theine: the content of theine depends on many factors and certainly the tea powder, inside the sachets, contains more. The maximum recommended dose is not more than 4 cups a day. Black tea also has beneficial effects in cosmetics, having the ability to “cure” the damage caused by ultraviolet rays and to prevent skin cancer.
How to prepare a good tea
To prepare a good tea, the first rule to keep in mind is that the more the tea is prized and the more the water must not be too hot otherwise the leaves will burn. The times of infusion in the preparation of the tea vary from two or three minutes according to the type of tea that is prepared. If you want to make a strong black tea then you will make it “English” or keeping it in infusion for 5 minutes. The sachets are more practical than the leaves, but if you want to fully enjoy the flavors of the drink it will be necessary to prefer the tea leaf, richer in aroma.