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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 29 2008

Dear Mark: To Tea or Not to Tea?

By Mark Sisson
82 Comments

Dear Mark,

Do the benefits of tea outweigh its negatives (caffeine, teeth staining, etc.)? Is tea a worthy substitute to a glass of water? If so, how many times a week should one drink tea?

Given our big fall theme the last week or so, I thought this was an especially timely question. The truth is it’s nice to kick back at night with something warm (even in California) once Autumn hits. Call it nostalgia if you will.

The Primal Blueprint is all about loading up on antioxidants. Though I wouldn’t ever suggest that tea should (or could) stand in for veggies and certain fruits like berries, I believe in using other sources to boost my overall antioxidant intake. Wise supplementation is obviously a part of this, as is tea and red wine among other things.

It’s true that tea does carry a few negative factors as our reader mentions. One quick point: since black tea is the worst culprit for teeth staining, you can always go for another variety like white tea. As far as the caffeine goes, I think this is more of a reason to pause. Caffeine, as we mentioned in our Caffeine Talk post, can decrease blood flow to the heart during exercise and can increase blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, if you’re more caffeine sensitive, it can cause heartburn and even increase your risk for non-fatal cardiac events.

I don’t mention these points to be a killjoy – especially for you tea lovers out there. I use tea myself and recommend it as a great addition to a good Primal Blueprint diet. The fact is tea has only 1/4-1/2 of the typical content of brewed coffee. Besides, even if you don’t want the caffeine, there are other “tea” related possibilities. (I’ll get to that in just a minute.)

But now to the upsides, and there are many. Tea offers anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative properties, which relate to any number of minor and major health issues. The overall picture of research seems to suggest that tea can offer protective factors against cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, arthritis, and (less definitively) many cancers. There’s even some indication that tea intake can lower the body’s absorption of carbohydrates and that tea can play a positive role in the body’s response to bacterial infection.

How much do you need to make a difference? I’d argue that any increase in antioxidant power in your diet is a positive thing. It’s not an all or nothing proposition. In terms of protective factors for diseases (as seen in particular studies), the amounts vary. In a Swedish study showing tea’s protective impact against ovarian cancer, 1 cup a day (black tea) lowered the women’s risk by some 24%. Two cups a day decreased risk by 60%. (It’s important to note that these kinds of dramatic results were not replicated in other prominent studies.) Some research related to tea’s allegedly protective effect in cardiovascular health cites 3 cups a day. Quite a few studies cite 2-3 cups as making the most significant difference but note that 1 cup a day often shows measurable impact.

A few words about choosing teas…

All true “teas” are from the same plant. (Herbal teas aren’t really tea. While they may offer certain particular, often marginal “medicinal” benefit, they generally don’t contain the same antioxidant load of tea.) The differences in black, green, and white tea (the true tea varieties) are a product of processing rather than source. The less processed the leaves are, the more of their polyphenols are retained. White is the least processed of the three main varieties, and black is the most processed. Green and something called oolong (between green and black essentially) are in the middle. Incidentally, not only does white tea retain the most polyphenols, it also has the least caffeine. Nonetheless, if you grew up on black tea and can’t get yourself to drink anything else (and you’re not caffeine sensitive), don’t sweat it. Tea as a whole offers solid antioxidant value whichever variety you choose.

As for “red tea” or Rooibus (not really a tea, but we’ll grant it admittance here), it hasn’t been studied as much as the true teas. Nonetheless, it does seem to display antioxidant properties. If you prefer it to tea, I say go for it especially because it doesn’t have any caffeine.

And let me address the inevitable question about bags versus loose. The trouble with bagged tea isn’t necessarily the bag itself. (Although a lot of people argue that the bag design doesn’t allow the tea to steep properly.) Bagged tea is generally the “dregs” of tea separation and processing. (And usually old, to boot.) Though the powdery remains will offer some antioxidant benefit, it won’t be nearly that of fresh, loose tea. To use loose tea, you’ll likely want to invest in either a press or some kind of an infuser. Alternatively, if you’d rather give up tea than give up the convenience of the bag, look for tea leaves in individual “sachets.” (They’re more common now just about everywhere.)

 

Yes, you’ll likely pay more for loose, fresh tea than for the jumbo box of Lipton at Costco. I always say it’s about nutritional bang for your buck, and that mantra holds here as well. HOWEVER! (Worth the capitalization.) This doesn’t mean you have to go to a fancy specialty shop and break the bank. Though the service and variety in these places are excellent, I’m sure, the important thing you’re looking for is freshness. (As with anything else in the nutritional realm, freshness equals optimum antioxidant value.) Most specialty shops will likely offer that, but I’d argue that a good ethnic market likely provides the same fresh product for a fraction of the cost. If you live in an area that doesn’t offer this type of market, consider going online for fresh tea rather than using the typical grocery store fare. (There’s no telling how old it is.) Good readers -we’d love to read your suggestions for Internet/mail order sources! I’ve heard good things about Upton Tea Imports and Adagio Teas, but I’m sure there are many good online purveyors out there.

Finally, the one “tea” I’d forgo (and forget) is chai. I mean specifically the doctored up chai tea drinks you see in the West at coffee houses. They’re loaded with sweeteners – some hovering at or above 40 grams of sugar per serving! My advice: stick to the simple thing. (How often that’s true in life and nutrition, eh?)

Thanks again for your questions and comments, and keep ‘em coming!

mat.teo, naama, slambo_42, avlxyz, Allie’s.Dad Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

Tea Time

How to Eat More Chocolate and Drink More Wine Every Day

Is All Chocolate Created Equal?

Top 10 Natural Ways to Reduce Inflammation

The Entire “Dear Mark” Series

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82 thoughts on “Dear Mark: To Tea or Not to Tea?”

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  1. My newest pick-up-up is Butter Tea, which I think is commonly consumed in the Himalayas (with yak butter). One of Sasquatch’s readers recently reminded me of this Tibetan staple I read about in a book a number of years ago (which seemed weird to me at the time, but my thinking about such traditional foods has really changed since then).

    My quick version isn’t very authentic, and I don’t have access to yak butter, but it’s fast and easy. I find the grass fed butter perks me up mentally and physically when I’m dragging in a way that plain tea doesn’t. If you read Weston A Price’s book, you’ll learn there is far more benefit to butter than mere good taste!

    Back to the tea – I make about a pint or more of fairly strong chai tea (it’s easy to make the spice blend to add to black tea leaves, btw) in a liter size glass beaker (the container needs to have extra room for blending).

    Then I add about 4-6 tablespoons of raw grass fed butter (but any unsalted butter on hand should do). When the butter is nearly melted, I blend the tea with a handheld (stick) blender for about 20-30 seconds – enough to emulsify the butter so it no longer creates an oily slick on top when the liquid settles down.

    If I want to make only one cup at a time, I use an oversized latte mug to make the tea, but only fill it half way, then add 2 TBL butter. Then I whip it about 30 seconds with a little battery operated milk frother/whipper until it is fully emulsified.

    Be careful of the hot tea sloshing up out of the cup as you blend! Choose a large enough container and mind your blender.

  2. Good loose leaf tea can be steeped multiple times. Don’t know about relative nutrient extraction for each dunk, but the second time around still tastes great. It’s a way to save a bit of money and/or justify the expensive stuff.

    And used loose leaf tea makes great compost.

  3. Thanks Mark – very informative. I am a Red Bush / Rooibus drinker and have found it to be one of the few non-cafeine teas that works well with milk (or a non-dairy equivalent, of course!) and almost tastes like the real thing.

    One thing worth mentioning – decaf. You can buy decaf tea and as far as I know the antioxidants do survive this process, although I must admit I’ve only ever seen decaf versions of popular black tea brands rather than, say green tea.

  4. Guilty here. I have a daily morning cup of coffee (straight… no cream and no sweetner) and drink a glass of unsweetened ice tea a couple time a week.

  5. And an occasional cup of blueberry green tea. Especially when the weather starts getting colder.

  6. Being a South African, rooibos (not rooibus) is as common here as drinking black tea (if not more so). I don’t compare it to ‘normal’ tea as I see it simply as a different thing (like earl grey, or green tea).

    We actually do usually drink it with milk (and sugar, if people are inclined), but it’s also great without milk (how most people worldwide would usually drink herbal teas I suppose)

    And if you have a sore throat – roobois + honey always does the trick.

  7. Great post, I am a big tea drinker especially herbal varieties; Green and Mint mainly I find them very soothing and a small hot tea after a meal does a great deal to help with digestion…..
    I would definitely go for a quality tea when buying also look for something foil packed if you can, as you never know how long the tea has been sitting around…

  8. Every day i have a cup of green tea, it’s part of my daily diet. I just have to have it!

    1. I love tea! I drink a mug of green tea daily. It’s a necessity for me!

      And, I always thought Green Tea has less caffeine compared to white tea…

  9. i just started drinking green tea in the morning because i dont like coffee.. and now i just love drinking it.. atleast 4 times a day.. not sure if thats a bad thing

  10. Yay Teas!

    I’m a huge tea drinker and easily get more than 3 cups per day (usually looseleaf greens, reds, or whites – occasionally blacks and herbal teas closer to bedtime).

    I love tea for the nostalgic effect of sipping something warm while trying to focus and get things done. Tea is my reset button! When I studied at Oxford University for a year I worked at a lovely tea shop called “The Rose” and fell in love with loose teas. I do still get bagged teas on occasion for travelling but you can buy empty loose tea bags and but loose tea in them to go.

    There’s also no substitute for making your own herbal teas! The freshness of the taste is SO worth it. Mint tea’s easy: boil water, add mint leaves to a cup or pot to taste, and add a tiny bit of black tea to taste to bring out the flavor of the mint. You can also make a nice lemon-ginger tea: boil water and pour over small slice lemon and small shaving of ginger – it’s a great digestive aid. Cinnamon tea’s a great compliment to a good meal too: pour water over a cinnamon stick!

    And of course any of the above can be iced with a little pre-bed preparation.

    Thanks for the tea post, Mark!

  11. Hey, Dee, I’m a former South African from the Boland! I grew up in Wellington and went to University in Cape Town.

    I too love Rooibos tea and was wondering about the Rooibus spelling as well.

    Mark, I pointed back to your fun article about tea from my blog. I wanted to share it with my readers because I had several posts along these lines in the last week or two. 🙂

    Thanks for a great article. Love your blog and have linked permanently to it.

  12. I prefer to drink tea at room temperature and use a straw to reduce staining. As for polyphenols, I recall reading somewhere that while white tea does have the most and black the least, processing alters the polyphenols, so you get a different mix in each type of tea, and thus should consume all four if you like the taste.

    It is virtually impossible to find decaf Oolong, but I understand that you can reduce the amount of caffeine in any regular tea by steeping it for one minute, throwing out the water, and then adding more hot water and steep for 3-5 more minutes depending on the type of tea. Most of the caffeine flows out in the first minute, while the flavor and antioxidants continue to seep out during the second steeping.

    @Erin: I’m a fan of homemade lemon-ginger tea, too, especially in the winter.

  13. @Anna,
    Having spent a lot of time with Tibetan refugees in India, I make a few points:
    1) Pedantic time — the yak is the male. Yak butter tastes remarkably like bull’s butter: there’s no such thing. The female is called a “tri”, also spelt “dri”. I’ve not had much tri butter or milk for that matter, but tri cheese is common, and the more expensive variety is delicious in cooking. A bit like a funky Grana Padana.
    2) The variety of tea is important. The proper authentic stuff is I imagine impossible to get. It’s brick tea from Yunan (I think). The nearest taste I can get is Twinings Russian Caravan or, at a pinch, their Prince of Wales. Tibetans make the tea in a metal tea pot which is left to boil on the stove for a very long time. But this sort of tea can take this brutal punishment.
    3) They then salt it liberally and pour it into a churn called a dungma. The plunger is slowly pumped up and down (otherwise the stuff will slop out the top) and then poured into a bowl, enameled mug or thermos flask (called a jadam).
    They say that, being salted, Tibetan tea (Boeja) doesn’t make you “go” so often, unlike chai (Ja-ngamo).
    FWIW, I quite like the stuff. If there’s a layer of fat (zhag) on top of the tea, so much the better, they say. Unfortunately, for the “benefit” of western guests, Tibetans also used to add a teaspoon or three of Nescafe to the mug of tea. Yech….

  14. Thanks, Michael. I figured there would be someone reading who would know the finer points of making Butter Tea. For tea making at home – well, the tea and even the equipment is probably possible to source internationally with enough persistence, motivation, & cash, but the butter…? Probably not. But, I’ll be sure to try it the real way whenever (if ever?) I get to Tibet or some part of India where it’s made properly. Something to look forward to.

  15. anna- personally, i drink green tea as much as i want, but, i do drink de-caf green tea. Personally, i don’t limit myself, i drink it as i please!

  16. @Anna,
    In India, Tibetans use ordinary butter, so the type of butter is not an issue, and it’s also made with either real milk for colour, or powdered milk is also popular, but which is obviously not recommended for low carbing.

  17. REAL chai tea isnt really that bad for you! Just boil spices and red label tea and add milk (and honey if you like but no needed)!

    But yes, tea is tasty and I have black te in the morning (with milk) and green tea in the afternoon (to make up for adding the milk and blocking the antiox’s earlier…;). Its like my rituals during the day.

    Those of you who drink butter tea… youve got tough tummies! That (+durian, +balut, +kopi luwak) has to top my list of the worst food ever!!! I just cant get over it!

    But yes, tea = good!

  18. Good overview of tea and the different varieties, thanks! I agree, most tea bags contain ‘dust’ or twinnings and the good quality stuff is usually found in loose leaf form, although there are some great companies out there doing the bag justice with high quality teas.
    I’m a big fan of gynostemma tea (tastes midly sweet and aids weight loss…added bonus is that its herbal so no buzz)
    Check out my online shop for some other great loose teas http://www.herbalinfusions.ca

    p.s. butter tea is definitely an acquired taste, but something that should be tried at least once 🙂

  19. Great post, I am an avid tea drinker and recently gave up coffee (read Mochas) to self treat heartburn (it worked).

    I am a huge fan of Upton’s Tea as well as a local California tea company, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, they have some great blends and have a great website:
    http://secure.gypsytea.com/

    I am not affiliated with them at all, found them at the local market and love that they are a California based Co.

  20. I actually order my tea from Imperial Tea Gardens online and stick mostly to the oohlong and green teas. A friend got me started on it as he had cancer 12 years ago and now drinks a gallon a day and swears by it. He hasn’t been to the doctor since.

    I use one of the iced tea makers to make mine. I don’t know if I lose any of the quality in making it this way but the convenience has been wonderful and it has gotten me away from drinking soda.

    Thanks for the post!

  21. Okay, okay… maybe Ill try the butter tea. I am a food adventurist after all. I must try it once at least! Anyone have a tasty “beginners” recipe for me? Im scared… lol.

  22. I know when you said to forego chai tea that you meant the doctored up (rather sugared up) store-bought versions, but I just want to clarify that real homemade chai is better for you than just regular tea as it is full of spices. My Indian mother-in-law taught me how to make it and it is delicious.

    Just boil fresh ginger root and spices (standard is cardamon, clove, cinnamon, fennel and a little bit of black pepper) in water and let steep for 15-20 minutes or longer. Add tea and steep. Then milk and sugar. Experiment with the amounts of ginger and spices that you like.

    Oh yeah, and to make it really delicious, use milk instead of water in making the tea.

  23. Good post Mark. I do love my tea. However, generally I have to stick with the bagged version as it’s the only practical choice at work.

  24. Mark,
    Nice article. I’m glad to hear that something I like is good for me.

    I drink several cups a day of Republic of Tea’s Golden Yunnan (black tea). I get it from them via mail order by the pound, loose.

    It’s the one tea, with a splash of milk, that I never tire of.

  25. I like drinking tea. Even the bitter ones. (I pretty much have to pinch my nose to drink it, but I figure I have to drink it.) I bought a new brand of loose leaf green tea thinking that it would taste similar to the brand that’s in our office. But the one I bought is very bitter. I’ve made about 8 cups worth and it’s been in the refrigerator since last week. I’m drinking it cold. It tastes a little refreshing. But I’m worried that it is too old. Can I be drinking spoiled tea?

  26. I’m wondering what your thoughts are of Yerba Mate tea that they drink in brazil, paraguay, uraguay?? I’ve heard it is supposed to be a good tonic!

  27. Hello!

    Just incase anyone would like to know- if you drink milk with your tea it actually negates the effects of the antioxidants. Why? well because the proteins in milk, called caseins, interact with the antioxidants, catechins!

    So its okay to drink milk with your tea if you are drinking it for the taste, but not so much if
    you are for the health benefits!

  28. Hi, I just found your site.

    Loose tea prices vary greatly but generally loose tea is cheaper than similar varieties of bagged tea. My favorite is “Russian Caravan”, a blend of green and oolong tea, from http://www.portorico.com. It’s $12 a pound but a half pound lasts me several months, while a $3 box of tea bags (Twinnings 20ct, for example) lasts less than two weeks if I drink nothing else.

  29. By the way, the “Russian Caravan” loose tea from portorico.com is very different from Stash’s “Russian Caravan”. I don’t know about Twinnings I didn’t know until reading these comments that they also have a “Russian Caravan” tea.

  30. Decaffinated teas can still be packed with the good stuff… Make sure you find tea that has been decafinated by CO2 method. It has close to 90% of all the nutrients of regular teas.

    Steeping in hot water releases more caffine. I use luke warm water in a gallon pitcher and brew it overnight in the fridge. I like it cold and unsweetened. My wife (who cannot tolerate excessive caffine) warms the cold tea up on the stove or microwave. She can drink 10+ cups a day with no caffine reaction with cold brewed REGULAR tea.
    The taste is milder and has far less tannins and caffine.

  31. Mark, what is your take on flouride, alumninum, and DDT levels in green and black teas?
    Michael Barbee has quite a bit of information on it in his Politically Incorrect Nutrition book.

  32. I’m a tea addict. I could never get through an entire day without a cup of freshly-brewed loose green tea. The smell alone is enough to make my mouth water and the delicious sensation of fresh hot tea sliding down my throat is something that I always take time to relish during my tea break. Green tea has tons of health benefits and is a great source of antioxidants. Some of the best green tea can be found at trentonteas.com. Cheers!

  33. I’m huge tea fan. I drink 3-4 16 oz pots a day, and alternate between a lot of different types. I like http://www.teasource.com, because they sell 2 and 4 oz packages so I can get a lot of different kind without my total order being too expensive.

  34. I really think that Rooibos is the Elixir of Life. I “discovered” it while on vacation in South Africa. It was recommended to me by a local because I had caught an airliner cold on the way over. A day and a half and several pitchers of Rooibos later, my cold was history and I haven’t had so much as a sniffle since.

    Rooibos has way more antioxidants than green tea with none of the diuretic or caffeine drawbacks.

    You can also use a concentrated infusion of Rooibos as your cooking liquid in soups and sauces for an extra antioxidant kick. I do a low and slow cook on lamb shanks with half & half Rooibos and red wine plus some herbs and garlic. The Rooibos has a rich nutty flavor that goes well with red meat.

    There is an online place called The Tea Spot which has reasonable prices and free shipping if you buy two one pound bags.

    1. Sorry, but the rooibos is not made ??from the leaves of a leguminous plant? Is this a problem?

  35. As an avid tea drinker and self-proclaimed tea freak, I cannot believe this post hasn’t mentioned the BEST tea, antioxidant wise, of them all: Matcha!

    Matcha is a green tea leaves that have been powdered. It is a Japanese preparation of the tea leaf and one uses a whisk of some sort (bamboo traditionally) to whisk hot water and the tea together. It creates a GORGEOUS looking green tea (see a photo from my site here: http://idontgiveafuckthisshitisawesome.com/post/6431234945/yummy-yummy-yummy)

    And about the antioxidant content, why don’t I just quote wikipedia: “In 2003, researchers from the University of Colorado found that the concentration of the antioxidant EGCG available from drinking matcha is up to 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from other commercially available green teas. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matcha

    I have it every morning! It’s delicious, a great wake up call, and an extremely healthy (did I say like, WAY extremely healthy) substitute to the devils milk, aka coffee.

    Love tea, love matcha!
    -Denny

  36. Hey Mark, the above link to reduce inflammation goes to “tea time”

  37. Just found this tea seller. Art of Tea. The site is http://www.artoftea.com
    They sell a lot of organics. I was able to try several over the weekend. I had the Earl Grey, which smelled and tasted so fresh, Gunpowder, and Oolong. They were all very fresh tasting. I appreciate that they are organic. Check them out!

  38. Chai tea isn’t bad if you make your own. I like this one:
    Lightly crush
    1.5″ cinnamon stick
    4 cardamom pods
    5 peppercorns
    3 cloves
    Combine in pot with 3.5 cups h2o and 1.5 cups milk. Bring to boil – add 3Tbsp Darjeeling loose tea (or 5 black tea bags). Turn off heat, cover and let steep 5 minutes. Strain.

    No need for sugar or crazy mixes – mmmmmmm

  39. Hi Denny,

    I love Genmai Cha Green Tea. This tea has a nutty flavor. I’m starting to go Paleo for the first time very soon and I know this tea is not allowed since it contains brown rice. Is the Matcha a good substitute? Does it have a nutty flavor? Also where is a good place to buy this tea and does it come in a decaffeinated version too? Thanks!

    1. the path of tea!!

      http://www.thepathoftea.com/

      Tea experts!! I love this shop, its really one of a kind. I also love genmaicha, but at this shop you’ll find over 150 organic teas and for sure you’ll find a replacement. The staff is super knowledgable and the prices are reasonable for loose leaf. I personally reccomend the kagoshima sencha, coconut oolong, and white peach. Give them a call and they will set you up with exactly what you need!

  40. We have been buying our loose tea and coffee from deckancoffee.com. They are usually in a farmers market and various fairs in the metro detroit area. They have reasonable shipping charges as well. Their craigmore English breakfast is awesome. Green passion and African safari are 2 of my other favorites. I know this is a tea site, but their coffee is one of the best I’ve ever had.

  41. 1) Resources: The Path of Tea in Houston, has a huge selection of ALL ORGANIC loose leaf teas, which can be purchased online. They also hold tea tasting nights and various lectures.
    It is extremely important to use ALL ORGANIC teas because with tea, you can’t ever wash it!
    2) Caffine: If you brew your tea for about 30 seconds, and then toss the water and re-use the tea leaves, you’ll remove something like over 90% of the caffine. Plus, the caffine in tea is different from that in coffee. I’m not an expert, but my understanding is that there are significant differences which put tea on the winning side over coffee 🙂

  42. I just LOVE good tea all my life. However, since diagnosed with frequent ventricular ectopic heart beats, i have to come down to decaf tea,
    Any recommendation would be much appreciated, if anyone has good tips on decaf or how to manage heart arrthymia

  43. Hi,
    I am new to Paleo.

    What is your take on making homemade icetea and drinking it dailey instead of artfical juices from supermarkets?

    I generally dont drink fuzzy drinks, but i used to consume a fair amount of juices, so the icetea that I make myself from loose teas now works for me as a good substitute, howewver I dont know if this is a good way to go? So I would really appreciate some additional advice. Thank you 🙂

  44. Herbal teas, especially organic are great, but there is an insane amount of fluoride in tea! Green is the worst, but black, roiboos and white are lousy with it as well. At one time I was drinking a lot of green tea and developed fluoride toxicity, which included thyroid issues and IT band issues,as well as many other lesser side effects as well. Three days after no tea and changing toothpaste I felt like a new woman!

  45. I’d imagine that homemade chai would be very healthy. Steep some spices (cloves, ginger, cardamom, anise, perhaps pepper and vanilla) for a while, add the tea for the recommended brewing time, and strain. I’ve heard that spices tend to have healthy chemicals, and this is combined with the goodness of the tea by itself. Perhaps add a touch of dairy and honey, which would make it a reasonable vice at worst.

    It’s always good to check what the tea place says regarding brewing time. Green is usually supposed to be brewed just under boiling, and white under that, but for some reason I’ve yet to figure out there are exceptions to this rule. There are different times also, sometimes under a minute.

    And pu’erh is indeed yummy! Although rather bitter. It has a strength of flavor that to me is reminiscent of coffee.

  46. I’m new to Paleo and trying to get my head around lots of things. I’m a big fan of Red Tea, I love the taste and hydration and antioxident potential but I found out that Rooibos is actually part of the Legume family! – How does this sit with fellow Paleo followers as I’ve never seen this discussed!

    Thanks,

  47. I recently had to quit the tea and for the reason stated here: heartburn, which is now heartbreak because I loved my teas, especially oolong and Japanese senchas which are very green and loaded with caffeine (yes, some greens have lots of caffeine). But there’s something in the plant—perhaps the caffeine—which does not agree with me. It took several years of heavy consumption (up to four 12 oz cups on some days) for the heartburn to appear, but once it did it was just too painful to continue drinking tea. Now, I’ve moved on to the herbal stuff and I’m trying to not pout about missing out on the true teas. Life is tough sometimes.

  48. Matcha is the queen of all green teas! But be careful, there are a lot of fake products available. High quality is fine as talcum, glowing green and has a fruity, sweet, creamy green taste with umami. Fake is bitter, brown, mealy. Ingredients: matcha rules due to the high polyphenol content (egcg, l-theanine), you ingest the whole leaf. Also high in polyphenols are other white and green first flushs and shaded green teas as gyokuro/kabusecha are always higher in antioxidants due to the method.

    Great herbals are rooibos/honeybush, olive leaf tea, cistus incanus (flu/viruses), all of them offer taste and various health benefits. Sipp thru and enjoy.

    ps: addes spices are always a good idea, healthy and tasty!

    Happy brewing! NK

  49. Hi, great information on tea!, can you tell me is there a non toxic affordable tea kettle that you recommend, hopefully one that’s not expensive and what do think about glass & stainless steel.