Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Making Time for Tea

Making Time for Tea
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in almost 80% of all U.S. households. It is the only beverage commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. On any given day, over 158 million Americans are drinking tea.  In 2012, Americans consumed well over 79 billion servings of tea, or over 3.60 billion gallons. About 84% of all tea consumed was Black Tea, 15% was Green Tea, and a small remaining amount was Oolong and White Tea. (Source: Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc.)

Multiple studies link tea intake with a decreased incidence of heart disease.  Antioxidants may protect against some cancers and other diseases.
Black, oolong, green and white teas come from the same plant.  The differences between these varieties lie mainly in how they are handled after the leaves are picked.  Black and oolong teas undergo varying degrees of oxidization, a process that brown the leaves and enriches their colors and flavors.  Black tea is oxidized longer than oolong, resulting in a more robust flavor and has a deeper color.  Oolong teas have a lighter flavor.

Green and white teas undergo no oxidation.  Green tea is pan or steam fried shortly after picking, resulting in a light greenish-yellow tea with a grassy, toasted flavor.  White tea is minimally processed, has a natural sweetness and contains very little caffeine.

Strictly speaking, herbal teas are not true teas. They can be made from roots, seeds, leaves and flowers of a variety of plants.  They may not have the disease-fighting properties of true tea.     

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