Monday, May 7, 2007

Too much green tea can harm organs

Hindustan Times - Green tea will only help keep you healthy if it is taken in moderation, warn boffins. The drink is credited with keeping cancer and heart disease at bay, but too many cuppas a day could cause liver and kidney damage, say experts, who conducted a ...

Source: Too much green tea can harm organs
Originally published on Mon, 07 May 2007 11:43:00 GMT

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tea Consumption is on the Rise in the USA

According to this article in the Chicago Tribune, tea is becomine a more popular drink in the USA. I'm not surprised. It's great stuff. I am happy to see that more people are drinking and enjoying tea.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Theanine

Alright, its pop quiz time. (Hah, they're not just for school anymore!) Quick--and without looking it up--in 10 words or fewer, tell us what you see in the picture below. No peeking!


** Licensing info appears below


Is the suspense killing you yet? Yes, if you guessed that this is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional model of a theanine molecule, then you guessed right! If so, then celebrate with your favorite tea. Even if you guessed something else, go ahead and celebrate with your favorite tea.

Here's the empirical formula for all you chemistry geeks (you know who you are): C7H14N2O3

Why am I devoting an entire blog entry to theanine? That's a fair question. The reason is that theanine is an amino acid with some amazing properties, as this Wikipedia article attests.

Odds are good we'll write more about theanine here at The Manly Teas, because it's a pretty important topic. Until then, if you want more information about this amazing amino acid, look at these online resources.

www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/lth_0296.shtml

www.drugs.com/npc/l-theanine.html

clinicaltrials.gov/ct/search?term=theanine&submit=Search

www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-green_tea.html

www.lef.org/magazine/magjan2006_report_theanine_01.htm

www.itmonline.org/arts/theanine.htm

www.prevmedctr.org/library/lib_greentea_esko.asp

I chose these sources as representative examples of the wide variety of information about theanine that is available online. Again, we'll most likely post more here, but I hope these sites will give you an overview of this amino acid and its nutritional importance.



** Licensing information: This image was created by Ccroberts in ChemAxon MarvinSketch and MarvinSpace October 24, 2006 and is governed by the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. Subject to disclaimers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Where Are the Guys???

I am sitting here at the Argo Tea cafe at State and Randolph streets in Chicago. It's almost 1:45 in the afternoon. I estimate there are about 50 people here. It's fairly crowded. Aside from the staff, I see 6 men here, including me. This strikes me as odd.

I don't feel uncomfortable being in a place where the ratio of women to men is about 10 to 1. However, I am curious and a little disappointed. Where are the guys?

One of the purposes of this blog is to present tea in a guy-friendly manner. Yes, real men do drink tea. Yet, as I visually survey the patrons of this cafe, I see a lot of women enjoying a great beverage and very few men doing the same.

Of course, not everyone who walks into this cafe drinks their tea here. Many of the customers take their tea with them as they leave to go back to work, do errands, go sightseeing, or even return home. But the numbers for the latter group look about the same. I haven't seen everyone who came in and left and I haven't been counting them carefully, but it appears that nearly a dozen women come in and get some tea to go for every man who does the same.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's great that so many women are enjoying tea. In addition to tasting good, tea invites us to slow down, take a break, and savor each moment. I'm glad all these women are doing that, along with realizing the many health benefits that accompany tea consumption.

But where the hell are the guys? I don't know, but I'm determined to find out.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Starvation stalks Indian tea plantations

This is a sad story. Apparently, several unfavorable conditions arose at the same time and damaged the tea crops. Additionally, it seems that the mechanisms of organized labor failed at a time when they were needed most. The result? Tea workers are starving to death.

Link to globeandmail.com: Starvation stalks Indian tea plantations

I am hoping my brother bloggers here, GreenTeaGeek and inimino, will have something to say about this. At the moment, all I can say is that this sad story reminds me of human interconnection. As you can see from the video I posted here a few weeks ago, a lot of people do a lot of work to make the tea that we enjoy. And that's just the humans who do the work, to say nothing of the work of the insects, microorganisms, soil, rain, sun, and innumerable other beings whose efforts must all happen just right to get that awesome tea from the fields to your cup.

I don't want to trivialize the value of being aware of all that hard work. In fact, cultivating an awareness and appreciation of the effort seems like an important first step in addressing the problems facing the tea workers in this news story. It just never seems like enough.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Enjoying Earl Grey While Working on a Sunny Friday Afternoon

I have my notebook computer and am writing this from the Argo Tea cafe at State and Randolph streets in Chicago. I am supposedly working, but I am having a hard time concentrating because of concerns about my uncle who suffers from schizophrenia and has been quite delusional lately. I'm still reeling a bit from having spent all of Wednesday night visiting with him. Alright, so I am understating it: my mind is all over the universe today. Anyway, today is a new day and as long as I stay mentally in the present moment, I'll be OK.

I was hoping my brother would be able to join me here today, since his office is just a little over one block from here. However, he has to attend a parents' meeting at my nephew's school this afternoon, so he wasn't able to be here. We'll try to meet for a tea break next week. Paul and I were last at this cafe together about 2 months ago and it was enjoyable just to relax and enjoy some good tea with him.

Today, I'm enjoying Argo Tea's Earl Grey Crème. I like Earl Grey tea generally, but this variety as a bit more of the flavor of the bergamot orange, or the Citrus aurantium bergamia if you prefer. Even so, the bergamot is not overdone; the flavors in this blend are pretty well balanced. I also tried the Earl Grey latte, which is quite good. While espresso takes a break, tea steps in to do the job. It's an enjoyable variation on the classic latte, even if the milk may undo some of the heart health benefits of the tea. At least I had mine with skim milk.

Lunch was a vegetable sandwich. (Yes, I am spending a long time here today.) I had a desert of chocolate ruggelah. Filled with chocolate and raisins, they triggered a happy memory for me: some chocolate and raisin oatmeal cookies my mother once baked when I was a boy. More than 30 years later, I can still taste those cookies. How sweet. How delicious. How simple. Ah, a glimpse of heaven in a small baked food!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

From the Fields to Your Cup: Watching My First Tea Video

Tea video? Yes, that's what I wondered when I saw the title of the link at CB's fine blog called Steepology Tea Info. Of course, being the insatiably curious type, I had to take a closer look. Here's what I found. (Thanks for the link, CB!) I hope you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tea Decaffeination Trick

Here's a quick tip I read about recently: Did you know that about 90% of the caffeine in tea is infused in the first 20-30 seconds of steeping? So, if you'd like to dramatically cut the amount of caffeine in your tea, steep it for 30 seconds, discard the tea, and then pour some new water over the leaves and start the steeping process again.

This is a handy trick when you're a new tea geek (like me) and end up having several cups of tea over the course of the day, but don't want to ultra-caffeinate yourself.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Getting Started with Loose Teas

For about six months now I've been exploring tea with an increasing level of seriousness. It started when I tried some green tea that I really enjoyed, which made me interested in learning more. It also helps that a co-worker of mine (who I first knew as a craft beer enthusiast) is really into loose teas, and showed me how simple it is to make single cups of tea with an infuser that rests on the lid of your mug.

I finally took the plunge last week and ordered a couple of sampler sets from Upton Tea Imports. They're just outside of Boston in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and they are, according to my co-worker Bruce, the ultimate source of top-quality loose teas.

For this review I'll discuss the teas I received in their Green Tea Sampler. Each tea was delivered in its own tin, which holds about 35 grams of tea leaves. This was an ideal size for sampling, since you can enjoy several cups of tea per tin, and decide whether you really like it or not.

Now I'm no tea expert, and my palate is not particularly refined. I tend to judge tea more in terms of "I like this and would get more of it" vs. "not worth getting again." But for this review I did my best to describe the tea in at least basic detail.

Japanese Sencha Special Grade

Preparation: 1 tsp/cup steeped for just over 2 minutes in sub-boiling water (recommended temp: 175 F).

Impressions: Very light body, yellow in color. Definitely a grassy taste, which I'm not too fond of. I've seen this referred to as a good "cleansing" tea, and I would agree. Plenty of crud seeped through the infuser.

Melfort Estate Gunpowder

Preparation: 1 tsp/cup steeped for just over 3 minutes in sub-boiling water (recommended temp: 180 F).

Impressions: This is by far my favorite green tea to date. A fully body and aroma of citrus fruits. The leaves unfurl to take up quiet a bit of volume, also making it easier to clean out of the infuser.

Young Hyson

Preparation: 1 tsp/cup steeped for just under 3 minutes in sub-boiling water (recommended temp: 180 F).

Impressions: This seemed like a fairly average green tea to me. Medium body, not particularly grassy.

Pi Lo Chun (Green Snail Spring)

Preparation: 1 tsp/cup steeped for 3 minutes in sub-boiling water (recommended temp: 180 F).

Impressions: This is an expensive Chinese green tea which has a slightly sweet, honey-like flavor. The curled up leaves do resemble snails, but I have no idea if that's why they named it Green Snail Spring. Definitely not a tea I'd want to have with a meal because its unique flavor deserves greater attention.

Well, that's it for my first tea reviews. I also picked up Upton's Ceylon Sampler, and am starting to try out these interesting black teas as well. I'll get some reviews of them posted soon.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Many people in North America have never been exposed to really good tea, which is remarkable given that tea is the most popular beverage in the world save water. The practice of tea drinking is not widely popular here. Why not? Surely much of the blame rests with what passes for tea in those horrid little bags sold in grocery stores and served in restaurants, but there are cultural factors at work as well. As my friend Steve has pointed out, men in our culture are often embarrassed about drinking tea, as though it is somehow unmanly or effeminate to enjoy something so elegant and refined.

I believe that those who experience the wide world of teas will quickly overcome this misconception and embrace the practice of tea drinking. Perhaps if our little blog can show that drinking tea doesn't make you any less of a man, a few more men will be encouraged to explore this wonderful experience.

As I write this I am enjoying an excellent longjing. Although there is mounting evidence of various health benefits, I drink tea for the simplest of reasons: I enjoy it. What could be more manly than that?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Earl Grey on a Cold January Afternoon

It's a cold January day here in Chicago. I'm staying warm at the Mercury Cafe. Today I am enjoying the Organic Earl Grey tea from the Intelligentsia Tea Traders, a Chicago-based company.

Tea Reviews

BevNET is an interesting site. It's a commercial site for the beverage industry, offering news and reviews of products. All of the teas I have found mentioned there are brewed and bottled iced teas. As such, they may be outside the scope of what we're discussing here at The Manly Teas. (I will have to check with my fellow blogger inimino about that issue.)

However, if you're interested in the bottled and brewed teas--which have their own place in the beverage world and their own special charm--have a look at BevNET. You can use the "Search" feature near the top of the home page to find reviews of the teas. Just enter "tea" as your search term, click the "Search" button, and you'll get a list of several hundred pages of reviews and comments about the teas, as well as various news items about tea.

Tea News

News4sites, an online news service, offers free news headlines about tea. Eventually, I'll post a link to those headlines in the right-hand column of the blog.

Can a Tin of Tea Really Make a Difference in the World?

That's the question Zhena Muzyka of Zhena's Gypsy Tea asks in this article about fair trade tea. Muzyka paints a picture of the impact fair trade tea has made on her life and the lives of tea workers.

Tea Seminar in New York City, January 28, 2007

Joyce Maïo, a tea consultant and advocate, will be hosting a tea seminar on Sunday, January 28, 2007, from 4 - 6 p.m. at the Kiva Café in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood. I have not attended any of Ms. Maïo's programs, but if the press release is accurate, it looks like it will be a good event. If you'll be in New York on Sunday, you may want to attend it. If you do, please post a comment here and tell us how you liked it. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Got Milk? Great, But You Might Want to Keep it Out of Your Tea...

Over at the MH Today Blog, Bill Stieg reports on new research that shows that adding milk to black tea eliminates the tea's cardiovascular benefits. Hey, that doesn't seem fair! After all, when I was a little boy, Dziadek (the great-grandfather whom I mentioned here; Dziadek is Polish for "Grandfather") gave my brother and me tea with milk, and he lived to be 100 years old. Yeah, yeah, I know that's just one example and doesn't prove anything about the health benefits of tea, but it just doesn't seem right to give milk the boot after so long.

Anyway, this research doesn't say we can't enjoy tea with milk, just that we can't expect any heart health benefits--specifically, benefits to the "flow-mediated dilation (FMD)" of arteries. I wonder if this research finding holds up for soy milk? Almond milk? Grain milk? Coconut milk? Rice milk? Goat milk? As far as I know, the research tested only cow's milk, but it would be interesting to discover whether the milk substitutes I mentioned eliminate health benefits when they are added to tea. That would be especially important for people who suffer from lactose intolerance (the majority of the world's population), except, of course, for goat's milk which does contain lactose.

You can find additional coverage of this story at the following pages:

www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/DietNutrition/tb/4826

www.medicalnewstoday.com/healthnews.php?newsid=60437

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/070108191523.htm

www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=26023

www.healthcentral.com/heart-disease/news-28523-31.html

Of course, this is one research study and, apparently, a new finding, so we will have to wait for further research to learn more about this newly discovered relationship between tea and milk. As always, talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have concerning tea and its benefits for you.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Tea in Milwaukee

So, you thought Milwaukee was limited to the Admirals, Bucks, Brewers, and beer, eh? In addition to those fine sports teams, it just so happens that Milwaukee has an active tea culture. This article in Greater Milwaukee Online offers an introduction to that culture and offers some hints on preparing tea from Ben Harrison, a co-owner of Milwaukee's Rishi Tea Company.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Tea-filled Christmas

Thanks to my family, and many other people I couldn't even begin to list completely here, I had a very enjoyable Christmas. There was plenty of tea in the celebration, so let me say a bit about it here.

My parents and my brother and sister-in-law enjoy tea, so I gave them the Bodum Tea Press pot as gifts. I have been using this pot for a few months and I really like it. I still use my little ball infuser when I want to make one or two cups of tea, but it's nice to have the pot for those increasingly frequent times when I want to enjoy tea by the quart (liter).

Inimino, my friend and fellow blogger here at The Manly Teas, has informed me that the Yixing clay teapots are supposed to be the best to use for preparing tea. The Yixing pots are notable for their use in the Chinese gongfu method of preparing tea. When I recently became reacquainted with my old friend, tea, I did not know this. (Thanks for the info, inimino!)

I thought about getting a Yixing pot (or several, because they are supposed to work best when you prepare only one variety of tea in them), but as I read more about those interesting teapots on the Web, the whole process was getting a lot more involved than I had planned and I was worried that I would never get around to drinking any tea. So I settled on the Bodum pot that has served me well, and I hope Dad and Mom and Paul and Pat will get a lot of use and enjoyment out of theirs, too. I will eventually buy a Yixing pot, but right now, I did not want to complicate things too much for myself and I did not want to give a gift without knowing more about it.

Of course, I felt that a teapot without tea would be an incomplete gift (or at least one that obliged the recipient to spend some money to enjoy the gift), so I gave Mom and Dad the Holiday Tea Set (photo) from Argo Tea. This sampler contained three special blends of black tea: "Santa Tea," "Holiday Dream," and "Winter Blend." I gave the Holiday Tea Set to my brother and sister-in-law, too. Also, since my sister-in-law had not previously tried white tea, I gave Pat and Paul Argo Tea's "White Tea" and "Melon White." I hope Pat will enjoy white tea as much as I do.

Finally, my parents gave me the gift of white tea. Dad and Mom gifted me with Orange Blossom White Tea from the Republic of Tea, and Silver Needle Organic White Tea from Rishi Tea. As I write this, I have tried the Orange Blossom White Tea (I need to write a separate entry about it). I'll sample the Silver Needle soon.

All in all, it was a really enjoyable Christmas for many reasons. Tea was a nice element of the celebration and I am grateful for it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

ineeka Himalayan Black

Today, I have been working at the Swim Cafe. I like this place. It's a good spot for working and for writing and, on days like today, for seeing the sunshine and the blue sky. Yes, we're having a rare day of mid-December sunshine here today--how glorious it is!

I've been listening to an interesting mix of Christmas music that they're playing here. The fine folks at the Swim Cafe have treated us to some charming Cajun Christmas music: joyful bayou arrangements of the familiar carols and a few original songs for Christmas. I've also heard some of Vince Guaraldi's classic jazz tunes (think Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang). It's a pleasant place to work and to sip some tea.

Speaking of tea, I am enjoying some ineeka Himalayan Black. It's a whole leaf tea with a bright flavor and just a hint of spice in the flavor, but hardly noticeable in the aroma. This is a pleasant tea. The tin containing the tea pouches says "Intensity." That might be overstating this tea's flavor a bit. I'd call it more "smoothness" than "intensity," but reasonable minds can, of course, differ on matters of taste. Also, referring to this tea's smoothness is a compliment; I don't intend to disparage it by labeling it as something other than "intense."

A brief word about packaging. The ineeka Himalayan Black tea comes in pouches that look like a cross between a tea bag and a paper sack--the kind you might carry your lunch in. Surrounding the pouch is an interesting cardboard mechanism that allows you to pull the bag open and hold it expanded in the cup (or whatever container you are using to steep the tea) by stretching cardboard handles across the cup and anchoring them on opposite sides of the cup. This arrangement allows the tea to expand and drink up more of the hot water. It's still not the same as entirely loose tea, but I am learning that even the degree of looseness in the tea can be something that affects its flavor when brewed, and one can appreciate differences in the degrees of that flavor, too.

More to follow, of course. Drink up!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Green Tea Tropical

My friend Scott, who lives in New Hampshire, introduced me to this tea: Green Tea Tropical from The Mighty Leaf.

This is a flat leaf tea and the preparation contains dried fruit (pineapple) and flowers. Green Tea Tropical has a cheerful, fresh aroma before steeping and a mild, sweet scent that persist after infusing it in the hot water.

The tea has a bright tropical flavor that reminded me of being in Hawaii. I like the packaging, too. While it's not loose tea, the Mighty Leaf's Tea Pouches(TM) allow the tea to expand more and to move more when the water envelops it than traditional tea bags permit. (I have not yet tried any of the teas in the new Lipton "Pyramid" tea bags, so I cannot make any comparison with those. Of course, it is just a matter of time before I try the "Pyramid" teas, too.)

I like Green Tea Tropical. It's a good tea for me. I'll go so far as to call it a joyful tea. I liked it enough to give some of it to my parents to try, and I bought a box of it for my brother. Thanks again for the recommendation, Scott!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Some Online Resources About Tea

There are some helpful resources available on the Internet to give you a lot of information about tea. Here are just a few of them.

The Usenet newsgroup, rec.food.drink.tea, available through Google Groups at groups.google.com/group/rec.food.drink.tea, provides a wealth of information and conversation about tea suitable for all readers from beginners to seasoned tea aficionados.

A particularly useful element of rec.food.drink.tea is its frequently asked questions (FAQ). Here is a link to the FAQ: pages.ripco.net/~c4ha2natea/faq.html.

Finally, Birger Nielsen publishes The Tea Page, another treasure house of information.

More to follow!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pink Lady Apple Green Tea: Supporting Cancer Research

It’s time to push the envelope a bit. So far, I have been happy with my choices for the teas I have sampled in the “Manly Teas” series. To date, I have picked fairly “safe” teas—the kinds of teas that one might expect a guy to like. There’s nothing inherently wrong with such an approach, but it does tend to become predictable after a while. And predictable is boring. And I get bored very easily. So let’s not go there.

On Thursday, I savored a pleasing green tea with small bits of apple—really a joyful tea for the autumn. I delighted in the tea’s potent apple aroma before taking each sip and I am happy to report that, while the sweet aroma was powerful and unmistakable, the tea infusion held only a slight taste of apple. I was able to experience the flavor of the green tea itself very easily, even as the scent of the tea held my attention firmly and invited me to keep sipping the bright green infusion in my cup. The tea was mildly sweet, but the apple flavor accentuated the green tea, rather than overpowering it.

As I write this, we’re almost at the midpoint of autumn in the northern hemisphere. Here, in North America, fresh apples are plentiful now. Being able to drink this apple tea is a great way to celebrate the autumn.

I mentioned that it was time to push the envelope. The tea that I have described qualifies as a manly tea for its powerful aroma and bold, confident flavor. What is this tea called? It’s the Pink Lady Apple Green Tea from the Republic of Tea. Huh? What? Yes, you read that right, the Pink Lady Apple Green Tea.

Hey, what kind of manly tea has “Pink Lady” in its name? This one does. I’ve already talked about its aroma and flavor. This particular tea has some other manly qualities going for it: compassion and protection. It reflects what we men are at our best: caring men and protectors of others. For every tin of this tea it sells, The Republic of Tea donates $0.75 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to support prevention, treatment, and a cure for breast cancer.

This cancer is an issue that is close to me. Both of my grandmothers suffered from breast cancer late in their lives. My father’s mother passed away at a very young age due to breast cancer, before I even had the chance to meet her. For that reason, and to help eliminate the suffering of those women and men who suffer from breast cancer, I am eager to support this work and enjoy some good tea while I do my very small part to help. Yes, while they comprise only about 1% of breast cancer patients, men do develop this cancer and the Komen Foundation supports prevention in men and a cure for them, too.

As you can see, manly teas come in a wide variety of flavors, packages, and names. Don’t let your assumptions and notions fool you. Real men can and do drink many teas that might surprise you. Some of those teas just might have terms like “Pink Lady” in their names, but the teas are for men, too.

Give tea a try. I hope you will enjoy it in the best of health.

Do Real Men Drink Tea? Of Course, We Do!

Do real men drink green tea? That's a question Rich Ottum has posed. The answer, according to Robert K. Henderson and in somewhat more general terms, is a resounding "Yes!" Of course, you could have just asked me.

Lapsang Souchong

BBQ tea? I've recently tried a tea that tastes like it came right off the grill. It's called Lapsang Souchong. This is a black tea that is smoked over pine embers in the Fujian province of China. The process of preparing this tea gives it a very distinctive smoky taste that is unlike any other tea I've sampled.

The particular Lapsang Souchong I tried is this one from the Republic of Tea. The taste is bold and flavorful. The first thing I noticed was the strong smoky taste. Lurking "below" or "behind" that taste is the sweet flavor of black tea; somewhat hidden and subtle, but definitely present. Like all teas, this one can best be appreciated slowly and with full awareness.

In his "Manly" Tea List, Bret Wingert at Souvia(tm) likens Lapsang Souchong's taste to "single malt scotch or a fine cigar." That seems about right, but I'm sticking to my description of it as "barbecued tea" because that is what it tastes like. Just as with barbecued food, one can taste the underlying flavor, but he must first get past the smoky taste. However, the man who makes that effort will be rewarded with the flavor of a fine black tea, blanketed in the flavor and aroma of fire. Lapsang souchong is potent, for sure, but also quite pleasant!

Organic Golden Yunnan

I'm continuing my search for manly teas. Since I have recently renewed my friendship with tea, I have been savoring a variety of teas and other infused beverages that are not teas in the true sense. I'm having a lot of fun with my quest and am delighting my taste buds at the same time. It's great to be able to sample so many varieties of a beverage that has so many health benefits. As I started this odyssey a few weeks ago, I didn't really have any expectations; I simply plunged myself into the tea world and began experimenting. This series of updates on the manly teas shares some of the highlights of my adventures.

One of the teas that I really like is the Golden Yunnan black tea. My friend Michaeljohn recommended this tea to me and I have been enjoying it. The Golden Yunnan I have is from Rishi Tea and it's an organic black tea. According to the can containing this tea, these tea leaves come from the Yunnan province in China. This is also a fair trade certified tea. Therefore, I'm happy to know that it's providing a better life for Yunnan's ethnic minority families and offering fair prices, direct trade, community development, education, and environmental stewardship.

I've also learned that the trees that produce this tea were planted by the people's ancestors in 696 A.D.

Here's a link to some information about the tea itself.

www.rishi-tea.com/store/product.php?productid=5031&cat=1&page=1

For more information about the fair trade certification, both generally and with respect to this tea in particular, see these sites:

www.transfairusa.org/

www.rishi-tea.com/travelogue/Fair_Trade_Organic_Tea/index.php
(this one features an engaging slide show about the area in which the tea is grown)

The can also tells us that the Golden Yunnan is "robust, smooth and malty with a sweet caramel finish." The tea lives up to the statement on the can. I have found that this tea has a strong, firm flavor and utterly qualifies as a manly tea for that reason alone. You probably have noticed that I still have not defined any objective criteria for what I consider to be a manly tea. I may do that at some point. For now, I'm having too much fun enjoying the teas to become too analytical about them.

However, in addition to the bold flavor of the tea, one thing helps me believe fairly strongly that this particular Yunnan black tea is a manly tea. That is the fact that the tea is supporting people and helping them improve their lives. Thus, I believe that this tea expresses one of the best qualities of manhood: strength that allows us to be kind and compassionate to others. I'll have more to say about various teas and manliness in general, but for now I hope you'll enjoy a nice hot cup of tea. Thanks.

Scope of Sampling; Bret Wingert's "'Manly' Tea List"

My search for manly teas continues. I am enjoying my search as my taste buds try a variety of teas. I'm sampling black tea, green tea, white tea, and red tea. I'm also tasting a few other beverages that, while not technically teas (because they are not made from the Camellia sinensis plant), are infused drinks that taste good and have health benefits of their own. These latter libations include, but are not necessarily limited to, rooibos, mate, and various herbal teas.

I've also discovered that I am neither the first nor the only man who has looked for manly teas. Bret Wingert, Vice President of Souvia Tea in Phoenix, Arizona, is an avid drinker of green tea and has written a short guide that he calls "The 'manly' Tea List." I'm eager to try some of his recommendations. Here's a link to Mr. Wingert's list.

www.souvia.com/files/062.02_Tea_for_men_article.pdf

I hope you will enjoy it. In the meantime, my quest for manly teas goes on, enlightened and encouraged by these suggestions.

Getting Started: Rediscovering Tea

I'll post more about this soon, but I am renewing my love for one of life's great pleasures: a fine cup of tea. My enjoyment of tea goes back to the days when I was a wee lad and my brother and I used to visit my great-grandfather. Great-granddad always gave us some herbata (the Polish word for tea) and it was always enjoyable.

During my college years, I drank a lot of tea, too. After that, I still enjoyed tea, but did not drink it so often. There was no particular reason for reducing my consumption, I just moved away from tea for a while.

Lately, I've been rediscovering my liking for this amazing beverage. It seems that every week, I read something new about the health benefits of tea. There are a wide variety of teas available and one can choose from black, green, and white teas, not to mention the herbal teas (which are really not tea in the true sense, since they don't derive from the Camellia sinensis plant, but which can confer many health benefits of their own).

For now, I am on a mission to identify teas that are manly--bold, strong, robust teas with lots of flavor. Obviously, individual tastes will differ, but I want to encourage other men to drink this life-giving beverage. Real men do drink tea.

For starters, here's one that I've just discovered. Check it out. Because of its support for prostate cancer research, this tea can be an elixir for men (and women will probably enjoy the taste, too).

www.republicoftea.com/pages/mankind.asp

Drink up and enjoy.

Welcome to the Manly Teas Blog

Our new blog focuses on tea for men.

 
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