This past Saturdays green market, the first of 2007, was dry, the only one this season I have attended that it hasn't rained! The unseasonably warm, wet weather has put a damper on this seasons market, for vendors and shoppers alike. But the start of 2007 combined with good weather brought out the crowds Saturday and the market was brimming with activity.
We had a higher than usual number of requests for white tea so when I was catching up on some reading later that day I was not surprised to find "Drink Some Cups of White Tea" listed in the U.S. News & World Reports December 25th issue article titled "50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2007".
The article cited an animal study and linked the results to potentially positive benefits for humans as well as pointing out the differences between white tea and other teas like green and black.
More importantly however the article talked about the difference in benefits between bottled ready to drink (RTD) white teas and the freshly brewed variety.
Hats off to the author Adam Voiland for taking the time to look a little deeper into not only white tea research but the differences in how it is packaged and consumed, important for anyone wishing to obtain the potential healthy benefits. Voiland writes "But listen carefully: White tea is not a cure-all. The studies are still preliminary, and the ready-to-drink, bottled white teas actually seem to eliminate some of the health benefits."
RTD's do not have the same potential health benefits as a freshly brewed cup of tea whether its white, green, black or oolong tea and definitive research has shown that freshly brewed teas deliver the highest levels of benefits. If the buyer is trying to get the most benefits out of their tea drinking this piece of information is important in allowing them to do so. Voiland closes the article by writing "So, if you do drink white tea, brew your own.".
As someone who is in the industry I am constantly reading the latest tea research and various news articles on the benefits of tea. It is very frustrating when high profile articles are presented in a way that provides only part of the facts and is void of the details necessary for consumers to make a fully educated choice when it comes to tea, and I would venture to guess other things as well. Half information is sometimes worse than no information at all, intentional or not.
My contribution to overcoming the sea of misinformation about tea, the way you make/drink your tea is only one of many, is educating whoever I can, whenever I can. Every time I speak to a group, teach a tea class, hold a workshop or tea tasting and even talking to people one on one I cant resist pointing out the differences in what we buy, what we hear and read, what we think and what is really true when it comes to tea and its potentially healthy benefits.
Brew fresh, drink and enjoy all the benefits tea has in store for you from antioxidants to the relaxing qulaities brought about by doing something nice for yourself. Beth