Tea Mail – December 2004

The Big Tea Health News in November
November 2004 was the quietest month for tea news since we began this newsletter over a year ago. In fact, there really wasn’t anything new at all, just the overflow from last month’s exciting study of green and black tea’s benefits for boosting memory and warding off Alzheimer’s disease [2]. Other than that, the only tea-related piece of note was from eDiets.com, which featured ten reasons why tea is the perfect diet drink [1].

We’ll always keep looking out for more news for you, though, and next month will surely provide us with more interesting stories from the world of tea…

 green-ball.gif Latest Tea News [1]

Smart Shopper: The Perfect Diet Drink
eDiets.com, 29 Nov 2004

I’m going to steep you in reasons for drinking green tea, and the facts will be boiled down into tasty tidbits.

1. Green tea has cancer-fighting properties. It contains a compound called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) that not only inhibits the growth of cancer cells; research is suggesting it can actually kill them!

2. Lose weight! Studies have shown that drinking green tea can help you burn calories.

3. You can stop wandering around a room, wondering why you came in there. Green tea prevents the build-up of an enzyme in brains that makes people forgetful. It’s great news for people worrying about Alzheimer’s disease!

4. Green tea has been shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol levels, therefore helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

5. Perhaps green tea can lower blood sugar levels. Animal studies have shown this benefit, and research suggests the same effect can be expected in humans.

6. Look and feel younger. The tea is rich in vitamins E and C, which are known to be beneficial for longevity. This includes reducing the aging effects of sun-damaged skin.

7. Green tea could prevent food poisoning and relieve a bout of diarrhea. It contains catechin, which can “sterilize” some bacteria that cause food poisoning.

8. Cure bad breath and improve your dental health. Those same bacteria-fighting properties that help prevent food poisoning also work in your mouth.

9. Didn’t get your flu shot? Drink lots of green tea! Early research is promising for the ability of green tea to destroy the influenza virus before it makes you sick.

10. Arthritis relief might be achieved with plenty of green tea; some studies suggest it reduces inflammation.


 green-ball.gif Latest Tea News [2]

Scientists say tea good for memory, may ward off Alzheimer’s
Khaleej Times, 1 Nov 2004

Regular tea drinkers may have better memories and could be helping to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a British study. Scientists say laboratory tests have shown that tea inhibits the activity of certain enzymes in the brain. The findings, which have been published in the academic journal Phytotherapy Research, may lead to the development of a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease – a form of dementia that affects anmated 10 million people worldwide.

Researchers at Newcastle University’s Medicinal Plant Research Centre investigated the properties of coffee and green and black tea in a series of scientific experiments. They found that both green and black tea inhibited the activity of enzymes associated with the development of Alzheimer’s. Coffee had no significant effect.

Both teas inhibited the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which breaks down the chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Alzheimer’s is characterised by a drop in acetylcholine. Green tea and black tea also hinder the activity of the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), which has been discovered in protein deposits found on the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s. Green tea went one step further in that it obstructed the activity of beta-secretase, which plays a role in the production of protein deposits in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists also found that it continued to have its inhibiting effect for a week, whereas black tea’s enzyme-inhibiting properties lasted for only one day.

Lead researcher Dr Ed Okello said: “Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, tea could potentially be another weapon in the armoury which is used to treat this disease and slow down its development. “Our findings are particularly exciting as tea is already a very popular drink, it is inexpensive, and there do not seem to be any adverse side effects when it is consumed.†Dr Okello said the findings of the research suggested tea could boost the memory of everyday drinkers.

Professor Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This interesting research builds on previous evidence that suggests that green tea may be beneficial.†The Newcastle University researchers are now seeking funding to carry out further tests on green tea, which they hope will include clinical trials.


green-ball.gifFeatured teas for December – and special deals on all three!
We now have over 60 varieties of fine Chinese tea, and even the most ardent Seven Cups fan probably hasn’t had the chance to try, or even read about, every one. So each month we feature three of our teas, giving you all a chance to learn more about these varieties. And what’s more, we have special discounts on all three – each and every month! For December, we have chosen two green teas and one oolong…

Our Organic, Classic LongJing Dragon Well Green Tea

LongJing ‘Dragon Well’ is ‘the beautiful girl’ of the world famous tea country; the best-known of all China’s teas. Hand refined by more than 10 traditional techniques, it is said to have the four uniques: a jade color; a distinctive aroma; a chestnut-like flavor, and leaves ‘shaped like a Sparrow’s tongue.’ This is the tea favored by emperors and the tea that was served to Mao Tse-tung and Richard Nixon during their famous meeting.

Organic Certification: IMO (Swiss), USDA (USA), OTRDC (China)
Province: Zhejiang    Harvested: Early spring.
Notes: From one of the first 3 farms in China to receive international organic certification

50g (1¾oz) – was $15.99, this month only $13.99
100g (3½oz) – was $29.99, this month only $24.99
500g (1.1lb) – was $126.99, this month only $99.99

YunWu Cloud and Mist Green Tea

YunWu is one of China’s famous teas. It grows in a very special place amongst the misty mountains made famous by many paintings. The decreased amount of direct sunlight causes lower caffeine and increased chlorophyll, creating a wonderfully unusual taste. The leaves grow slower and stay tender, adding to the gentleness of the tea. A really great tea that you won’t regret trying.

Organic Certification: IMO (Swiss), USDA (USA), OTRDC (China)
Province: Zhejiang   Harvested: Multiple harvests
Notes: From one of the first 3 farms in China to receive international organic certification

50g (1¾oz) – was $6.99, this month only $5.49
100g (3½oz) – was $12.99, this month only $9.99
500g (1.1lb) – was $54.99, this month only $44.99

Shui Xiang (Narcissus) WuYi Mountain Rock Oolong Tea

The name of this tea can be translated as ‘Narcissus’, ‘Water Fairy’, and ‘Water Immortal’. This is a wonderfully fragrant tea with a complicated taste for a ‘drink everyday’ tea. It comes from the WuYi Mountains in the northwest corner of Fujian, and is related to the Phoenix Mountain oolongs that are so famous for their fragrance. The top three or four leaves are picked. The shape of the dry tea leaf is said to resemble a frog’s leg, and the color is a very dark green. The aroma (which is purely natural; it is not scented by narcissus flowers) is like a fruity orchid, and it has a sweet taste. The brewed tea has the color and appearance of honey.

This is a very popular tea in China and the eastern Pacific Rim countries. The WuYi Mountains have been recognized for over 1000 years as the home of the best teas in China. This tea has a Chinese Organic Certification and a pending USDA application.

Organic Certification: OTRDC (China), USDA (USA) pending
Province: Fujian   Harvested: Late spring
Notes: Austin describes this tea as ‘the deal of the century!’

50g (1¾oz) – was $11.99, this month only $10.49
100g (3½oz) – was $22.99, this month only $19.49
500g (1.1lb) – was $97.99, this month only $79.99

green-ball.gif What’s going on at the Seven Cups Tea House in Tucson, Arizona?
The tea house has continued to get publicity in the local press, the latest being in “Central Tucson Today” (a publication of the Tucson Citizen) and the Tucson Shopper. Austin has also been making regular appearances on the Food and Wine Radio Network. Listen out for him on Sundays between 2:00 and 4:00pm (690 AM in the Tucson area).

green-ball.gifNext trip to China planned for January 2005

The President of Seven Cups, Austin Hodge, will embark on another trip to China in January ’05 to visit tea farms and test new teas in order to improve the Seven Cups range (if that’s possible!). Austin’s host will be Mr. Jiang, the owner of the famous Lap-sang Farm in the WuYi Mountains of Fujian province, and the original home of the   world – famous

Inspecting green tea in China

Lapsang Souchong (plus a range of other fine black and oolong teas). Mr. Jiang’s family have been in the tea business for more than 500 years (!!) and his expertise and intimate knowledge of China’s finest teas and tea farms will be invaluable to Austin as they travel all around China visiting genuinely certified “origin” tea farms. The trip will take Austin from Fujian to Zhejian, Anhui, GianGsu, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. We are all looking forward to hearing tales from the tea farms, and, of course, the final results – the tea!

green-ball.gif Our new Oolong and Jasmine teas are now on sale
We have just added eight new oolong teas to the range, plus five new Jasmine variants. Six of the oolongs are tieguanyin style – the leaves are intensive hand-crafted and rolled into pellets, which look a bit like gunpowder green tea but are completely different in taste, being lighter than other oolongs with a distinctive aroma. The most exciting of these is the first certified organic tieguanyin ever to be produced, our superb Organic Silk Tieguanyin. For something really different, try the Ginseng Oolong. Two of the other three new oolongs are WuYi Mountain Rock Oolongs – Imperial and Preferred versions of Cassia Rou Gui, another exceptional, rare tea from the world’s most reknowned tea region. Last, but by no means least, is our popular Dan Chong style (Phoenix Mountain) Snow Orchid Oolong. As for the Jasmine, we have more Red Jasmine Balls, and new varieties which all open into stunning new shapes with flowers upon steeping – Lily Balls, Jasmine Fountain, and Jade Guan Yin. If you’ve not seen Jasmine balls before, you’ll be amazed – take a look at the photos by clicking any of the links above.