Tea Mail – February 2005

Welcome to another bumper issue of Tea Mail. January brought us several well-written media reports that concisely explained aspects of tea health and culture that are not new, but very informative and well worth including here. After decades of stewing poor quality tea bags, the Western world, in particular North America, is finally waking up to real tea and tea culture, and this is being reflected by the quality of recent press reports. Even the most knowledgeable of tea experts will learn something this month…

Contents of this issue:

arrow1.gif The Big Tea Health News in January – dental health, weight loss, endurance

arrow1.gif Other Big Tea News in January

arrow1.gif Latest News 1   arrow1.gif2   arrow1.gif3   arrow1.gif4   arrow1.gif5   arrow1.gif6   arrow1.gif7   arrow1.gif8   arrow1.gif9   arrow1.gif10   arrow1.gif11   arrow1.gif12   arrow1.gif13   arrow1.gif14

arrow1.gif February is Green Tea Month – Up to 25% off all of our fine green teas!

arrow1.gif What’s going on behind the scenes at Seven Cups?

arrow1.gif Sign up for notification of the monthly Seven Cups Newsletter

arrow1.gif Join the on-line tea society – Tea Talk!

arrow1.gif Ask the Tea Masters – the most authoritative panel of Chinese Tea Masters ever assembled is waiting to answer YOUR questions!  See the new FAQ feature

 arrow1.gif The Big Tea Health News in January

Even though tea was in the news just about every day in January, the only new breakthroughs regarded an increasing understanding of how tea’s catechins stimulate the body to burn fat arrow1.gif2 and a study that showed green tea can can increase endurance arrow1.gif3. Additionally, Research in Hanover, Germany had good news for dental health, reporting that the tannic acid contained in green and black tea helps check certain bacteria arrow1.gif9.

It isn’t a surprise that amazing new health benefits are not discovered every month, as there are so many benefits of drinking tea that you have to wonder how many more can be found. A couple of articles this month gave good all round summaries of those benefits – ExpressOnline.com arrow1.gif10 and Arizona Central arrow1.gif12.



 arrow1.gifOther Big Tea News in January

There were a couple of interesting pieces of news in January that related to tea culture spanning a millennium. A tree of Fangshan Bud tea, 1,000 years old and used by emperors of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) has been found in China’s Fujian Province arrow1.gif14. Tea Masters have confirmed that the tree is extremely rare, adding that it could be cloned from its leaves.

A far more recent event, but one of the most renowned in modern tea culture, was back in the news when Historic Tours of America paid an unnamed price for one of the two surviving tea chests from a cold Boston night in December 1773, when Colonists dressed as Indians threw tea into the harbor (if you were wondering, it looks like an ordinary, beat-up old tea chest). The box, known as the Robinson Half Chest, was fished out of the water by John Robinson after the rebellion and passed on to his descendants. It was sold to Historic Tours on the condition that it be displayed to the public, and it will be the centerpiece of the Boston Tea Party Museum that is hoped will open in 2006 arrow1.gif13.

We’ve also included a couple of interesting articles that cover the benefits of white tea arrow1.gif7 and a brief summary of The Way of Tea arrow1.gif11.



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [1]

The list of reasons for adding green tea to your diet continues to grow – NewsTarget.com, 28 Jan 2005

The Chinese and Japanese have been singing its praises for centuries. But now the international medical community is also offering praise for green tea. It’s now believed to be one of the strongest natural antioxidants, preventing the cell damage caused by free radicals. That means that green tea can be effective in preventing cancer, heart disease, and other life-threatening diseases.

  • Green tea has been used for centuries for its therapeutic and medicinal qualities.
  • An antioxidant is a substance which fights disease by preventing cellular damage caused by free radicals.
  • These free radicals can cause cancer, heart disease and many other life-threatening ailments.
  • Green tea takes its health benefits from its high levels of polyphenols, which neutralize free radicals in much the same way as antioxidants do.
  • Polyphenols prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, thereby reducing blood vessel damage.
  • This makes green tea a potent weapon against stroke and other cardiovascular ailments.
  • Green tea also acts as a mild diuretic, ridding the body of excess water.
  • Regular consumption of green tea can reduce overall cholesterol levels as well as levels of LDL (harmful) cholesterol.
  • A reduction of overall blood pressure and heart disease is one of the most important benefits of green tea consumption and studies have proven that, for those who consume several cups daily, the risk for stroke and heart disease may be reduced by one-half.
  • For those undergoing chemotherapy, green tea serves to boost the activity of B cells, T cells and natural killer cells, which are key components of the immune system.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [2]

Green Tea Fights Fat – WebMD.com, 27 Jan 2005

Need another healthy reason to drink green tea? Aside from fighting heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, a new study shows that drinking green tea may also fight fat. Researchers say the results indicate that substances found in green tea known as catechins may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat. The findings appear in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Black tea, oolong tea, and green tea come from the same Camellia sinensis plant. But unlike the other two varieties, green tea leaves are not fermented before steaming and drying. Most teas contain large amounts of polyphenols, which are plant-based substances that have been shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, and antiviral properties. However, green tea is particularly rich in a type of polyphenols called catechins. These substances have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, but recent research in animals show that catechins may also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels.

In this study, researchers looked at the effects of catechins on body fat reduction and weight loss in a group of 35 Japanese men. The men had similar weights based on their BMI (body mass index, an indicator of body fat) and waist sizes. After three months, the study showed that the men who drank the green tea extract lost more weight (5.3 pounds) and experienced a significantly greater decrease in BMI, waist size, and total body fat. In addition, LDL “bad” cholesterol went down in the men who drank the green tea extract.

The catechin content varies by amount of green tea used and steeping time. But general recommendations, based on previous studies on the benefits of green tea, are at least 4 cups a day.

Researchers say the results indicate that catechins in green tea not only help burn calories and lower LDL cholesterol but may also be able to mildly reduce body fat. “These results suggest that catechins contribute to the prevention of and improvement in various lifestyle-related diseases, particularly obesity,” write researcher Tomonori Nagao of Health Care Products Research Laboratories in Tokyo, and colleagues.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [3]

Green tea extract boosts exercise endurance 8-24%, utilizing fat as energy source – Eurekalert, 27 Jan 2005

A new study tested the effect of regularly taking green tea extract (GTE) and found that over 10 weeks, endurance exercise performance was boosted up to 24%.

Reporting in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology researchers at the Biological Sciences Laboratories of Kao Corp., Tochigi, Japan, said the 8-24% increase in swimming time-to-exhaustion was “accompanied by lower respiratory quotients and higher rates of fat oxidation.”

The results “indicate that GTE is beneficial for improving endurance capacity and support the hypothesis that the stimulation of fatty acid utilization is a promising strategy for improving endurance capacity,” according to the study. Research was conducted by Takatoshi Murase and colleagues, working at Kao Corp., a Japanese maker of healthcare products. Results came from the equivalent of about 4 cups of tea a day

“One of our important findings,” Murase pointed out, “was that a single high-dose of GTE or its active ingredients didn’t affect performance. So it’s the long-term ingestion of GTE that is beneficial.”

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [4]

Tea’s Health Benefits – NBC Health, 26 Jan 2005

Tea has been linked with many health benefits in the last several years because of the antioxidants it contains. All varieties of tea come from the leaves of a single plant, Camellia sinensis. This evergreen contains some of the most powerful antioxidants known. What can tea do for you?

Heart Disease
Several studies have found tea to be heart healthy. Tea is a rich source of dietary flavonoids, which have been shown to have a protective effect against heart disease. A Dutch study published in an April 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that tea drinkers had a substantially lower risk of heart attacks than nondrinkers.

Heavy tea drinking could also reduce the risk of dying after a heart attack, according to a study published in a May 2002 issue of the journal Circulation. “The greatest benefits of tea consumption have been found among patients who already have cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, the study’s lead author.

Another study found that the average cup of tea brewed for two minutes contains about 172 milligrams of flavonoids. Drinking one cup could be expected to cause an immediate positive effect and about 3.5 cups could possibly produce a continuing effect.

Cancer
Could tea really act as a cancer-prevention measure? Tea drinkers in a study conducted in Shanghai, China, were about half as likely to develop cancer of the stomach or esophagus as non-tea drinkers. The results of the study were presented to an April 2002 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. The researchers found that people in which certain chemicals, called polyphenols, were present had a lower risk of gastric and esophageal cancer. Green tea contains the most helpful polyphenols, followed by oolong and black teas.

An Oregon scientist found that white tea, too, may help prevent cancer. He found that the white tea he gave to mice prevented formation of cancerous polyps. The other interesting thing about white tea is that it has the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea.

Dental Health
Surveys have found that people who drink tea may have fewer cavities than those who don’t. This is attributed to the high levels of fluoride in tea plants. Also, components of tea such as catechins, caffeine and tocopherol have been shown to be effective in increasing the acid resistance of tooth enamel. And flavonoids — mainly catechins — have been shown to inhibit bacterial growth on teeth.

Stroke
The flavonoids in tea may also protect against stroke. A 1996 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that men aged 50-69 who drank 4-5 cups of tea a day had a 69 percent reduced risk of stroke.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
According to a study published in the January 2002 issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, women who drank three or more cups of tea each day were less likely to develop arthritis than those who didn’t drink tea. The study didn’t indicate what kind of tea.

Weight Loss
Green tea may be able to help dieters. In November 1999, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, in which researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [5]

Green Tea Weight Loss Benefits Showing Results – eMediaWire, 23 Jan 2005

Green Tea Polyphenols Making Headlines with Consumer Weight Loss

Green tea extract has been the focus of several weight loss studies recently. In addition to its healthful benefit of strong antioxidant activity and its ability to burn more calories, green tea is now being studied for another weight loss benefit, reducing appetite.

Green tea extract contains derivatives that have been shown to reduce appetite by decreasing a hormone called leptin and increasing a chemical neurotransmitter called noradrenaline.

Leptin is a protein produced by fats that appear to play an important role in how the body manages fat storage through brain signals. Nutritionist Pete Maletto explained, “Years ago it was thought by scientists that lower leptin levels would increase appetite. Current research has now found that it does just the opposite and decreases appetite. There is clear evidence that green tea’s polyphenols (EGCG) are a factor in depressing leptin as well as affecting other hormone levels important in regulating appetite.

Green tea is now holding promise in many areas of weight loss. Besides affecting leptin levels, green tea also increases noradrenaline levels. Noradrenaline is a chemical neurotransmitter in the nervous system that plays a major role in activation of brown fat tissue (BAT), which is the only metabolically active fat in the human body. Activation of brown fat by increased noradrenaline levels is significant because it burns calories from the white fat located around our waistline, hips and thighs.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [6]

Green tea for a healthy prostate? – MSNBC.com, 21 Jan 2005

Six cups a day could fight cancer, studies suggest

New research suggests that phytochemicals in green tea may help prevent the spread of prostate cancer. Since earlier research suggests that the same natural plant substances might also help prevent the development of prostate cancer, scientists say that more studies are needed on green tea’s ability to fight this common cancer.

In the new green-tea study, researchers observed that phytochemicals called polyphenols attack growth factors and proteins, interrupting processes that increase the size of tumors, thus preventing them from spreading to other parts of the body.

Further study of green tea may help develop a treatment to prevent the dormant, nonthreatening type of prostate cancer many men have late in life from becoming aggressive and fatal.

Studies presented at the most recent American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) conference on diet and cancer also show that green tea in mice with an aggressive form of cancer can decrease the spread or metastasis of prostate cancer to liver, bone and other sites.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [7]

Waking up to white tea’s pleasures – Boston.com, 19 Jan 2005

Subtle, soothing brew may have powerful health benefits, too.

With its mild flavor and subtle, almost nutty aroma, white tea doesn’t seem like much at first. But the tea is an aesthetic heavyweight on its own terms, and the light golden beverage packs a wallop in health benefits. Though this has been common knowledge in Asia for centuries, Westerners are finally catching on. Tea shops around town are serving it more and more as it gains popularity.

White tea — harvested from the first spring buds — is probably as ancient as its green and black cousins. Called white either because of the white ”hairs” that cover the young spring buds or because of the infusion’s light translucent color, this is also the least processed form of the camellia sinensis plant, from which all true tea comes. Unlike black teas, which are made by letting the leaves wilt and oxidize before being dried and rolled, or green teas, for which the leaves are quickly dried and then rolled, white teas are simply air dried.

Breathing in the fragrant steam over a cup or earthenware bowl at a teahouse, the brew’s minimal processing is apparent. To see which you prefer, set the timer: If your tea tastes bitter, steep it for a shorter period next time. If it’s too mild, try giving it another minute. Experts agree on one thing: White tea, like green tea, should not be brewed with boiling water. Water in the 170- to 185-degree range is best. For at-home brewers, that means water that has just started to steam, with small bubbles rising to the top. If you let your water boil, take it off the heat for a moment and let it cool. This is a gentle tea and works best with appropriately gentle treatment. When its natural sweetness is brought out, it needs no sugar, cream, or honey. In fact, those who love white tea blanch at the suggestion of any of these. White tea, even when perfectly prepared, will never shout out its flavor of flowers and fruit. This is a subtle and soothing drink — a nonalcoholic answer to a fine wine.

Recent research suggests that white tea, like green and black teas, may have strong anticancer properties. In fact, white tea may prove to be the healthiest of all. All tea is high in flavonoids and antioxidants, which help repair cell damage and may guard against cancer and heart disease. Tea may also help strengthen the immune system, according to studies done at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Researchers attribute these immunity-boosting powers to the presence of the amino acid L-theanine, which exists in high concentration in tea

But white tea may go further: Studies at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University recently tested four kinds of white tea for their ability to inhibit the mutation of bacteria — cell mutation has been linked to cancer — and found that they all did so, and seemed even more effective than green tea, which had previously been promoted for its healthful properties. White tea also seemed to have more polyphenols, which may inhibit the growth of certain tumors, than other teas.

The only drawback to these health benefits is the presence of caffeine. While white tea is usually perceived as having less caffeine than either black or green tea, the Linus Pauling Institute study found that when it was brewed to be strong enough to have significant health benefits, it actually had more of the common stimulant. Which doesn’t make a cup of white tea any less healthful or relaxing. It just means that your dreams of fragrant, faraway hillsides might be a little more wide awake.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [8]

A new taste in tea – San Jose Mercury News, 18 Jan 2005

More than two centuries after colonists dumped 342 chests of Darjeeling into the waters of Boston Harbor in protest of British taxes, tea finally is getting some respect again in this nation of coffee drinkers.

People who once viewed tea as a bag of generic orange pekoe now are happily shelling out as much as $30 for an ounce of rare green tea on the Internet. The best restaurants treat the leaves with the reverence they give to fine wine. Coffee shops pour Earl Grey alongside mocha java.

Behind this change in tastes is mounting evidence that tea is good for you, says Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Association of the USA. A growing body of research shows the traditional “cuppa” contains components believed to strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [9]

Green tea trumpeted by dental experts – IOL Medical, 17 Jan 2005

Hanover – green and black tea are good for the teeth, German experts say. Good news for tea drinkers: the tannic acid contained in green and black tea helps check certain bacteria.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [10]

Health benefits of Green tea – ExpressNewsline.com, 14 Jan 2005

Green tea has been used for centuries for its therapeutic and medicinal qualities. Asians particularly Chinese and Japanese drink one to two cups per day, as a cleanser for the body. Green tea is known to be one of the strongest natural antioxidants. An antioxidant is a substance which fights disease by preventing cellular damage caused by free radicals. These free radicals can cause cancer, heart disease and many other life-threatening ailments.

Green tea takes its health benefits from its high levels of polyphenols, which neutralize free radicals in much the same way as antioxidants do. Polyphenols prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, thereby reducing blood vessel damage. This makes green tea a potent weapon against stroke and other cardiovascular ailments.

Green tea also acts as a mild diuretic, ridding the body of excess water. It acts as a detoxifier for the blood and is good for teeth as it contains fluoride content. Green tea is good for women experiencing menopause, as body needs more vitamins and minerals by this time and green tea is a good source of these nutrients.

It eases the circulation of blood in the body. Regular consumption of green tea can reduce overall cholesterol levels as well as levels of LDL (harmful) cholesterol. A reduction of overall blood pressure and heart disease is one of the most important benefits of green tea consumption and studies have proven that, for those who consume several cups daily, the risk for stroke and heart disease may be reduced by one-half.

Cancer risk can also be diminished by the use of green tea. Green tea strengthens cellular DNA. This inhibits cellular mutation and slows the growth of tumors which may already exist. Additionally, ointments prepared using green tea extracts have been shown effective in treating some types of skin cancer. For those undergoing chemotherapy, green tea serves to boost the activity of B cells, T cells and natural killer cells, which are key components of the immune system. In countries where green tea is consumed on a regular basis, the cancer rates are significantly lower. Other benefits of green tea include being an aid to digestion and reducing dental plaque.

To obtain maximum benefits from green tea, four cups daily should be consumed, although even one cup daily can result in a marked improvement in general health. In cultures where green tea consumption is high, the rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease are drastically lower.

When choosing a green tea, always purchase the highest quality available since the higher grades contain even higher polyphenol levels. Fresh green tea leaves should be a light yellow or light green. If the leaves have a brown tint, it usually means that the tea is not fresh and the potency is reduced.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [11]

The Way of Tea – Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10 Jan 2005

Hear the word “tea” and a flow of associations come to mind among them; comfort, relaxation and connection. Having a cup of tea, whether it is black, green or herbal, is an invitation to slow down, relax and enjoy life.

The origin of the word “tea” (Te, cha, chai, thea) is Chinese. It has a particular Chinese character and a very specific meaning connected to an exact plant: camellia sinensis. Black tea, green tea, jasmine and oolong are all produced from this one plant. It’s location, conditions and unique processing methods produce the virtually endless varieties and traditions known as whole-leaf tea.

Tea emerged from a culturally rich, dynamic and deeply profound way of life. A way of life that our mechanization and modern markets have all but eliminated. It was a world small-farmed, regional and intimately connected to the earth, and tea was an essential part of life.

The dumbing-down of tea by the industrial marketplace emerged out of a production line standardization and mass-marketing scheme that has become the dominate cultural experience of mediocre tea. No longer a cultural art/life form, tea became a commodity with little difference between brands.

But it was not until the mid ’70s, when China opened to the West, that a seismic shift in the availability of high-quality whole leaf varietals tea began flowing again into our culture. China, the middle kingdom (not Japan), is the true mother of all teas and the great grandfather of tea culture.

Used medicinally, to harmonize and synergize herbal formulas and as an antidote poison, scientists later determined that tea was the primary factor which explained the longer life span of Eastern people.

Each farmer, somewhat like a local grape grower, creates a tea offering with unique tastes properties and experience of their particular ecosystem and customs. Traditional tea lore tells us: The essence of the way of tea is this: To create an ideal society, enlightened mind, on the earth. However few in number — however short in duration.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [12]

Healthful benefits of tea being proved by science – Arizona Central, 7 Jan 2005

Alice Kraft Special for The Republic
Alice Kraft is a registered dietitian with Sun Health Community Education and Wellness Centers.

QUESTION: I am considering switching from drinking coffee to drinking tea every day for my health, or is it just a fad? Can you tell me exactly what health benefits I might expect?

ANSWER: A cup of tea is relaxing, refreshing and, unlike so many other indulgences, healthy. It’s hardly a fad. Tea is the most popular beverage worldwide, aside from water, and has a history of thousands of years.

The Chinese wrote of the curative properties of tea in the eighth century, and when the British and Dutch took the newly discovered beverage back to Europe in the 17th century, they extolled tea’s healthful effects.

Numerous studies over the past decade provide scientific data to support the health claims and identify the specific chemicals that make tea good for us. There is solid evidence to back the claim that regular tea drinking can lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, improve cholesterol levels, increase bone density and reduce inflammation that leads to arthritis.

Many studies of tea have focused on green tea, although scientists now believe that most of the benefits observed in green tea also apply to black, white and red tea.

Green tea has extremely high concentrations of an antioxidant known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). Antioxidants help rid the body of free radicals, preventing damage to cells that cause cancer and other diseases. EGCG is the major catechin in green tea and is 100 times more powerful than vitamin C when it comes to zapping free radicals and 25 times more effective than vitamin E.

Lab studies show that EGCG is capable of killing cancer cells in a test tube. A Japanese study of women with breast cancer found that after the treatment phase, early-stage breast cancer spread less rapidly in women with a history of drinking five or more cups of green tea per day. A recent study published in the International Journal of Cancer reports the strongest evidence to date that green tea can protect against all stages of prostate cancer.

Other types of cancer shown by either animal, lab or observational studies to be inhibited by tea consumption include cancers of the skin, rectum, stomach, bladder and liver.

Tea is rich in polyphenols. In green tea they’re concentrated in the catechins. Green tea retains catechins because it is steamed shortly after picking. Black and oolong teas are dried after picking, a process that causes them to lose catechins, but they’re not without polyphenols. White tea is the least processed form and contains a higher proportion of buds covered with fine, “silvery” hairs that give a light, white color to the tea. It has a sweeter flavor than green or black tea and is shown to be more protective than green tea in inhibiting cell mutations that can lead to cancer and at killing bacteria that cause strep infections, pneumonia and dental cavities.

Although much of the research related to health has been conducted on green tea, researchers believe that black tea, the kind most often consumed by Americans and Europeans, provides many of the same health properties.

Antioxidants in tea have been shown to promote heart health in a number of ways, lowering total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL levels and decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Research also suggests that tea may help improve bone-mineral density. Low bone-mineral density is associated with the development of osteoporosis.

Tea is an easy and inexpensive addition to your diet, costing only pennies per cup. If you drink it black or with a squeeze of lemon, it doesn’t add calories. Some early studies suggested that adding milk to tea (the way most people in the United Kingdom drink their tea) dampens the antioxidant activity. Scientists now are leaning toward thinking tea is beneficial even if you use milk. Adding sugar or lemon doesn’t affect the health benefits, although sugar will add calories to this otherwise calorie-free brew.

The wealth of studies touting the health benefits of tea need to be confirmed by scientifically controlled human trials, some of which are now under way. Lab, animal and observational studies all point toward a very favorable profile for tea, however, suggesting that regular tea drinking can help protect against cancer, strengthen bones, lower the risk of heart disease and generally fight infection and inflammation. All this in a relaxing, refreshing cup of tea! Sip to your heart’s content.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [13]

‘Tea Party’ box resurfaces – Boston Herald, 6 Jan 2005

It took the owners of Historic Tours of America six years to decide whether the small wooden box was worth the asking price. In the end, the tour operators decided it was. They won’t say how much they paid, but feel justified calling it priceless.

Truth be told, it looks like an ordinary, beat-up old chest with a children’s game carved on the bottom. But it is believed to be only one of two that survived a cold December night in 1773 when Colonists dressed as Indians threw tea into Boston Harbor. It will be the centerpiece of the Boston Tea Party Museum that tour operators are renovating and hope to open in 2006.

The box, known as the Robinson Half Chest, was reportedly fished out of the water by John Robinson after the rebellion and passed on to his descendants. One of them, Andre Goodman, and his wife, Nancy, agreed to sell it to Historic Tours on the condition that it be displayed to the public. It will be stored by Citizens Bank until the museum is opened.

arrow1.gif More…



 arrow1.gif Latest Tea News [14]

1,000-year-old tea tree can be cloned – China Daily, 5 Jan 2005

The oldest tea tree of Fangshan Bud – a kind of tea used by emperors of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), aged about 1,000 years, has been found in Panye Village, Changle, Fujian Province, reports the Fuzhou Daily.

Lin Jianzhi, a Changle native, had been longing to find such a tree, which was recorded in the “Tea Book” written by Lu Yu – the renowned tea master of the Tang Dynasty.

Lin went up Fangshan Mountain recently where he followed a line of ants to the tea tree, which was later identified to be 1,000 years old by tea experts in Beijing.

Professor and tea master Zhan Zijin has confirmed that the tree is extremely rare, adding that it could be cloned from its leaves.

arrow1.gif More…



arrow1.gif February is Green Tea Month – Up to 25% off all of our fine green teas!

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. Each month we usually feature three of our teas, giving you all a chance to learn more about these varieties. But for February we are showcasing our entire green tea catalog and you can make a saving of up to 25% on each of the ten gourmet green teas in our range…


Meng Ding Sweet Dew Green Tea

SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
50g (1¾oz) – was $25.25, this month only $21.99
100g (3½oz) – was $46.99, this month only $39.99
500g (1.1lb) – was $209.99, this month only $177.99

Meng Ding Green Bamboo Green Tea

SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
50g (1¾oz) – was $22.99, this month only $19.99
100g (3½oz) – was $43.99, this month only $37.99
500g (1.1lb) – was $184.99, this month only $169.99

LongJing Dragon Well Green Tea

SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
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

Lu Mu Dan Green Peony Green Tea
SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
10 pieces – was $9.99, this month only $7.99
20 pieces – was $18.99, this month only $14.99
Meng Ding Yun Wu Green Tea

SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
50g (1¾oz) – was $9.99, this month only $7.99
100g (3½oz) – was $18.99, this month only $14.99
500g (1.1lb) – was $79.99, this month only $63.99

Wu Lu NewTop Misty Green Tea

SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
50g (1¾oz) – was $7.99, this month only $6.49
100g (3½oz) – was $14.99, this month only $11.99
500g (1.1lb) – was $63.99, this month only $52.99

YunWu Cloud & Mist Green Tea

SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
50g (1¾oz) – was $8.49, this month only $6.49
100g (3½oz) – was $15.99, this month only $11.99
500g (1.1lb) – was $67.99, this month only $52.99

Taishan Buddha’s Eyebrow Green Tea

SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
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

Gunpowder Green Tea

SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
50g (1¾oz) – was $5.99, this month only $4.99
100g (3½oz) – was $10.99, this month only $9.49
500g (1.1lb) – was $46.99, this month only $39.99

Sencha Japenese-style Steamed Green Tea

SPECIAL OFFER! FEBRUARY 2005 ONLY
50g (1¾oz) – was $5.99, this month only $4.99
100g (3½oz) – was $10.99, this month only $9.49
500g (1.1lb) – was $46.99, this month only $39.99




arrow1.gif What’s going on behind the scenes at Seven Cups?

Austin has just got back from his month long tour of potential new tea farms right across China. We’ll have more of what he found and a few interesting stories, no doubt, next month – so far, since he got back Austin has mostly slept!

This month sees the first printable versions of Tea Mail. Just click the link, print it out and take it with you. We have created two different options – the smaller file will download quicker and the larger file has higher quality photos when printed. Click on the links at the top of the page to download the printable PDF files. If you haven’t got a PDF reader installed, you can quickly and simply download a free version of the industry standard Adobe PDF Reader by clicking here.