En Jie's Blog

Winter tea

buy chinese pu-erh teaNot all teas are equal. Some teas are more suitable for summer time and the others provide warm comfort for cold winter days.

Fermentation plays a big part in the tea processing. If we can look at the tea range as a spectrum, the two ends are:

  • Green teas: unfermented, light and refreshing
  • Black teas: fully fermented, dark in colour, smooth in texture and known to aid in digestion

With this in mind, it is not hard to imagine that the fermented teas are more suitable for colder weather and the green teas are ideal for summer time.

Coffee vs tea

I have recently given up on coffee drinking. I never used to drink coffee when I was growing up in China and only took it up after I arrived in Australia and married to a coffee drinker.

After drinking my regular cup of coffee in the morning for more than 10 years, I found myself in a situation where it did not do much for me anymore in terms of kick-starting the morning. If I however missed one, I would be left with a severe headache until I had my next ‘fit’.

I used an opportunity of visiting China a few months ago to ‘wean’ it off and it wasn’t hard as I was drinking teas throughout the day.

What do I use to replace my morning cup of coffee now?

A cup of black tea or ripened & aged Pu-erh tea, no milk no sugar.

It serves as the morning kick start just as well as a coffee, without any ‘withdraw’ symptoms. Since I only drink loose leaf teas, I top up the cup/pot and sip through the whole morning, warm and comfortable.

After lunch tea

I personally love a cup of Oolong tea (semi-fermented) such as Wu Yi Oolong, or aged raw Pu-erh after lunch in winter time. In comparison to the fully fermented black teas or ripened Pu-erh tea, they have a bit more edge in terms of being refreshing. To have a cup after lunch flushes/naturalizes all the excessive flavours and cholesterols that have been consumed, especially those strong flavoured foods from the take away outlets. They offer a sense of freshness, calm and warmth.

After dinner

My flavour after dinner teas are Taiwan high mountain Oolong or mature raw Pu-erh tea. Incorrect in theory, dinner is the only main proper home prepared meal in our family due to school and work commitments. To assist to digest all the ‘high food’ from the dinner plates before bed time, a cup of these teas feels ‘just what I need’ to settle the full stomach, and the day’s activities.

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Natural and sustainable health

Natural and sustainable health

There have been a couple of recent reports in Sydney Morning Herald that I found interesting:

  1. Processed meats cause cancer and red meat probably does too: World Health Organisation (http://www.smh.com.au/world/processed-meats-cause-cancer-and-red-meat-probably-does-too-world-health-organisation-20151026-gkj2pf.html )
  2. Is this the optimal exercise for staying slim? (Conclusion: They then compared the waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) data of the people and found that those who regularly walked were leaner.) http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/is-this-the-optimal-exercise-for-staying-slim-20151111-gkw5eb.html )

When it comes to health and fitness, we have to ask two important questions:

  1. the fastest way to achieve the goals
  2. are the results sustainable

Many have gone through some big swings, from one extreme to the other and found themselves going around the circles, like some of the ‘Biggest losers’. 

What history tells us

If we turn around and have a look where are from and where we are heading to historically, we might be able to see the imbalances in our lives. Our history tells us that our ancestors’ main staple food was vegetarian and periodically consumed meat when the hunting was successful. This periodical meat consumption provided us with the necessary protein and other essential nutrients such as iron. Overweight almost did not exist due to their active life style and diet and theist mortalities were mainly caused by infections. Since farming was industrialised in modern history, fast produced meat is readily available and has been consumed in an unprecedented scale. We have invented this whole class of what we call ‘life style related conditions’, such as cancers and cardio-vascular diseases. They are the leading killers of our modern society – we are being killed by what we have produced and the rates are on the raise. 

We then rush to the gym (one of the fastest growing industry currently) trying to burn off what we have consumed. This high speed energy burning unfortunately can only last - once the mill stops, everything bounces back.

Mother nature provides

buy Chinese teaI am not suggesting here that the history should be turned back and we should all go to live in the bush, hunt and gather. Living a more balanced life style is however not that impossible: walk more instead of drive, replace part of the meat diet with vegetables, or even add a few cups of green tea a day to your diet will yield many benefits. 

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Tea is good for you

buy premium green teaMy grandmother lived to nearly 100 years old and died of a hip fracture, no cancer, no cardio-vascular disease or any of those what we call these days life style related conditions. She never went to school and could not read (not influenced by media of any kind), but she knew ‘tea is good for you’ and drunk tea all her life.

Tea has been consumed in China for more than 2000 years and the health benefits were felt long before the modern since started researching into their active compounds and documenting their health benefits about 30-40 years ago. Tea is a gift of Mother Nature, like many other medicinal herbs. An important aspect is that tea is also a beverage that can be consumed on a daily base and the ultimate benefits come with its long term consumption.
Of the majority of the studies conducted so far, teas have been reported to be beneficial to many life style related conditions, such as cancers, cardio-vascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and immune system related conditions. The research is ongoing and one can only expect that there will be more discoveries to be reported.

People have taken up tea drinking during recent years to subsidise their coffee and other beverage consumption. One important thing to remember is that tea consumption is only beneficial as a life style. Drink it as a medicine for a couple of weeks will produce no merits. I have always advised our customers to pick up a couple to a few teas that they really enjoy and make tea drinking part of your life style. The health benefits will come naturally as side effects of the long term consumption.

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