Tea is not only a drink, it has its own chapter in world history. From its mystical origin in China, to its role in the Opium War, to its dominance in the Indian commerce, to becoming a British national drink, it has changed cultures for centuries. Tea also finds itself in the American history book -- the Boston Tea Party and the recent Tea Party movement all sound too familiar.
It is believed that tea was first used for its medicinal effect. Whether it is black, oolong, green or white, it is rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps us fight cell-damaging free radicals. All teas come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The varieties, growing conditions, and processing methods create different aromas, flavors, and bodies. From its medicinal root, tea has grown into the most popular drink in the world after water. (source: wiki.answers.com)
Besides its health benefits, the preparation and enjoyment of tea can also enrich our souls. The ancient art of tea ceremony, practiced in China and Japan, is a great example. The ceremony is a time for friends to gather, enjoy a cup of tea in harmony with the environment it is served in. It is a spiritual experience to get reconnected to the architecture, the garden, and the decorations, all in the company of tea. The West has its own tea culture. Afternoon tea, made famous by the British, offers a great meeting venue.
As our societies evolve, so do the ways we consume tea. Over the history, we have seen teas served in powder form, bricks, loose leaves, tea bags, and now in k-cups. They can be scented, with blends of beneficial flowers and herbs, ... The experiment and experience goes on. Our guests suggested a cup of ginger or cacao tea -- what a perfect winter beverage.
Tea is rich in antioxidant, an agent to fight free radicals. Through mindful preparation and enjoyment, it can also enrich the souls.
Listen to broadcast 12/17/13
Neil Buckland, Co-CEO and Founder of Shen Zen Tea
James Chang, Co-CEO of Shen Zen Tea
Grace Chang, Bastyr Naturopathic Medical Student and Masters Candidate in Acupuncture