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Such drinks are generally drunk for refreshment, or to quench people's thirst. Non-alcoholic mixed drinks (including punches, "virgin cocktails", or "mocktails") are often consumed by children, people whose religion restricts alcohol consumption, recovering alcoholics, and anyone wishing to enjoy flavorful drinks without alcohol. Examples include Shirley Temples, Virgin Marys, and virgin-style Piña Coladas. Non-alcoholic beer can, in fact, contain a small amount of alcohol (the exact percentage varies by country). Thus purchasers of non-alcoholic beer in many U.S. states must be at least 21. Non-alcoholic beverages contain no more than .5 percent alcohol by volume. The category includes drinks that traditionally have no trace of alcohol such as sodas, juices, and sparkling ciders. It also includes drinks that have undergone an alcohol removal process such as non-alcoholic beers and dealcoholized wines. Nonalcoholic drinks account for the vast majority of the beverage market. These drinks are generally chosen for refreshment purposes, to quench people's thirsts. Non-alcoholic drinks include carbonated drinks, dairy and yogurt-based beverages, juices, energy drinks, teas, coffees, and enhanced waters. With the increased market focus on health and wellness, it is likely that the non-alcoholic beverage market will be a source of growth and development in the coming years. Growing markets in both coffee and tea beverages are currently leading the non-alcoholic market. Studies have shown that coffee may posses healthy benefits. These same benefits are being investigated in tea beverages as well. Water The human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water. The body is made up of 55 to 75 per cent water. Mature adults are about 70% water; this drops to about 60% in the elderly and continues to drop into very old age. Water forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration. The water content of the body breaks down along these lines: · 80 per cent of blood is made up of water · 73 per cent of lean muscle (including brain tissue) is water · 25 per cent of fat is water · 22 per cent of those solid-looking bones are water. The body is unable to store water for any length of time and needs fresh supplies every day due to losses from lungs and skin, accounting for 50% of water loss; losses from urine and faeces account for the rest of the total losses. The amount we need depends on our metabolism, the weather, the food we eat and our activity levels. Heavy or obese people carry less body water than people of a healthy weight. As fat content increases, lean tissue decreases, leading to an overall decline in total body water. Body water is higher in men than in women and falls in both with age. Most mature adults lose about 2.5 litres (women) to 3 litres (men) per day and the elderly lose about 2 litres per day. This water loss needs to be replaced through food and beverages. Foods provide about 1 litre of fluid and the remainder must be obtained from beverages. Water is needed in the body to: 1. Maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body. 2.Keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels. 3.·Help to eliminate toxins (such as those found in tea, coffee, alcohol, refined foods and soft drinks) through urine and faeces. 4.Regulate body temperature through sweating. 5.Keep mucous membranes moist, such as those of the lungs and mouth.
6.Lubricate and cushion joints. 7.Reduce the risk of cystitis by keeping the bladder clear of bacteria. 8.Aid digestion and prevent constipation. 9.Work as a moisturiser to improve the skin's texture and appearance. 10.Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells. 11.Serve as a shock absorber inside the eyes, spinal cord and in the amniotic sac surrounding the foetus in pregnancy. Chronic mild dehydration and poor fluid intake can: 1.Increase the risk of kidney stones and constipation 2.Increase the risk of urinary tract cancers 3.Increase the risk of breast and colon cancers 4.Increase the risk of childhood obesity 5.Diminish physical and mental performance 6.Diminish salivary gland function
On a normal day, the body loses 2.4 litres of water (or 10 cups) and this figure is higher on warmer days, or when exercising. When the water content of the body drops below optimal levels, the result is dehydration. This is easily remedied by increasing fluid intake. Mild dehydration is often observed because many people do not consume enough fluids. About 30-40% of Australians were having less than 6-8 cups of fluid on the day of the Nutrition survey conducted in 1995. Symptoms for dehydration include headaches, lethargy, mood changes and slow responses, as well as dry nasal passages, and dry or cracked lips. Other symptoms of dehydration include dark-coloured urine, weakness, tiredness, confusion and hallucinations. Eventually urination stops, the kidneys fail and toxic waste products can't be removed by the body. In extreme cases, this may result in death. The various causes of dehydration include: 1. Increased sweating due to hot weather/humidity, exercise, fever 2. Lack of drinking water 3. Insufficient signalling mechanisms in the elderly; sometimes they do not feel thirsty even though may be dehydrated 4. Increased output of urine due to a deficiency of pituitary or adrenal hormones, diabetes, kidney disease, or medications that increase the output of urine like diuretic drugs for the treatment of high blood pressure. 5. Increased output of faeces (diarrhoea) or vomiting due to illness such as cholera, dysentery, food poisoning 6 . Recovering from burns People at most risk of dehydration are the elderly and children. It can also be an issue for people travelling on aeroplanes. A traveller can lose approximately 1.5 litres of water during a three hour flight. Elderly Kidney function can decline as part of the normal ageing process with decrease in kidney mass. This together with hormonal changes and factors such as decreased thirst perception, medication, cognitive changes, limited mobility, and increased use of diuretics and laxatives can increase their risk of dehydration or decrease their requirement for fluid. It is estimated that 6 household glasses or cups (at least 150millilitres each) in combination with an adequate intake of food will provide more than the required 2 litres a day in a temperate climate. Although healthy older Australians living independently
appear to drink sufficient fluid their risk of dehydration increases with medication use, chronic illness and frailty. Juices Juice is a liquid naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue. Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fresh fruits or vegetables without the application of heat or solvents. For example, orange juice is the liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree. Juice may be prepared in the home from fresh fruits and vegetables using variety of hand or electric juicers. Many commercial juices are filtered to remove fiber or pulp, but high pulp fresh orange juice is marketed as an alternative. Juice may be marketed in concentrate form, sometimes frozen, requiring the user to add water to reconstitute the liquid back to its "original state". (Generally, concentrates have a noticeably different taste than their comparable "fresh-squeezed" versions). Other juices are reconstituted before packaging for retail sale. Common methods for preservation and processing of fruit juices include canning, pasteurization, freezing, evaporation and spray drying. CHOOSE THE RIGHT FRUIT JUICE All juices are not created equal – some are nutritional gems while others are sugar water. Consider these tips as you make juice part of your child’s diet.
Be label savvy. Buy juice labeled “100 percent fruit juice." o Beware of words like “drink,” “punch,” “cocktail,” “beverage” and “ade.” These are not 100 percent juice – they’re junk fruit beverages. o Many “junk fruit beverages” are nutrient-void beverages, commonly masked as fruit “juice,” “drinks” or “cocktails.” Most contain 10 percent or less of pure fruit juice, and lots of water, sugar and additives. Junk fruit beverages have little or no nutritional value. o Avoid junk fruit beverages that are disguised as juice “blends” that contain small amounts of various fruits like grape, apple and pear. Ounce for ounce, these juices don’t have the natural levels of vital nutrients that 100 percent pure juices like orange juice provide. Plus, they usually contain added sugars. Examine the ingredients. Avoid fruit-flavored beverages that have added fructose corn syrup. They shape a child’s taste toward sweet cravings. Look at the juice. Generally, the cloudier the juice, the more nutritious it is. If you can see through it, you’re buying mostly water. Picture a tall glass of 100 percent pure orange juice with pulp. There should be some sediment at the bottom, which is a reminder of the juice’s origins. Go with citrus juices. Orange juice is a morning favorite and one of the most nutritious beverages available. An excellent source of vitamin C and potassium, orange juice also is a good source of folate and thiamin. Compared to other juices, orange juice is higher in protein, vitamin A, B-vitamins, vitamin C (it contains more than 10 times as much vitamin C as apple juice), calcium, iron and potassium, making it a heavyweight among fruit juices. Drinking an 8-ounce glass counts as one of your five necessary fruit and vegetable servings for the day. Check if it’s pasteurized. Commercial juices now are required to say if it’s pasteurized on the label. The new law is a result of non-pasteurized juice-borne bacterial illnesses that are especially harmful to people with weakened immune systems (such as children, pregnant women or the elderly). No need to worry, though. A new high-pressure pasteurization method increases the shelf life and significantly reduces the bacteria count. And, it reportedly does not
affect the flavor or vitamin and mineral content of the juice. The key is to make sure the label on your juice says it’s pasteurized. Consider Juice Variety. Another beneficial juice in addition to orange juice is nectar juice. Nectar usually has more calories, but more nutrients are preserved during processing nectar than other juices. Apricot nectar is especially healthy, containing a lot of beta-carotene, almost a gram of protein per 8-ounce glass, and it’s higher than most juices in vitamin A, vitamin B-6 and iron. Other nutritious nectars come from the “P” fruits – peaches, pears and prunes.
HOW MUCH YOU OFFER COUNTS Juice can be a tasty alternative to water, but consuming too much juice may take the place of other nutritious foods the child would normally eat. The following chart explains how much juice is appropriate for a child up to 12 years of age: Age 6 – 12 months 1 – 4 years 4 – 12 years JUICE CONSUMPTION 101
Amount 4 ounces per day 6 ounces per day 8 ounces per day
Offer 100-percent juice at mealtimes or as snacks as an alternative to soda or junk juices. Serve orange juice at breakfast, and pack a carton in your child’s lunch box for lunch or as a daytime snack. If a child usually consumes more than the daily-recommended amount of juice,dilute the juice with water. The water has the sweet taste of juice while allowing the appropriate amount of juice intake throughout the day. If a child asks for carbonated soda, add seltzer to a glass of 100 percent pure orange juice to add ‘a bubbly sensation’. Don’t let toddlers walk around or fall asleep with a baby bottle filled with juice. It can cause tooth decay. The juice bathes the teeth, which may contribute to bacterial growth, plaque and eventual decay (a condition called the “juice bottle syndrome”).
VITAMIN C TIPS
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Orange and grapefruit juices contain more natural vitamin C than any other fruit juice. They’re great juices for your children – and for you. The vitamin C content of canned juices may deteriorate upon exposure to air, so be sure to refrigerate and tightly seal opened containers. Freshly squeezed juice contains more vitamin C than “made from concentrate” canned or frozen juices. Adding ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, to juice allows manufacturers to claim that the drink will give your child “100 percent vitamin C.” This health claim, however, can mask its sugary content and hides the fact that other essential nutrients are not included.
AVOIDING TUMMY-ACHES Juices with a high fructose-to-glucose ratio and that contain sorbitol can aggravate the intestines, especially those already sensitive by irritation or infection.
Recommended Juices: Citrus juices and some other juices (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and white grape juice) do not contain sorbitol and are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Nutrition for use during intestinal illnesses. Fructose-to-Glucose Ratio: A high fructose-to-glucose ratio may cause diarrhea or abdominal pain because the excess fructose ferments in the large intestine. Orange juice is a recommended juice because it contains equal amounts of glucose and fructose and no sorbitol. Infants and Children: Because their immature intestines allow more unabsorbed sugar to reach the colon where it ferments, infants and children are particularly prone to gas and diarrhea from excessive juice.
FAVORITE 100% PURE FRUIT JUICE FACTS
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Orange – The juice with the highest amount of vitamin C and potassium and a good source of folate and thiamin. It also contains cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Grapefruit – The juice with the second highest amount of vitamin C. Apricot Nectar – This juice is high in vitamin A and contains a small amount of iron and zinc. Prune – The juice highest in iron, zinc, fiber and niacin. White Grape – A juice high in vitamin C, and the best juice for healing the intestines. Apple – This juice has no nutritional advantage over other juices, but is good for flavoring water because it dilutes well.
Coffee The coffee plant attracted human interest and consumption as early as 800 A.D. in the Kaffe region of Ethiopia. By the fifteenth century the plant was cultivated in Yemen and a beverage made from its beans was sold in Arabian coffeehouses. Constantinople's first coffeehouses had opened by the middle of the sixteenth century. The beverage spread eastward to India and via Mocha on the Arabian Peninsula back to Holland. Venice had a coffeehouse by 1645. The students of Oxford soon follow suit, discovering by 1650 the academic advantages of a beverage that sharpens the wits. Before 1800 much of Europe had coffeehouses and also had witnessed governmental attempts to close them as sources of sedition. Those same governments soon taxed rather than prohibited coffee consumption. Coffeehouses became social and business centers where merchants and shippers gathered to exchange information and make deals. By the late 1660s coffee consumption had spread to North America; New York City's first coffeehouse, The King's Arms, opened in 1696. Arab coffee cultivators and merchants attempted to monopolize the trade by preventing export of the coffee plant, but by the seventeenth century, the Dutch had acquired coffee plants that they planted in Ceylon. Other Europeans planted coffee in East Asian and, later, Latin American colonies. In the early twenty-first century, milder arabica beans are grown primarily in Latin American and the Caribbean, while more bitter robust a beans come primarily from African and Asian producing countries. Green coffee beans are among the highest-value commodities legally traded in today's world. The Green Coffee Association of New York City formed in 1923 to encourage standard contracts. Much of the product is traded on the Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange, now a subset of the New York Board of Trade, and on the London, Tokyo and Brazilian commodity exchanges. New processing techniques eased preparation of the beverage in the field during the U.S. Civil War. Military demand again hastened easy preparation when Maxwell Coffee developed an instant beverage in 1941, building on Swiss producer Nestle's Nescafe, which that the company had created for Brazilian growers in 1938. In modern production, the exported green beans are precisely roasted and blended in importing countries to produce the flavor that consumers desire; because oxidation causes
bitter flavor, the processed coffee must be used quickly or packaged carefully. Price inelasticity of demand for coffee leads to sharp price fluctuations. To counter these fluctuations, producing countries established the International Coffee Association in 1963 primarily to control price through export quotas; price stability, however, has not been achieved. With economies of scale in production and distribution, a few firms and their brands dominated U.S. and world production of roasted coffee in the second half of the twentieth century. These companies have distributed their brands primarily through grocery stores. Per capita consumption has fallen in traditional coffee markets, but is rising in such nontraditional markets as Japan and, more recently, China and South Korea; there, as in Great Britain, instant coffee is making inroads into the tea market. In the 1970s specialty coffee producers began to challenge the preeminence in traditional markets of the multinationals and have constituted the most rapidly growing segment of the coffee market in mature economies. These specialty forms of coffee, sold primarily through coffeehouses and gourmet shops, are relatively expensive, differentiated blends processed on a smaller scale. This development echoes the early days of coffee consumption; an increasingly affluent middle class is willing to spend on luxury beverages consumed in inviting shops. Coffee is a widely-consumed stimulant beverage prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant. Coffee was first consumed in the 9th century, when it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia. From there, it spread to Egypt and Yemen, and by the 15th century had reached Armenia, Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa. From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe, Indonesia and the Americas. Today, coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide. Coffee berries, which contain the coffee bean, are produced by several species of small evergreen bush of the genus Coffea. The two most commonly grown species are Coffea canephora (also known as Coffea robusta) and Coffea arabica. These are cultivated in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds are then roasted, undergoing several physical and chemical changes. They are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. They are then ground and brewed to create coffee. Coffee can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways. Coffee has played an important role in many societies throughout modern history. In Africa and Yemen, it was used in religious ceremonies. As a result, the Ethiopian Church banned its consumption until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. It was banned in Ottoman Turkey in the 17th century for political reasons, and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe. Coffee is an important export commodity. In 2004, coffee was the top agricultural export for 12 countries, and in 2005, it was the world's seventh largest legal agricultural export by value. Some controversy is associated with coffee cultivation and its impact on the environment. Many studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and certain medical conditions; whether the effects of coffee are positive or negative is still disputed Health and pharmacology Scientific studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and an array of medical conditions. Most studies are contradictory as to whether coffee has any specific health benefits, and results are similarly conflicting regarding negative effects of coffee consumption. Coffee appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, cirrhosis of the liver, and gout. Some health effects are due to the caffeine content of coffee, as the benefits are only observed in those who drink caffeinated coffee, while others appear to be due to other components. For example, the antioxidants in coffee prevent free radicals from causing cell damage.
Coffee's negative health effects are mostly due to its caffeine content. Research suggests that drinking caffeinated coffee can cause a temporary increase in the stiffening of arterial walls. Excess coffee consumption may lead to a magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesemia. Some studies suggest that it may have a mixed effect on short-term memory, by improving it when the information to be recalled is related to the current train of thought, but making it more difficult to recall unrelated information. Nevertheless, the mainstream view of medical experts is that drinking three 8-ounce cups of coffee per day (considered average or moderate consumption) does not have significant health risks for adults. Caffeine content Depending on the type of coffee and method of preparation, the caffeine content of a single serving can vary greatly. On average, a single cup of coffee of about 207 milliliters (7 fluid ounces) or a single shot of espresso of about 30 mL (1oz) can be expected to contain the following amounts of caffeine:
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Drip coffee: 115–175 mg Espresso: 100 mg Brewed/Pressed: 80–135 mg
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Instant: 65–100 mg Decaf, brewed: 3–4 mg Decaf, instant: 2–3 m
Economics Coffee ingestion on average is about a third of that of tap water in most of North America and Europe. Worldwide, 6.7 million metric tons of coffee were produced annually in 1998–2000, and the forecast is a rise to 7 million metric tons annually by 2010. Brazil remains the largest coffee exporting nation, but in recent years Vietnam has become a major producer of robusta beans. Robusta coffees, traded in London at much lower prices than New York's arabica, are preferred by large industrial clients, such as multinational roasters and instant coffee producers, because of the lower cost. Four single roaster companies buy more than 50 percent of all of the annual production: Kraft, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, and Sara Lee. The preference of the "Big Four" coffee companies for cheap robusta is believed by many to have been a major contributing factor to the crash in coffee prices, and the demand for high-quality arabica beans is only slowly recovering. Many experts believe the giant influx of cheap green coffee after the collapse of the International Coffee Agreement of 1975–1989 led to the prolonged price crisis from 1989 to 2004. In 1997 the price of coffee in New York broke US$3.00/lb, but by late 2001 it had fallen to US$0.43/lb. The Dutch certification system "Max Havelaar" started the concept of fair trade labeling, which guarantees coffee growers a negotiated pre-harvest price. In 2004, 24,222 metric tons out of 7,050,000 produced worldwide were fair trade; in 2005, 33,991 metric tons out of 6,685,000 were fair trade, an increase from 0.34 percent to 0.51 percent. A number of studies have shown that fair trade coffee has a positive impact on the communities that grow it. A study in 2002 found that fair trade strengthened producer organizations, improved returns to small producers, and positively affected their quality of life. A 2003 study concluded that fair trade has "greatly improved the wellbeing of small-scale coffee farmers and their families" by providing access to credit and external development funding and greater access to training, giving them the ability to improve the quality of their coffee. The families of fair trade producers were also more stable than those who were not involved in fair trade, and their children had better access to education. A 2005 study of Bolivian
coffee producers concluded that Fairtrade certification has had a positive impact on local coffee prices, economically benefiting all coffee producers, Fairtrade certified or not.[76 TEA Tea is an infusion made by steeping processed leaves, buds, or twigs of the tea bush, Camellia sinensis, in hot water for several minutes, after which it is drank. The four basic types of true tea are black tea, oolong tea, green tea, and white tea. The term "herbal tea" usually refers to infusions or tisane of fruit or herbs that contain no Camellia sinensis. Tea is one of the most widely-consumed beverages in the world, second only to water. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavor. It has almost no carbohydrates, fat, or protein. Tea is a natural source of the amino acid theanine, methylxanthines such as caffeine and theobromine, and polyphenolic antioxidant catechins (often referred to as tannins). The word tea came into the English language from the Chinese word for tea (茶), which is pronounced tê in the Min Nan spoken variant. The British English slang word "char" for "tea" arose from its Mandarin Chinese pronunciation "cha" with its spelling affected by British English arhotic dialect pronunciation. The story of tea began in ancient China over 5,000 years ago. According to legend, Shen Nung, an early emperor was a skilled ruler, creative scientist and patron of the arts. His far-sighted edicts required, among other things, that all drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. One summer day while visiting a distant region of his realm, he and the court stopped to rest. In accordance with his ruling, the servants began to boil water for the court to drink. Dried leaves from the near by bush fell into the boiling water, and a brown liquid was infused into the water. As a scientist, the Emperor was interested in the new liquid, drank some, and found it very refreshing. And so, according to legend, tea was created. (This myth maintains such a practical narrative, that many mythologists believe it may relate closely to the actual events, now lost in ancient history.) The Chinese Influence Tea consumption spread throughout the Chinese culture reaching into every aspect of the society. In 800 A.D. Lu Yu wrote the first definitive book on tea, the Ch'a Ching. This amazing man was orphaned as a child and raised by scholarly Buddhist monks in one of China's finest monasteries. However, as a young man, he rebelled against the discipline of priestly training which had made him a skilled observer. His fame as a performer increased with each year, but he felt his life lacked meaning. Finally, in mid-life, he retired for five years into seclusion. Drawing from his vast memory of observed events and places, he codified the various methods of tea cultivation and preparation in ancient China. The vast definitive nature of his work, projected him into near sainthood within his own lifetime. Patronized by the Emperor himself, his work clearly showed the Zen Buddhist philosophy to which he was exposed as a child. It was this form of tea service that Zen Buddhist missionaries would later introduce to imperial Japan. The Japanese Influence The first tea seeds were brought to Japan by the returning Buddhist priest Yeisei, who had seen the value of tea in China in enhancing religious mediation. As a result, he is known as the "Father of Tea" in Japan. Because of this early association, tea in Japan has always been associated with Zen
Buddhism. Tea received almost instant imperial sponsorship and spread rapidly from the royal court and monasteries to the other sections of Japanese society. Tea was elevated to an art form resulting in the creation of the Japanese Tea Ceremony ("Cha-no-yu" or "the hot water for tea"). The best description of this complex art form was probably written by the Irish-Greek journalist-historian Lafcadio Hearn, one of the few foreigners ever to be granted Japanese citizenship during this era. He wrote from personal observation, "The Tea ceremony requires years of training and practice to graduate in art...yet the whole of this art, as to its detail, signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea. The supremely important matter is that the act be performed in the most perfect, most polite, most graceful, most charming manner possible". Such a purity of form, of expression prompted the creation of supportive arts and services. A special form of architecture (chaseki) developed for "tea houses", based on the duplication of the simplicity of a forest cottage. The cultural/artistic hostesses of Japan, the Geishi, began to specialize in the presentation of the tea ceremony. As more and more people became involved in the excitement surrounding tea, the purity of the original Zen concept was lost. The tea ceremony became corrupted, boisterous and highly embellished. "Tea Tournaments" were held among the wealthy where nobles competed among each other for rich prizes in naming various tea blends. Rewarding winners with gifts of silk, armor, and jewelry was totally alien to the original Zen attitude of the ceremony. Three great Zen priests restored tea to its original place in Japanese society: 1. Ikkyu (1394-1481)-a prince who became a priest and was successful in guiding the nobles away from their corruption of the tea ceremony. 2. Murata Shuko (1422-1502)-the student of Ikkyu and very influential in re-introducing the Tea ceremony into Japanese society. 3. Sen-no Rikkyu (1521-1591)-priest who set the rigid standards for the ceremony, largely used intact today. Rikyo was successful in influencing the Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who became Japan's greatest patron of the "art of tea". A brilliant general, strategist, poet, and artist this unique leader facilitated the final and complete integration of tea into the pattern of Japanese life. So complete was this acceptance, that tea was viewed as the ultimate gift, and warlords paused for tea before battles All tea comes from the "Camellia sinensis", an evergreen shrub that may grow up to 60 feet in the wild. When cultivated for harvest the tea bushes are kept to a height of about three feet. There are over 3000 varieties of tea each with its own specific characteristics. The naming and growing of teas has many similarities to wine. Just as Bordeaux wine is named after the Bordeaux region in France, Assam is named after the Assam region in India, and Keemun is named after the Keemun region of China. Like wine, tea comes from one bush, and where the tea is grown, the climate, soil conditions, and how the tea is processed, determines the flavor characteristics of the tea. Tea is harvested after each flush - the sprouting of the top two leaves and bud. The top two leaves and bud are hand plucked and then processed into any of the four types of tea, which are Black, Green, Oolong, and White. Black tea is withered, fully oxidized and dried. Black tea yields a hearty, amber-colored brew. Some of the popular black teas include English Breakfast, and Darjeeling. Green tea skips the oxidizing step. It is simply withered and then dried. It has a more delicate taste and is pale green / golden in color.
Oolong tea, popular in China, is withered, partially oxidized, and dried. Oolong is a cross between black and green tea in color and taste. White tea is the least processed. A very rare tea from China, White tea is not oxidized or rolled, but simply withered and dried by steaming. The main chemical substances in tea are essential oils, caffeine, and polyphenols (mistakenly known by many people as tannins). The essential oils give us the aroma of the tea, the caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and the polyphenols account for the much publicized antioxidant and anti-disease properties. Tea is not to be confused with herbal infusions. Herbal infusions are packaged like tea, infused like tea, and enjoyed like tea, however the herbs do not come from the camellia sinensis bush and therefore are not teas. Herbal infusions are made of grasses like lemongrass, barks like cinnamon, fruits like orange peel, flowers like chamomile and hibiscus, and many other botanicals. BLACK TEAS AND OOLONG Darjeeling Refers to tea grown in this mountain area of India. The mountain altitude and gentle misting rains of the region, produce a unique full bodied but light flavor with a subtly lingering aroma reminiscent of Muscatel. Reserved for afternoon use, it is traditionally offered to guests plain. One might take a lemon with it, if the Darjeeling were of the highest grade, but never milk. (Milk would "bury" the very qualities that make it unique.) Oolong The elegant tea is sometimes known as the "champagne of teas". Originally grown in the Fukien province of China, it was first imported to England in 1869 by John Dodd. Today, the highest grade Oolongs (Formosa Oolongs) are grown in Taiwan. A cross between green and black teas, it is fermented to achieve a delicious fruity taste that makes milk, lemon, and sugar unthinkable. With such clarity, it is perfect for afternoon use with such tea fare as cucumber sandwiches and madelaines. GREEN TEAS Makes up only ten percent of the world's produced tea. The Japanese tea ceremony (in which green tea is used), is an art form. Green tea is not generally part of the afternoon tea tradition as appropriate to hotel use. More about green tea. WHITE TEAS White tea is a very rare, expensive connoisseurs tea that is mainly produced in China in Fukien (Fujian) Province. Once harvested, white tea is not oxidized or rolled, but simply withered and dried by steaming. White tea requires an experienced palate already initiated into the exquisite, subtle flavors of green and oolong teas. Its name, a literal translation from the Chinese, probably comes from the very pale color of its liquor. This tea has a very mellow taste and a hint of sweetness. CHINA TEAS Keemun Is the most famous of China's black teas. Because of its subtle and complex nature, it is considered the "burgundy of teas". It is a mellow tea that will stand alone as well as support sugar and/or milk. Because of its "wine-like" quality, lemon should not be offered as the combined tastes
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