April 2014 Issue
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Unsweetened Green Tea Excellent for Dental Health

by Diana Rosen

Want to have cleaner, fresher breath? Healthier gums and teeth? Keep your teeth a lifetime? Recent studies from China, Japan and the U.S. all confirm that drinking unsweetened green tea will give you all that, and more.

The common thread in all these studies is the recognition that powerful antioxidants are the “good guys” that are especially good for oral health. Those powerful antioxidants include polyphenols also abundant in fruits and vegetables but tea has eight to ten times as many of these disease fighters than produce. And, with 50 to 150 types of polyphenols present in green tea from China and Japan, there’s no wonder that they can destroy the “bad guys”, those free radicals that cause disease.

Here’s how antioxidants in green tea work: They reduce the accumulation of both dental plaque and the acidity of saliva in the mouth. Less plaque means cleaner teeth. Less acidity means stronger tooth enamel and healthier gums that can stand up to periodontal disease... more >

Spring Cleaning: Sort Through the Tea Cupboard

by Heather Edwards

Spring cleaning isn’t just for ridding yourself of never-worn clothes or book overload or all the objects we collect, wear out, tire of. It’s also the time to look through the tea cupboard to prepare it for new selections from the vital spring season of newly-plucked fresh teas.

Teas stored properly can last a long time, but alas, they do not last forever. If a container of tea doesn’t smell fresh, if the leaves are dull and without “life” or if the leaves have crumbled to dust, it’s time to recycle them into your garden, as a mulch around plants or into the compost pile or toss them into the garbage. You deserve a great cup of tea each and every time you drink but if that tin got relegated to the back of the shelf and was forgotten, say goodbye.

What if you’re not sure? Try a cup. If the flavor is fine and the fragrance lovely, it’s a keeper, but drink it up soon.

How are you storing your teas? They should be kept in a cool, dark place, NOT next to the stove and NOT along a sunny window and NOT in the refrigerator... more >

Tea for Spirits: The New World of Tea and Alcohol

by Taylor Cowan

Tea: the infusion of dried leaves into water. It is as we've always understood it to be, a decoction of the tea plant into hot liquid. But when you take the leaves of the tea plant (or an herb, spice, root etc.) and place them into something other than water, say, a spirit such as vodka, you open a pandora's box of possibility.

This past year saw an unprecedented rise in the amount of tea-infused spirits nationwide, from the trendiest cocktail bars to Mason jar home infusion, suddenly everyone is giving it a try. A few weeks ago The New York Times imprint T Magazine did a piece on their rising popularity. While this sudden mania may seem alarming at first, similar ideas like Coffee Stouts have been brewing for years and using botanicals to infuse spirits (ingredients as familiar as orange peel, coriander, elder flower, caraway) has been a tradition since time immemorial.

Blame it on a brutal winter but hot cocktails have surged in popularity as of late and if the ingredients are going to be hot, what could possibly be more cozy than tea? Like any beverage derived from the earth, the natural wealth of tastes, aromas and textures that the tea leaf offers complement any number of concoctions... more >