Tea Facts Worth Knowing

Infusion: Tea made from leaves, flowers and light material. Put 1-2 teaspoons of herbal tea material into a brewing utensil of your choice and place in a 6-8 oz size cup. Add lightly boiled water and allow it to steep for 3-5 minutes. For a more "medicinal" effect steep 15-30 minutes. Will keep refrigerated for 24 hours

Decoction: Tea made from bark, roots, seeds, twigs and berries. Put 1-3 tablespoons of cut herb, seed, root, bark, etc into a pot of 16-32 oz of water and allow to sit in non-boiled water for at least 5-10 minutes. Set on stove and bring to a slow boil then turn down to a simmer for 10-30 minutes. Strain and drink. Will keep about 72 hours if kept refrigerated.

Much of the research on green tea has focused on its polyphenol content. Many different kinds of polyphenols are found in green tea, and these polyphenols will become increasingly present in the tea water the longer a tea is steeped. (This principle holds true for green tea, white tea, black tea, and oolong tea.) Catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins are among the best studied of the green tea polyphenols that are known to increase in the tea water as steeping times increase.

When you brew tea yourself, you can control this steeping process in a way that will maximize the polyphenol content of your tea. When you buy a bottled tea, however, you may or may not get a tea that has been carefully brewed. In addition, you are likely to get a tea that includes other ingredients and is not simply 100% brewed tea.

According to a 2005 study, Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University issued a report showing that many bottled teas contained polyphenol content 10 to 100 times lower than freshly and carefully brewed teas. Differences between bottled tea and freshly brewed tea were attributed to steeping process, amount of actual tea found in the bottled products, and presence of non-tea ingredients in the bottled teas, including sugar. In addition, bottled tea companies were sometimes found to use powdered rather than brewed tea in their products.

 

Happy cooking!

Bea Kunz

 

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