Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hap-tea Holidays!

Tea by Laurel Fan, on Flickr
I'm a holiday junkie, but not in the typical sense. I like weird holidays. I like them so much I've actually managed to get people to pay me to learn about them and write about them - more than once! I've just discovered a new holiday: January is Hot Tea Month. How did I not know this? Anyone who knows me knows I love my tea. Extra points if you know which is my favorite! +20 coolness factor if you know how I take it. Also, today celebrates another love of mine - Trivia Day, so how about some tea trivia? Here are some interesting tea tidbits I discovered:
  • Tea from the herb Camelia Simensis was first enjoyed by the Emperor of China 5000 years ago.
  • Colonial tea was very bitter. The severely overcooked leaves were salted, buttered, and eaten.
  • Tea is second only to water as the world's most popular beverage (take that, nasty old coffee!).
  • 50 billion cups of tea are consumed in America each year; 40 billion of them are iced.
  • The first tea bags were silk, created by Thomas Sullivan in 1904.
  • Black, Green, and Oolong teas are all made from the same type of tea leaves. The difference is in the fermentation during processing: Black is fermented, Oolong is semi-fermented, and Green is not fermented.
  • Herbal teas don't actually contain tea, but peels, flower leaves, herbs, and spices. They have no caffeine.
  • Speaking of caffeine, tea only has 40 mg per cup, whereas coffee has 99 mg per cup.
  • Tea must have a caffeine content of approximately 5 mg per cup in order to qualify for the "decaffeinated" label. 
  • Black and Green teas have antioxidants called flavenoids.

Still not a fan? Check out these health benefits of tea:

  • Consuming 30 oz. of black tea daily can reduce Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol levels by more than 10 percent.  Study participants who drank four cups of tea per day had significantly lower risk of death following a heart attack – a decrease of up to 44 percent.  
  • A Dutch study found that the incidence of heart attack decreased by 43 percent in the study participants who drank more than three cups of black tea per day.  
  • Heavy smokers who consume four servings per day of green tea can have up to 31% lower levels of 8-OHdG (a biomarker for oxidative damage to DNA) in white blood cells. Oxidative damage to DNA is one factor which increases cancer risk and the researches suggest that a significant reduction of DNA damage found with green tea drinking may help reduce cancer risk in smokers.  
  • Women who drink the equivalent of 2.5 cups of tea per day or more have a 60% drop in rectal cancer risk, as compared to women who drank less than 1.2 cups of tea per day. 

It's cold and flu season. Aunt Crystal says, "Drink your tea to fight viral infection!" Research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who drank 3 cups of black tea per day produced 5 times the amount of germ-fighting cells than those who drank coffee, suggesting that tea drinkers have more ability to fight viral infections such as colds and flu than non tea drinkers. I don't know about you, but I can't stand being sick. This sounds like a perfect excu-- *ahem* reason to drink tea.

So, care to join me for some tea? Leave a comment and I'll send a tea care package consisting of a dozen tea bags in a variety of flavors to the winner. Enter by midnight on National Hat Day: Sunday, January 15. An extra entry goes to the first person to tell me why I chose that day!

Disclaimer: This giveaway is not sponsored. I received no compensation for hosting this giveaway.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for a lovely giveaway :) I love all tea but my favorite would be various herbal teas. I like that you included some info and a small history of tea..interesting!

sswpss at yahoo dot com

Georgia Mist said...

I love tea and drink it daily! Herbal and fruit teas are my favourite.

outofthemist AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

i love tea-i drink so much of it.
flyergal82 AT (yahoo) /dot/ $com%

Anonymous said...

I loved the challenge posed by your post. Unfortunately, I honestly don't know what the significance of choosing Hat Day for the date to have the entries in by. Unless their is a tie-in with preventing colds (wearing hats & tea). I have been googling, and honestly don't have a better answer... Regardless, thank you for the giveaway, and I woud love to win!!

terry (underscore) thacker (at) hotmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I love tea! It's soooo much better than coffee. Maybe u chose that day to enter by cause u make hats. That's my guess!

Triciaknowlton at yahoo dot com

Julie said...

I love tea!
And I think I know why you chose that day... Alice in Wonderland?? Hats+tea= tea party! =)

julia@ frompdxwithlove .com

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