When people use buzz words and phrases like “anti-ageing”, “fights cancer” and “prevents disease” I generally take what I’m hearing or reading with a grain of salt. By which I mean: they’re over simplifying something and being misleading. Also, they’re possibly nuts. If someone doesn’t take the time to explain these things properly, it all sounds like complete BS.
For example: I get irrate when reading about people “curing” their type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise. No. It’s not possible to cure it, but you can manage it this way. I’m all for promoting a healthy lifestyle – but don’t tell outright lies about it.
After being sent a free box of Lotus Peak White Tea to try, I decided to do a bit of reading on the researched health benefits of this tea. Below are some things that I learned.
- White tea comes from the same plant as green, oolong and black teas (camellia sinensis), though it’s derived from the unopened buds, not the leaves. It comes almost exclusively from the Fujian province of China and is harvested only once a year, for a week or so during spring, when the buds are young and a silvery white in colour (hence its name).
- It’s lower in caffeine than green, oolong & black teas and is less processed. It’s steamed & dried almost immediately after picking unlike black tea & oolong teas which are left to oxidise.
- It contains the same type of antioxidants as green tea (polyphenols called “cachetins”), but around triple the amount (this can vary between brands). It also contains phytochemicals.
- The above antioxidants have been found to reduce cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, improve the function of blood vessels, reduce inflammation and help protect the elastin & collagen in your body from breaking down (which is essentially what happens to your skin when it starts to “age”). They’re also thought to* prevent conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
* I say “thought to” because studies that suggest this are not definitive in nature. That’s right, kids. I’m keepin’ it real.
Flavour-wise, there’s no denying its resemblance to green tea – though it’s far more mellow and doesn’t have a bitter, grassy taste. It’s almost a little sweet; And very soothing. I’m a pretty big fan of it both hot and cold. Either way, don’t add milk.
I found that the tea bags stretched further when I made cold jugs of it. Rather than brewing it hot then cooling it, I just soaked the teabags in room temp water for half a day then put it in the fridge. Three to four bags was enough for 2 litres (8 cups) of water, though you could make it stronger if you prefer.
Iced, sugar-free tea is mine & Mr. AA’s favourite thing to drink in summer – we always have a jug or two on the go in our fridge. This’ll definitely be making a more regular appearance in our rotation! I’m even thinking of using the chilled tea as a base for a berry smoothie this weekend. WHY NOT? Tea doesn’t just have to be something old ladies drink with a biscuit and some gossip.
If you’re keen to try some, it’s highly accessible. You can find it at Coles, Woolies, some health food stores and some smaller supermarkets. As an added bonus, it’s certified organic!
*Lotus Peak supplied me with one free box of their white tea. I’ve continued to buy it with my own money because I like it so much! All opinions are my own and haven’t been influenced by the freebie.