When I do my one-on-one consults for LauraKleinGreenClub.com, a common question I get is, "Do you drink coffee?" or "How can I kick the coffee habit?" My answer: I can relate, I used to be a coffee drinker. While working in the corporate world, I drank coffee to keep me energized (or so I thought). But in the end, all I felt was edgy, jittery and moody.
A friend of mine introduced me to a high quality, loose organic green tea grown in Taiwan. Initially, I was hesitant to taste her tea. As a traditional American girl, the tea I was familiar with was black tea that came in a tea bag that carried a bitter flavor (I don't like bitter things). And if you opened the bag, the leaves looked like dust (in fact, I didn't even know the dust particles were supposed to be tea leaves!?!).
I had one sip of my friend's loose, organic, green tea and there was no going back. It wafted a soft floral scent, with a clean yet slightly grassy flavor, without a hint of bitterness. I added a little agave syrup to help bring out the natural flavors, and I was hooked. You see, tea is a little bit like wine, you have some delicious high quality wines and some cheap duds.
I started taking my loose, organic, green tea to the office in place of my daily coffee, and I easily kicked the coffee habit without any side effects or withdrawal symptoms. My daily emotional highs and lows stopped, I didn't crash an hour after I drank my tea, and my blood sugar stabilized. I felt great.
Since then I have broadened my tea horizons. I've discovered new flavors and brands that produce high quality, organic, loose tea that aren't bitter, or look like the dust your mother just swept up off the floor.
Recently I had the pleasure of being introduced to one of our sponsors' teas at LeafSpa Organic Tea. Since I am a huge green and white tea fan (I drink 2-3 cups per day), I chose to try their Organic Blink Bonnie Green Tea. Once I saw the cool-looking hand-twisted spiral spears of white, green and cinnamon colored leaves, I had to try it.
To get started, I brought my filtered water to a low rolling boil (you don't want to over boil the water), and spooned one heaping teaspoon of tea into the strainer for my cast iron tea pot. Once the water reached its low rolling boil, I gently poured about a quarter of a cup of hot water into my tea pot to warm it up, and poured it out. Then I placed the strainer with the tea into the pot and poured the hot water over the leaves, filling up the pot. I set the timer for the tea to steep for three minutes. At the three minute mark, I promptly pulled the strainer with the leaves out of the pot (I don't like bitter tea). If you steep the tea too long, the tea will become bitter. I poured a cup full of the lightly floral scented tea into my favorite white cup, and added a teaspoon of agave syrup. To my delight, I had brewed the perfect cup of super healthy, green tea with a light grassy, clean flavor. Yum!
What's great about making tea this way, I can re-steep the tea 2-3 times per day. It keeps me alert and feeling great all day long. In fact the health benefits of green tea are truly amazing. In an expert interview I did for the LauraKleinGreenClub.com, Dr. Nalini Chilkov, L.Ac., O.M.D. and Doctor of Oriental Medicine called green tea a super antioxidant, and recommended we drink 2-3 cups a per day (if your body can handle the caffeine). She states,
"Green Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Green tea is rich in super antioxidant polyphenols, specifically flavonols and catechins. These active constituents found in Green Tea have the capacity to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and increase fat metabolism and weight loss. Green Tea has also been shown to be anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic. ECGC, the primary catechin in Green Tea, has potent anti-tumor and cancer preventive activity. Oral use of green tea has been studied in the treatment of many cancers, including breast cancer and prostate cancer. Green Tea has also been used both orally and topically in the prevention and treatment of skin cancers. Like many remedies from nature, one plant can contribute to our health and well being in a multiplicity of ways."
Drinking organic green tea daily is a simple step anyone can take to actively live a life of prevention. A cup of organic green tea has approximately one third the caffeine found in coffee, and provides so many more health benefits.
It's important to choose organic green tea, because studies have found that conventionally grown green teas contain the pesticide DDT and high levels of fluoride which is a no-no. DDT is a nasty pesticide that was banned in the 70s and exposure has been linked to cancer. Overexposure to fluoride can cause health problems including hypothyroidism and skeletal fluorosis.