It’s Tea Time
The world’s second most consumed beverage provides some real benefits for well-being. Here are some fun facts, and a sweet location to sip a cup.
We may need our java, but Americans also love tea, drinking more than 65 billion servings in 2010, which adds up to about 3 billion gallons. The most popular varieties—black tea, green tea, oolong and white tea—account for most of this consumption, which has increased dramatically every year for more than a decade.
Enjoyed by many for its refreshing (when cold) and soothing (when hot) flavor, and prized for the fact that an unsweetened cup is calorie free, recent studies finding that tea may be good for our health could also be a factor in its increasing popularity. In just the past five years there have been more than 5,000 scientific studies on tea, forming a substantial body of research.
Tea contains flavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant properties. And antioxidants, present in foods such as blueberries, kale and broccoli, are now recognized for their ability to neutralize free radicals, which scientists believe eventually damage elements in the body and contribute to chronic diseases.
In an overview of recent research on the potential health benefits of tea, the Tea Association of the USA lists numerous findings that make the case for adding a cuppa—or more—to our daily beverage intake. In September the 5th International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health released a press report touting some of these discoveries, with research suggesting that green tea and caffeine may trigger energy expenditure that may promote weight loss. Another study illustrates how tea may help counter the adverse effects of high-fat foods on blood vessels, which could possibly reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, the most common cause of death in the U.S.
“There is now an overwhelming body of research from around the world indicating that drinking tea can enhance human health,” said meeting chair, Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Director, Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston. “The many bioactive compounds in tea appear to impact virtually every cell in the body to help improve health outcomes, which is why the consensus emerging from this symposium is that drinking at least a cup of green, black, white or oolong tea a day can contribute significantly to the promotion of public health.”
If these positive developments make you want to reach for a teacup, we’ve got a suggestion for a relaxing break from your routine. Located in the heart of Cos Cob, proprietors Kenleigh and Mike Larock have operated a cozy tearoom in their design shop, The Drawing Room, for several years. Just a short hop from the Avenue and tucked into a charming street off the Post Road, you can sit with a friend and enjoy Afternoon Tea—a comforting way to end a day of shopping and errands.
Choose a cup or a pot of tea, and select an accompaniment from a menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts, all presented with the same panache with which the owners arrange their shop’s attractive inventory of home furnishings and accessories.
Raise your cup, and remember the words of Bernard-Paul Heroux: “There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.”
To your health!