Don't Forsake Black Tea in Rush for a Healthy Brew
Some nasty discrimination against blacks started in the '90s, and it's only getting worse — discrimination against black tea, that is.
Some study or the other came out saying that all true teas (not herbals) contain flavonoids, however the fermentation process that produces black tea reduces its flavonoid content somewhat. Flavonoids are said to be powerful antioxidants.
Almost overnight, people began switching to green tea in a panic. Earl Grey went out, Japanese sencha rushed in. At the same time, the public took a dislike to caffeine (which is harmless in small doses) and decaf teas and herbal blends took off at health food stores around the country. What was a black tea fancier to do if he/she didn't want to be stuck with Lipton tea bags forever?
Fight back, of course. I'm a tea snob and I freely admit it. While I love fine green teas, I find many that the green water the public is slurping down to be beneath tolerance. Many Chinese or Japanese would find the stuff to be undrinkable. But it's green, so it must be healthy. Meanwhile, my fragrant cup of Pu Erh (don't laugh at the name, it's one of the most revered black teas in China) has more health benefits than anything I see around me.
I called the Tea Council, a London-based public-relations firm with satellite offices in the U.S. and discovered that in further studies, scientists have found a great deal of healthy mojo in black tea. Most of it is too complex to relate here--because yours truly doesn't have a medical degree and can't understand the terminology . But the gist is that in several studies, black tea appears to cut down on myocardial infarction. That's heart attack to you, brother. Also there was suspected protection from cancer and stroke.Continued on the next page