Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tea and the paleo diet

Although all four types of tea; white, green, oolong and black come from the same plant, camillia sinensis, each tea has its own distinct flavor and way of being brewed and enjoyed.
Black tea is my all time favorite...specifically, Earl Grey and Monk's Blend, however, since I do enjoy my black tea either with sugar or both sugar and milk, it is not an ideal beverage for me since the paleo diet discourages the ingestion of both sugar and milk.
White tea, for me, is just too wimpy in the strength of its flavor which leaves me with oolong or green tea.
Sigh. Ok, I can do this...green tea is fine. It can be a bit like drinking grass clippings sometimes depending on which tea you buy. If you are following the paleo diet for health reasons such as grain allergies, DO NOT buy Genmachai tea as it contains toasted pieces of rice- also, beware of teas containing soy lecithin; I'm looking at you, Lipton and, Celestial Seasonings! The best quality tea, in my humble opinion, is loose leaf tea from a company dedicated to buying the best quality tea available. Stop than whining! You can make loose leaf tea. It is not too fussy or hard, especially when you grew and drink it, 'grandpa style' and provides you with the best tea drinking experience.
Although green tea is acceptable in a pinch, I prefer oolong tea. Oolong is a tea that is only partially oxidized. Black tea is fully oxidized which is why it is black. Oolong tea is in between green and black tea. Oolong teas have a stronger flavor than green or white teas and are not as delicate which makes them easier to brew than green and white teas which, to me, are a bit more fussy and need more TLC during the brewing process.
Something that I have started doing is drinking my oolong tea, 'grandpa style'. This means that I put in my mug a smaller amount of leaf and continue to add water to it throughout the day. I use a large mug and about a pinch of tea leaves. Oolong, and some green teas, roll the tea leaf into little balls. When they unfurl, called the agony of the leaf, they of course become larger, exposing more of the leaf to the water. Five tea balls are my limit. This imparts a lovely flavor to the water and I continue brewing throughout the day without fear of ingesting too much tea. Refill your mug when the water level drops to about 2/3's  full. Do not pour the water dead center but instead, off to one side of the mug allowing the leaves to roll in the tempest thereby stirring up any, 'tea flavor' that has settled on the bottom of the mug.


Some tea companies I have reviewed i the past and can vouch for the good quality of their tea.

Culinary Teas
Small section of oolong tea.

Boston Tea Co
Better known for their black tea, they have branched out into a large line of flavored green teas. Limited in their selection of oolong tea.

Teavana
Slightly larger selection of oolong tea than Boston Tea Co. 


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