Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Green Tea Palate

Green tea, as is burbled all over, has a gajillion health benefits. 

I, for one, never liked tea. 

I always loved the idea of tea. The beautiful china tea sets, with the accompanying pot, the sugar holder, the dainty tea cup placed with a delicate clink into the beflowered saucer . . .
When I was a kid I put juice in the teacup and held it with my pinkie in the air.
Jennifer Emery Art
One can't really do that when one is over nine.

I have tried to drink tea, but I frankly cannot understand the allure of a piping cup of flavored hot water. The British are weird. I usually end up searing off tongue skin; they close their eyes in bliss. 

While in the throes of a cold, I reprimanded myself for being close-minded. Broaden your horizons, I thought. The tea with the biggest health benefits is green tea; it is also, to my dismay, the nastiest tasting.

Since I would only drink decaf tea, there are limits on nasty-canceling flavors. For regular tea, variety abounds: pomegranate, raspberry, blueberry, mango, pineapple, jasmine, peach, mint. But for decaf, I was stuck with Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon, and I have to say that the "with lemon" isn't very noticeable.
Day 1: The first sip left my face contorted in agony. Despite the hefty sugar packet, the bitterness left me going "yuch" with every gulp.

Day 2: I brought along a lemon, which took the edge off the bitterness, and made the tea much more palatable, but not tasty enough that I would say, "Hey, I feel like some tea." The added dusting of sugar didn't do much, either. Until, however, I reached the bottom, where most of the lemon juice had congregated. I actually drained the cup dry, rather sad that there was no more left.

Very simple. I had to ensure maybe 50% lemon juice, which has all sorts of healthy properties as well, to make green tea drinkable.

Day 3: I slice off an even bigger wedge of lemon and heartlessly pulverize it in my fist, squelching out every last bit of liquid possible. No sugar today. 

This time, the bitterness of the tea is barely noticeable beneath the tangy tartness of the lemon. I find myself constantly sipping. Ah, polyphenol power! 

Day 4: I cheerfully gulp down my morning tea.

I wonder how long I can maintain this. 

Not long. I fall off the wagon all to soon, while my tea bags glare reproachfully from the drawer. 

A few months later I hear the television blither on about the wonders of green tea (yeah, yeah, I know), and I am prodded to finish my supply. I tediously attempt again, but stop bothering with sugar or lemon. I can't remember to bring a lemon every day to work. 

But now there are more options for the decaf green tea drinker! I present: Salada Green Tea with Purple Antioxidant Blueberry! Whooo!
There's elderberry in there! That stuff boosts immunity! Plus, it totally blocks the exquisite blahness that is green tea taste. Smells pretty good.   

Now I can crack out the tea cups!

Of course there was a snag. 

"Do you drink coffee?" my dentist asked, frowning at my teeth. 

"No! Besides water, I only drink—" 


No dainty tea cups for me. I have to use a straw. In a serviceable mug.   


JerusalemStoned said...

I love me some tea, actually. But you can join the ranks of my husband who refers to the beverage as dirty leaf water. :)

FrumGeek said...

I remember an episode where Picard was on some primitive planet, or in the past, I don't remember, and someone asks him is he'd like some tea. "I'll take some earl grey tea, hot." She looks at him funny. "Its tea. Of course its hot!"

Princess Lea said...

JS: I'm trying, so hard. Dirty leaf water sounds so apt, even as I drink it. Blah.

FG: Earl Gray tastes worse than green tea. I ordered it once because it sounded so Picard-y and cultural, and I threw it out.

I'm sure the replicators can't quite get the right flavor. You know replicators.

shhh said...

I believe you need about 6 cups of green tea a day to actually get any of those much-praised benefits...
But you can actually get decaf teabags (not green) in a plethora of flavors! from the simple chamomile, to tropical, to hazelnut vanilla, to apple cinnamon. mmmm.
I do always add sugar though (it brings out the otherwise bland flavor imo. steeping 5 minutes just makes it bitter!) and i let it cool down first!

Princess Lea said...

There are benefits even in 1 or 2 cups. Sure, there are boom-pow benefits in 10 cups, too, but let's not push things.

I am well aware that there are many tasty options in the plain decaf arena. But I'm tackling green tea, here.

There is a delicate window between tea that is cool enough to consume and too chilly that it tastes gross.

shhh said...

Dr. Oz doesn't agree with your 1-2 cup benefits :).
In green tea, we have plain, tropical, and raspberry-pomegranate which is yum.
Here we go: Stash green tea (sorry, can't remember how to link words)

Princess Lea said...

I got this from the website:

It says Dr. Oz recommends 2 cups a day. Where did you hear 6 minimum, out of curiosity?

For me it is not all or nothing. I can't drink six cups of water a day, never mind green tea.

Again, those teas listed are not decaf. There is a variety of regular flavored hechshered green teas, not a lot in decaf, including Stash.