Drinking Green Tea Could Protect Your Brain?

For centuries, all the way to present day, tea has often been used by millions around the world as a daily health beverage. However, research from the last 20 years show that the healthy effects of tea on the body may go much deeper than originally thought. Besides that we recently wrote about the benefits of green tea against Diabetes, a new study now shows that green tea specifically may have an important role in preventing brain damage after the occurrence of spinal cord damage.

green tea for brain benefits

For years we have known that some types of tea can help to improve blood flow and help to prevent high blood pressure, but according to a recent study published in the Neural Regeneration Research journal, drinking green tea may prevent the risk of brain damage upon the occurrence of spinal cord damage, here’s the conclusion:

Chinese researchers suggest that green [tea] is loaded with polyphenols, strong antioxidants, which protect spinal cord neurons against oxidative stress induced by free radicals generated by the body.

This could potentially open doors into other health benefits, and maybe even work its way into being used in the medicinal field. As more and more research is done on how and why green tea has this effect, maybe there’s a chance for bettering a person’s chances during accidents such as car wrecks, sports, or horseback riding falls.

Green Tea Health Benefits: The Story of a Coffee Drinker

Below a story of a coffee drinker that turned to green tea and shared her experiences regarding the health benefits.

Sometimes when one writes about a topic as large and important as the health benefits of green tea consumption, it pays to begin at the beginning. So, at the risk of being too obvious, let’s start here: in order to derive the benefits of green tea consumption you must first drink it on a regular basis.

And for most Americans, starting a pattern of drinking green tea regularly is no small task. For me it took the cajoling of a family member just to get me to try it; and I mean really give it a chance. After all, I’m a coffee drinker and coffee drinkers don’t drink tea!

coffee versus tea

So, almost to appease this persistent family member, I followed his instructions and purchased a large ceramic tea pot, a supply of good quality green tea, and, per his instructions, brewed a large supply of green tea every few days. He insisted that this was the only way to go. He’s a very efficient type of person and he explained that having a jug of home-brewed green tea in the refrigerator so it’s easily available, is the only way a coffee-drinker can hope to establish the green tea drinking habit.

Being the good sport that I am, I followed his instructions and drank at least three cups a day, very consistently, for a month or so. The results of this diet change on my general sense of well-being both psychologically and physiologically were rather dramatic.

If you have some time to kill, then plug in “green tea health benefits” into Google and you’ll have plenty to read for at least a month. The heath benefits derived from drinking green tea are well-documented both subjectively and scientifically. Think of it this way, the evidence that green tea consumption is healthy comes from two arenas of human knowledge. The scientific, which I will call hard evidence and the subjective which I classify soft evidence.

reasons to drink green tea

After over six months of consistent green tea consumption I have discovered at least 3 unexpected health benefits of drinking green tea. Let me list these benefits and for the purposes of clarity, I will classify each benefit as being either hard or soft. i.e. either scientific or subjective.

1. Weight loss. Evidence type: hard and soft. I drink most of my green tea with breakfast. Right off the bat I had a decision to make: it was either my orange juice or green tea. I couldn’t do both. So I dropped the OJ. It wasn’t easy, but only after a week, I didn’t miss OJ at all. The hard fact is that dropping OJ from my breakfast means I am dropping 28,000 calories from my diet every year. (Sounds incredible but I did the math). Soft evidence: since I started drinking green tea in the morning it seems I get hungry much later than I used to.

2. Green tea will reduce cholesterol. Evidence type: hard. Green tea will reduce bad cholesterol but not significantly say scientists. Drinking up to 10 cups a day, however, will reduce the bad cholesterol significantly. Drinking 10 cups a day is probably unreasonable but it does indicate, as stated above, that green tea is more of a food than a beverage.

3. Reduced alcohol consumption. Evidence type: soft. I am going to tread very lightly here because this very unexpected benefit is very personal. My doctor has told me in no uncertain terms that I consumed too much alcohol. But as any real alcohol drinker knows, quitting or reducing drinking is easier said than done. But one night I decided to drink green tea instead of alcohol. That night for some reason, I didn’t drink any alcohol. Long story short, I hardly drink alcohol at all anymore. I drink the tea and it supplants the need for alcohol. But this is strictly personal. I don’t want to sound like a quack. But what told you is true.

As stated at the outset of this article the benefits of green tea drinking are voluminous. You can do your own Google research to prove that. But what I tried to communicate here is my personal relationship with green tea. If that statement sounds a little other-worldly or super-spiritual, maybe it is. And if you think I am an evangelist for green tea, maybe I am. But if you want to know why I bothered to write this piece about green tea, I think it’s gratitude. I am thankful for a persistent family member who convinced me to try it and I am thankful to mother nature herself for providing such a wonderful, delicious, and healthy food.

Chinese Art Collector Buys 35 Million USD The Wine Cup (Meiyintang), But Sips Tea

chinese ming dynasty art collector

Liu Yiqian, a Chinese multimillionaire, recently bought a 35 million USD wine cup from the Ming Dynasty, but got in trouble online by showing a picture of himself sipping tea out of it. This is what the rich art collector said: “Emperor Qianlong of the Ming Dynasty has used it, now I’ve used it” and  “I just wanted to see how it felt.” The cup, he added, “isn’t a commercial product appropriate for the masses.”

On Weibo, a Chinese social media site, Chinese art lovers and people in the lower classes of society are furious:

“You think you can drink it and become immortal?”

“In fact, isn’t it just a way to satisfy your vanity?”

The reason of all this rage is because this ‘chicken cup’ (also known as ‘Mei Yin Tang’) probably the most celebrated porcelain in Chinese history and there are only 17 left in the world. See the tea cup in the below image. It’s delicately crafted with flawless translucent sides flaring out from the countersunk base to a subtly everted rim. The outside is painted in faint outlines of cobalt blue under the glaze and picked out in overglaze enamels of yellow, green, light and dark olive green. In addition, two tones of iron red is used with a lively continuous scene of a red rooster and his golden hen out in a garden with their chicks. One side of the cup depicting the rooster with his head turned back to see the hen pecking at a red-winged insect on the ground.

chicken cup meiyintang

chicken cup

China High-End Tea Prices In Decline, Chinese Tea Shops Changing Strategies

China’s Tea Industry Association released information regarding the Chinese market for high end teas. The prospects are not positive as upscale tea sales have declined anywhere between 10 to 50%. Especially provinces who are famous for producing black suffered the most. Besides black tea, the famous Xinyang Maojian as well as high-end Tie Guan Yin are in decline.

The only two tea categories that are on the rise are white teas from Fuding as well as Pu’er teas from Yunnan.

Due to the above trends, tea shops in China are slowly adjusting their strategies, which include the following:

  1. Spend less on expensive packaging
  2. Sell smaller portions when it comes to high-end tea
  3. Offer more value for money assortment.

The Hubei Lu Yu Tea Culture Research Association also confirms that the luxury market is in decline in Hubei. Given the high operating cost, the this market segment is challenging to be in. Meanwhile, the association also reports that low-end teas (below 100 RMB/15USD per KG) is showing a steady but slow rise in prices.

Sources:

http://hb.ifeng.com/news/cjgc/detail_2014_07/10/2568653_0.shtml

http://news.163.com/14/0710/06/A0P8A9HA00014Q4P.html

Global Starbucks Succeeds In Tea Oriented China By Adopting Local Strategies

Though we recently discussed the decline and exit of Nestea (a Coca Cola & Nestle Joint Venture) in China, Starbucks continues to sell the average cup of coffee above for 5 USD in China with high volume. With about 1100 stores the American coffee chain has achieved its last year’s target and has become the market leader in the coffee industry in China with another 400 stores opening by the end of 2015. This year it will shift its focus from central locations to expanding into local communities. According to the chain, employees will start promoting the brand by building connections with local communities, by being part of local projects and organizing volunteering activities.

“It’s a market where we continue to see traction around the Starbucks experience, and there are a number of things that are helping demographically and environmentally for Starbucks in China,” Mr. Maw said during a June 11 presentation at the William Blair Growth Stock Conference.

starbucks in china

The growing middle class in China and the enthusiasm for the coffee culture are one of the main factors for Starbucks success. But that’s not it. The American firm is doing a great job to tailor its offerings to the local needs. Take for instance the recent Starbucks frozen dumpling offerings that has caught much attention in China, which is proof that the coffee chain is listening to its customers. Dumplings are traditional Chinese snacks.

Besides it’s drinks and sweets, Starbucks adjusting it’s employee policies. The coffee giant is redefining what it means to be family-friendly. As families play a tremendous role in life and career choices in China, Starbucks is including the family members in the career conversations by organizing a Partner Family Forum. This indeed proofs that a company with its own strong flavor of corporate culture is tweaking it to fit China’s work life customs, which incorporate the family.

starbucks fuzhou

Though all the news above is good, we do need to mention that there is one product line that’s not selling well: Tea. The coffee chain hasn’t succeeded until today to attract Chinese tea lovers to it’s stores. Starbucks, offerings are awkward to the Chinese who are confused about what Starbucks tea stands for. To succeed, the chain has to focus on creating a tea line that looks more foreign, or it will face a similar fate as Nestea.

starbucks tea in china