Recent Tea Posts

Pu erh Grading Standard

Pu erh Grading Standard

Each tea has its own grading standard based on its quality and condition. Pu erh is the same. Due to the quality of raw material (mao cha / 毛茶) and the difference in process, Pu erh is sorted into ten grades.  From the highest grade […]

What is “Wet Piling” (Wo Dui)?

What is “Wet Piling” (Wo Dui)?

Traditional pu erh tea can take years to age, but this changed when the ‘wet piling’ or ‘wet storage’ method was discovered. Wet piling, in China known as ‘wo dui’ (渥堆) is a fermentation process used for the production of ripe pu erh. This technique […]

Does Tea Prevents Dementia (Alzheimer’s)?

Does Tea Prevents Dementia (Alzheimer’s)?

During the early ages, we humans don’t really worry about mental disorders and memory loss. Yet, when we grow older some of us see that our loved grand parents suffer dementia. In extreme situations, this results even in personality changes or impaired reasoning. That’s about the time when you start wondering how you can help or dodge such problems when you grow older.

The above described symptoms can persistent or even chronic. There’s still a lot un-known about dementia. Some medical experts describe it as a disease and are looking for a cure, others simply accept it as a part of growing older. Whatever it is, it’s good to avoid Dementia (or The Alzheimer’s Disease) by adjusting your food and beverage intake starting today! So does tea prevent dementia? Let’s find out! We’ve browsed through lots of research articles to come to an as objective as possible solution.

So Does Tea Prevent Dementia? What Scientists Say

In early studies, such as one published in the Phytotherapy Research in 2014, researchers suggest that tea infusions have biologically active principles to slow the produces of Dementia.

In 2013, researchers published an article in the Behavioural Brain Research journal that Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by oxidative stress in the brain. Such stress can be prevented by Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in tea, which works as a neuroprotective compound.

A recent study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry confirms the effects of ECGC in 2016 by studying 13,645 Japanese participants aged 65 or older. The researchers conclude that consumption of green tea significantly reduces the risk of incident dementia.

A recent study by National University of Singapore examined more than 900 Chinese seniors by studying their tea drinking habits during 2003-2005 and then collected information on their cognitive function until 2010. Seniors who consumed 2 or more cups of tea a day reduced their chance of developing mental disorders by 50%. The scientists believe this is due to anti-inflammatory agents in tea.

The question however is whether this will also apply to seniors in other countries? In every country, people have different habits of drinking tea. The Chinese and Japanese steeps loose leaf teas and prepare them slow. Compare this to the Brits making tea from tea bags, and it’s natural to wonder if the results will be the same. Perhaps there’s a ceremonial aspect of preparing tea in Asian countries, which we hypothesise could have mental benefits as well.

Is It Caffeine?

When you drink caffeinated drinks, the mental effect is quite obvious as you’ll enjoy a short term boost. It stimulates the central nervous system, yet it’s less certain that it also helps in the long-term, in other words, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

A published study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009, researchers show that coffee consumption in midlife reduces the risk of Dementia in later life. The results were impressive: people who drank 3-5 cups a day had 65% less risk of Dementia in late-life. However, they didn’t find significant reduction in risk related to drinking tea.

In The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, scientists report in 2015 that they weren’t able to find enough evidence to support the fact that the consumption of tea or coffee could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in late-life.

Conclusion

While many studies performed in Asia show how tea can prevent dementia, Western studies don’t. Could it be that certain lifestyle aspects related to tea are overlooked?

To more strongly confirm the effects of tea on mental disorders researchers need to:

  1. Perform more studies in different countries to confirm that the effect of tea on Alzheimer’s is consistent across the world.
  2. Perform longer studies collecting tea drinking habits of participants starting from younger ages. The above studies discussed only hypothesise benefits based on animal studies, or only have human participants who’re already senior.
  3. Perform studies with more participants.
  4. Include lifestyle factors such as whether people drink slow loose leaf tea or tea bags, and whether they enjoy tea in an ceremonial way or quick drink.
  5. To find out whether caffeine is important at all, perform studies with teas with different levels of caffeine.
Green Tea Bags on Eyes: What Are The Benefits & Does it Work?

Green Tea Bags on Eyes: What Are The Benefits & Does it Work?

Drinking green tea comes with lots of benefits, but did you know that you can re-use green tea bags for on your eyes? In this article you’ll discover the benefits and we’ll present some before and after videos to see if it really works! The […]

What is Duck Shit Tea (Ya Shi Xiang)? A Dancong Oolong Tea

What is Duck Shit Tea (Ya Shi Xiang)? A Dancong Oolong Tea

If there was a competition for weird tea names, “Ya Shi Xiang” or “Ya Shi” (literally means “duck shit fragrance” or “duck shit”) would probably rank at least in the top three. You must be curious when you hear this name: Does it look like […]

What’s a Fairness Pitcher & Why You Need It for Drinking Tea

What’s a Fairness Pitcher & Why You Need It for Drinking Tea

If you’ve ever seen or experienced a real Chinese tea ceremony, you probably noticed that the tea artist first pours the tea from the teapot into a pitcher. Such a pitcher is known as a “gong dao bei”, which literally means ‘fair cup’. In the West, it’s more often called a fairness pitcher though.

The history of this piece of tea ware can be dated back to Ming Dynasty in China, when loose leaf tea started to become more popular than tea compressed in cakes. In this article we explain the function of such a pitcher mug.

Why Use a Fairness Cup?

Steeping time is crucial to the taste of the tea, especially when you brew black tea, oolong and pu erh. When you brew such teas the Chinese way, steeping times are particularly short: usually just 10-15 seconds.

The intensity of the taste of tea changes even during the seconds you pour it out of the teapot. So, for example if you pour the liquor directly into 6 cups, the tea might taste different from cup to cup. Not strange, as the tea in the first cup might have stayed in the teapot for just 10 seconds, while the last cup you pour might be inside for 20 seconds. That’s a 100% difference in steeping time! See the image below in which we’ve steeped 6 cups of pu erh tea without a fairness cup served in this small porcelain tea cup set. Porcelain cups are great, because they don’t affect the taste of tea, and their white appearance makes it easy to appreciate the natural colour of tea.

tea brewing without fairness cup, different taste and colour

As you can see every cup has a different colour and therefore a different taste intensity. You can probably imagine now why it’s hard to enjoy together like this.

This is why you should pour the tea into a fairness pitcher first. This balances the concentration and the taste of the tea. See below every cup of tea has the same colour when we steeped the same tea again, but now poured it first in a gong dao bei:

gongdaobei brewing tea pitcher

You can now see that every cup of tea has the same colour! Great, now when you sit together with your tea friends, you drink and talk about the same tea!

Other Benefits of Fairness Cups

At last, there’s are three benefit of using fairness pitchers:

  • Because a fair mug is without lid, you can see the amount of the tea that’s in it. This helps to pour an even amount of liquor into the tea cups. In contrast, with teapots, you might risk pouring full amounts, but ending up with not enough tea for the last cup.
  • You can also use a fair mug to mix several steeps together. This can be for convenience, or because one brew isn’t enough to serve one round (depending on how many people you’re enjoying tea together with).
  • Another use of a fair mug is to filter the tea coming out of the teapot, to make sure no leaves or small particles end up in the cups. Most of the small tea leaves stay in the teapot, but to be even more diligent a filter can be placed on top of the pitcher. Some fair mugs even have a built-in filter.

So with a fairness cup, the tea in each cup has the same taste; and each cup has the same amount of the tea. So it’s ‘fair’ to everyone! After all, when you appreciate tea together you want everyone to drink the exact same taste.

I Don’t Have A Serving Pitcher! What Now?

Go and get one! If you’re on a tight budget you can always one universal gong dao bei that works with every tea set you have. A glass or porcelain one would be the most appropriate as it doesn’t affect the flavour of tea.

Don’t want to buy a serving pitcher? Here’s an Easy Fix

Instead of pouring the cups full, you pour a little tea in each cup. Once you’ve poured in the last cup you keep repeating this process, until the teapot is empty. This allows for a better distribution of flavour, especially if you’re fast with pouring.

Fairness Pitcher Materials

The materials for fair mugs are mainly glass, ceramic and Yixing clay. Glass fair mugs can show clearly the color and the volume of the liquor, which makes them the most popular ones. See the video below that shows a Yixing travel set, which comes with a fairness pitcher made from Yixing clay:

Fairness Cup Looks

A basic fair mug looks like a regular mug or a small pitcher. Some of the fair mugs are without handles, though most of those are insulated with an extra layer of glass.

The Ancient Tea Horse Road: Official 8 Episodes Video Documentary

The Ancient Tea Horse Road: Official 8 Episodes Video Documentary

Watch all the episodes of this historic documentary on the tea horse road by CCTV/CNTV. All episodes are in Chinese, supplemented with English subtitles. The Ancient Tea Horse Road – Part 1 Resembling the famous Silk Road, the Ancient Tea Road located in southwestern China […]

How Feng Shui, Money Frogs & The Tea Drinking Environment Are Related

How Feng Shui, Money Frogs & The Tea Drinking Environment Are Related

If you’ve ever seen a traditional Chinese tea ceremony setting, you probably noticed these little money frogs on the tea table. These money frogs are known as ‘tea pets’. Besides these money frogs, tea pets are also available in other forms such as buddhas/monks and […]

Tea Related Names for Cats, Dogs & Other Pets

Tea Related Names for Cats, Dogs & Other Pets

You might wonder how we came up with such a weird topic. The truth is, we didn’t come up with this idea at all. See for example this Reddit post or this Yahoo Answers page, and you can see that tea names for cats and dogs are pretty populair.

tea names for cats kittens

If you are a tea lover and happens to have a pet, it is just natural to give your pet a tea related name. We have gathered people’s opinions on this topic from different forums, sites and added our own ideas. We hope you enjoy this fun list and find a suitable tea name for your pet!

  • Purr’Er: this one is simply our favorite. The cat owner certainly showed his/her love of Pu’er!
  • Earl Grey: male, grey color, of course.
  • Lady Grey: female, grey color, of course.
  • Pekoe: great name for orange cats!
  • Meowfeng: a lovely wordplay, would be a cute name for a kitten.
  • Da hong paw: it is the perfect name for a red-hair cat or dog.
  • Matcha: a fun word to pronounce over and over.
  • Yixing: it sounds cute, and it’s at the perfect level of obscurity. Meaning that non-tea people won’t get it, but common enough that all tea people will get it.
  • Camillia/Camellia: an elegant name for female pets.
  • Ya Shi/Duck Shit: someone suggested, “Ya Shi when they are being good, but when they scratch your furniture, it’s Duck Shit all the way.”
  • Chai: it is one of the most popular tea related pet names. This spiced tea drink is perfect for the pets who seems to have a bit of extra “zing” to them.
  • Iron goddess: sounds like a proud pet!
  • Keemun: A black tea name for black cats and dogs!
  • Yunnan tea regions for pu erh lovers: Yiwu. Menghai. Bulang. Jinggu. Nannuo. Naka. Bingdao. Xikong. Bangdong. Fengqing. All the names are Pu’er mountains and regions in Yunnan, China.
  • Great pet names if you’re a herbal tea lover: Chamomile, Yerba, Tisane.
  • Love a certain brand? Perhaps use them as a name: Twinings, Lipton etc.

tea related name for dogs

If you are looking for a distinct name for your pet, hope this list has given you some inspiration!

Highly Concentrated Tea Industry Is Destroying Communities

Highly Concentrated Tea Industry Is Destroying Communities

There’s only a dozen giant tea companies in the world that control the tea supply chain, driving down wages and destroying communities. These dominant companies have delivered great results to their shareholders, but their success is damaging the tea economy. In today’s market, it’s the […]