In following the 24 Solar Terms calendar, a more agriculturally-focused and surprisingly accurate 2,200 year old calendar, we are arrived in the phase of the cycles known as "Summer Begins" today - May 5, 2017. With the sudden heat wave a few days ago that hit record highs reminding us that Yang is indeed rising and expanding influence, we are encouraged to look for ways to harmonize and balance our experience through adjusting our behavior and habits.
Shifting from more hot drinks to more room temperature or cool drinks is a simple way to ride the heat of Summer, and protect our bodily fluids and delicate nervous systems. Other shifts one can make are from more oxidized teas to less oxidized tea, e.g. from a ripe Puerh or ceylon tea to a green or white tea. Researchers explain the biochemical difference between green and black tea: "Green and black tea are processed differently during manufacturing.To produce green tea, freshly harvested leaves aresteamed to prevent fermentation, yielding a dry, stable product.Catechins are the main compounds in green tea; theyconsist of ()-epicatechin, ()-epicatechin-3-gallate (ECg),3()-epigallocatechin, and ()-epigallocatechin-3-gallate(EGCg). To produce black tea, the fresh leaves are allowedto wither, decreasing their moisture content, until their weightis 55% of the original leaf weight. The withered leaves arethen rolled and crushed, initiating fermentation of polyphenols.This fermentation converts catechin to theaflavins andthearubigins, consequently decreasing the catechin content." (link to full paper)
The higher levels of antioxidants, tannins and other polyphenols in green teas, have a more anti-inflammatory effect on our systems, biochemically 'cooling' or 'sedating' the 'Heat' and stress put on our body's in hotter months. Researchers at Global Research Center with Bausch and Lomb in New York noted: "Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the major polyphenol found in green tea, which is produced from the Carmellia sinensis plant. EGCG has been demonstrated to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties in multiple cell types. (Link to full paper) So with the higher levels of EGCG in green tea, we can assume a stronger anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effect, as compared to black tea.
Regardless of the science or reasons, enjoying a refreshing and uplifting glass of fresh, flowery tea is always enjoyable on an overwhelmingly hot day.
The following recipe uses our organic Jasmine pearl green tea. We carry a specially curated range of teas that cycle through seasonally. Check out our store online, or come into the clinic to learn more in detail about the different teas we have.
The Green Jasmine for this recipe is certified organic through CERES, a European-based third-party organic certification agency. It is also the highest available grade of jasmine green tea with an amazingly bright jasmine freshness.
1 tablespoon - organic jasmine pearl green tea
1.5 cups - water
1 teaspoon - honey
Measure out the pearls and place in the brew container
Heat water to 185F or 85C
Pour water over pearls and let steep for 2-3 minutes. *
Pour out the brewed tea into a slightly larger container or small pitcher.
Add honey, stir until honey is dissolved into solution.
Add 1-2 large ice cubes, or 3-4 small ice cubes. We do not want to over-chill the tea as we want to preserve the delicate flavors of the tea and the colder something is, the less your senses can perceive the flavors and aromas. Overly cold beverages are also not recommended.
Stir the ice cubes until they are half their size and pour out the tea into cups to serve.
*Note: we want to brew it slightly stronger than we normally would, as we will be adding ice and sweetener, both of which will counterbalance and soften the perception of strong tannic bitterness.