Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Default tea leaf protection mechanism chemicals that may affect humans?

so there is apparently some "well known" knowledge (in China or
Chinese traditional medicine) that sheng puerh/green puerh/wild puerh
leaf (maybe even green tea) contains some "poisons" or some natural
chemicals (self-produced by the tea plant) that may be harmful to
humans...
i'm somewhat skeptical, but i'm open to being informed...
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On Jun 13, 2:59 am, niisonge > wrote:
> > so there is apparently some "well known" knowledge (in China or
> > Chinese traditional medicine) that sheng puerh/green puerh/wild puerh
> > leaf (maybe even green tea) contains some "poisons" or some natural
> > chemicals (self-produced by the tea plant) that may be harmful to
> > humans...

>
> Where have you seen this information?
>
> 现代医学对茶的功效研究已有近20项:即暖胃、减肥、降 脂、防止动脉硬化、防止冠心病、降血压、抗衰老、抗癌 、降血糖、抑菌消炎、减轻烟毒、减轻重金属
> 毒、抗辐射、防龋齿、明目、助消化、抗毒、预防便秘、 骄频取F渲衅斩璧 暖胃、 减肥、降脂、防止动脉硬化、防止冠心病、降血压、抗衰 老、抗癌、降
> 血糖 尤为突出。
> According to this, tea, and puer in general is supposed to detoxify.
>
> The only thing I have seen where puer is said to have poison - is just
> in a loose phrasing of the word. Because it can cause addiction, so in
> some respects, it can be considered poison, like a drug. Of course,
> that's really overstating it.
>
> Of course, Chinese have a different viewpoint from that of Westerners,
> because they classify things as either "hot" or "cold". When you eat
> too many hot things, it can harm your body. And when you eat too many
> cold things it can also harm your body. Puer tea is hot. Green tea is
> cold. Peanuts are hot. Kong xin cai (a vegetable) is cold. And so on.
> People are watchful of the things they eat - to not eat too many hot
> things. Eating too many hot things can cause problelms like
> constipation, etc. So basically, when you eat things in moderation,
> then it's ok for your body. Anyway, it gets all weird and complicated.


Not too weird and complicated. Neutrals are carbs, think rice. Yin
(cold) are most fruits and veggies. Yang (hot) is most meat and
"sharp" veggies- hot peppers, garlic, and radishes. Refer to the
Western food pyramid, Toci
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Default tea leaf protection mechanism chemicals that may affect humans?

> Not too weird and complicated.

Well, it is weird - because what we would consider perfectly good food
in the West - here in China, lots of people avoid it like the plague,
as if it will poison their bodies. Not only that, whenever something
goes wrong with their body, they will say, "too hot". And basically
blame it on eating foods that were too "hot".

Everything is weird in China. They even practice head-shapening or
head-flattening of newborn babies.
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niisonge > writes:

> > Not too weird and complicated.

>
> Well, it is weird - because what we would consider perfectly good food
> in the West - here in China, lots of people avoid it like the plague,
> as if it will poison their bodies. Not only that, whenever something
> goes wrong with their body, they will say, "too hot". And basically
> blame it on eating foods that were too "hot".
>
> Everything is weird in China. They even practice head-shapening or
> head-flattening of newborn babies.


Not only that - they drink ... tea!

/Lew
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Default tea leaf protection mechanism chemicals that may affect humans?

Lewis Perin > wrote:
>
> Not only that - they drink ... tea!


strangeness

yeah so it seems i misunderstood the 'hazards' ...it was a reference
to the hot/cold concepts indeed...



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> strangeness

What's even more strange is they have candy in the supermarkets -
individually wrapped in foil wrappers - but... it's actually meat!!!
Candy shouldn't be meat, it should be candy!!! Right? I ate it a few
times; certainly doesn't taste like candy. It tastes like meat! Kind
of makes me sorry for all the kids that think candy is made from meat,
hahaha. So remember, when coming to China and offered candy, be sure
to check that it's what we think of as candy. I always decline when
someone offers me meat candy, but I always end up stuck with a handful
anyway. Darn it.
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On Jun 13, 10:25*am, niisonge > wrote:
>
> What's even more strange is they have candy in the supermarkets -
> individually wrapped in foil wrappers - but... it's actually meat!!!


what !

you mean like a preserved meat? ... beef jerky type stuff?
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On Jun 13, 7:30 am, SN > wrote:
> On Jun 13, 10:25 am, niisonge > wrote:
>
>
>
> > What's even more strange is they have candy in the supermarkets -
> > individually wrapped in foil wrappers - but... it's actually meat!!!

>
> what !
>
> you mean like a preserved meat? ... beef jerky type stuff?


You bet! My kids love what they call "tuna treats" -- brightly-
colored foil-wrapped "candy" dried tuna cubes. They offer them to
their friends to see their reaction. Fruit-flavored candy beef (or
tofu) jerky is also a popular treat for them.
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> you mean like a preserved meat? ... beef jerky type stuff?
Yeah, preserved meat - like beef jerky - except I think it's pork they
put into those. They come in little retangular squares that look like
candy, and wrapped just like candy. And they're called "candy".

And what's even more weird in China - Lipton tea is actually pretty
good here! They sell packages that contain packets of individual
servings of powdered tea - to which you just add water and stir (or
shake). They got "Lipton Maccha Milk Tea" that's really good. It
tastes just like the stuff I could make myself.
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On Jun 13, 12:53*pm, SN > wrote:
> so there is apparently some "well known" knowledge (in China or
> Chinese traditional medicine) that sheng puerh/green puerh/wild puerh
> leaf (maybe even green tea) contains some "poisons" or some natural
> chemicals (self-produced by the tea plant) that may be harmful to
> humans...
> i'm somewhat skeptical, but i'm open to being informed...


Interesting how this thread has become niisonge's "Everything is weird
in China" discussion.

SN is not wrong, neither are the chinese who claims wild puer contains
some "poisons", it does. Really wild grown (untended to by men and
technology) puer is considered to be inedible because it is 'too cold'
in chinese traditional medicinal terminology and the leaf deteriorates
fast if not processed quickly, thereby making it a good laxative and
purging agent. Wild grown puer which are properly processed makes it
drinkable.

Zhang Mu Lan & Xiao Shi Ying, one of the pioneers in puer tea
cultivation, processing and its science in Meng Hai in the 1950s said
in their memoir

"The Ai-ni people (a minority tribe in Yunnan) liked to interfere with
the natural growing of the tea trees, making large branches on which
they could sit on to pluck the leaves, which could be eaten fresh
directly; leaves from wild grown trees cannot be eaten directly,
drinking tea brewed from fresh leaves will give you diarrhoa, because
the leaves rot fast. Cultivated types on the other hand is safe to
consume fresh, such as the leaves from Ban Wei, you can even eat the
shoots..."
- Qi Mu Hong, The Ethnic Cultures on the Tea-Horse Acient Route, pg
186.

Ok let's get back to showcasing everything is weird in China.

Kevo


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On 13 Jun, 05:53, SN > wrote:
> so there is apparently some "well known" knowledge (in China or
> Chinese traditional medicine) that sheng puerh/green puerh/wild puerh
> leaf (maybe even green tea) contains some "poisons" or some natural
> chemicals (self-produced by the tea plant) that may be harmful to
> humans...
> i'm somewhat skeptical, but i'm open to being informed...


I have chewed on fresh tea buds to check quality potential for as long
as I have been visiting tea gardens with no ill effects. But
certainly "wild tea" growing in wet forests could build up a
significant algal and bacterial layer on the leaves - this may have
toxic tendencies.

However, given the potential for phytotoxin production when a post
manufacture fermentation is instigated by keeping the tea leaves warm
and moist for a long period and either seeding them with
microorganisms or allowing nature to provide these, it is perhaps
surprising that toxic pu erh is not better known. I hear a whisper on
the tea grapevine that a certain large company recently found
aflotoxin in imported black tea, yet alone a pu erh. As an ex food
technologist I should be morbidly interested to see a HACCPs audit of
pu erh manufacture, though blue Stilton cheese was once banned from
Marks & Spencer shelves for much the same reason - but I happily eat
that, along with fermented meat, yet eschew mouldy bread.

Nigel at Teacraft
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niisonge wrote:
>> you mean like a preserved meat? ... beef jerky type stuff?

> Yeah, preserved meat - like beef jerky - except I think it's pork they
> put into those. They come in little retangular squares that look like
> candy, and wrapped just like candy. And they're called "candy".
>
> And what's even more weird in China - Lipton tea is actually pretty
> good here! They sell packages that contain packets of individual
> servings of powdered tea - to which you just add water and stir (or
> shake). They got "Lipton Maccha Milk Tea" that's really good. It
> tastes just like the stuff I could make myself.


Lipton sells tea to the Chinese??? That's like selling (poorer quality)
ice to the Eskimo! The Lipton would have to be good at least in some way
if it had a hope of selling there I imagine.

Melinda
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SN > wrote:
>so there is apparently some "well known" knowledge (in China or
>Chinese traditional medicine) that sheng puerh/green puerh/wild puerh
>leaf (maybe even green tea) contains some "poisons" or some natural
>chemicals (self-produced by the tea plant) that may be harmful to
>humans...
>i'm somewhat skeptical, but i'm open to being informed...


Everything that isn't good for you is harmful. And some things that are
good for you in one dose are harmful in larger or smaller doses.

Methyl salicylate is one of the more interesting examples, and it can be
produced in greater amounts if the leaves are damaged. This makes for
a very interestingly "airy" taste to the cup. It might also be bad for
you, unless it's good for you.

Unfortunately it is also added artificially by unscrupulous vendors to make
stale teas seem fresher, but that's another issue.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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> Lipton sells tea to the Chinese??? That's like selling (poorer quality)
> ice to the Eskimo! The Lipton would have to be good at least in some way
> if it had a hope of selling there I imagine.



Yeah, they got Lipton tea in China. In Shenzhen they make milk tea
(like Hong Kong milk tea) from Lipton Yellow label. Elsewhere in
China, it's mostly just powdered, instant stuff. Still pretty good
though. They make those convenient packets that you put into any
bottle of spring water - and shake - instant iced tea. But the maccha
milk tea was the best of their product I've had so far.

Lipton - it's a Western brand, and anything with a Western brand name
sells in China - no matter how we regard it in the West. Even the
crappiest brands of the West, even little-known ones do very well
here. Chinese have an obsession with buying absolutely everything
brand name - from clothing to household items to cell phones, etc. And
if it's a brand-name from the West, then it's even better. You could
probably just invent a brand, bring it to China, open a shop in a
glitzy shopping district and do very well here.

People who don't by the brands are considered lower-status, since
brand name items here cost about the same as in the West.

Tea in China - any tea has a problem with branding itself. There are
few famous brands. Most teas we know of, we go by the name of the tea
and the location where picked - not by company or brand name. This is
one area where the Chinese still need to work on things.

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In the past couple of months I get an extra brew of green tea by
topping off the spent morning leaves and letting it sit all day. No
matter the leaf there is always a white film that develops. I think
it is air bubbles held together by tannins. Or maybe some chemical
residue like this and if so it is everywhere.

Jim

Scott Dorsey wrote:
> SN > wrote:
> >so there is apparently some "well known" knowledge (in China or
> >Chinese traditional medicine) that sheng puerh/green puerh/wild puerh
> >leaf (maybe even green tea) contains some "poisons" or some natural
> >chemicals (self-produced by the tea plant) that may be harmful to
> >humans...
> >i'm somewhat skeptical, but i'm open to being informed...

>
> Everything that isn't good for you is harmful. And some things that are
> good for you in one dose are harmful in larger or smaller doses.
>
> Methyl salicylate is one of the more interesting examples, and it can be
> produced in greater amounts if the leaves are damaged. This makes for
> a very interestingly "airy" taste to the cup. It might also be bad for
> you, unless it's good for you.
>
> Unfortunately it is also added artificially by unscrupulous vendors to make
> stale teas seem fresher, but that's another issue.
> --scott
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."



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niisonge > writes:

> [...Brands are important in China...]
>
> Tea in China - any tea has a problem with branding itself. There are
> few famous brands. Most teas we know of, we go by the name of the tea
> and the location where picked - not by company or brand name. This is
> one area where the Chinese still need to work on things.


This is really interesting, but I'm not sure whom you mean by "we":
westerners in general, western expats in China, Chinese people?

/Lew
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recent addition (thanks, MarshalN): maifanshi
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> This is really interesting, but I'm not sure whom you mean by "we":
> westerners in general, western expats in China, Chinese people?


I mean by tea-drinkers or tea-lovers in general who happen to know
something about tea. For example, Xihu Longjing, Anxi Tieguanyin,
Xinyang Maojian, Wuyi Dahongpao, etc. You get the idea. Just about
everyone who drinks these teas are familiar with where they come from,
and the name of the tea. But to speak of an actual brand of tea, it's
much more difficult. Tea companies here are just not well known. And
anyway, in China, people really don't care about brand, they only care
about the quality of the tea.

If you want examples of tea company brands, I could give you some.
Eight Horses Tea (八马茶) is supposed to be a famous brand - and they
have retail outlets throughout China. But few people in China have
heard about them.

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By the way, here's the Eight Horses Tea website:
http://www.bamatea.com/

You will see at the bottom of the page:
中国驰名商标 (China famous trademark)

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> 中国驰名商标 (China famous trademark)
One other thing about Chinese tea "brands": when you ask Chinese, even
those who know about tea what kind of tea brands China has, they all
say "anxi tieguanyin, dongting biluochun, xihu longjing", etc. They
equate China's famous teas with famous tea brands.
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niisonge wrote:
> > ????????? (China famous trademark)

> One other thing about Chinese tea "brands": when you ask Chinese, even
> those who know about tea what kind of tea brands China has, they all
> say "anxi tieguanyin, dongting biluochun, xihu longjing", etc. They
> equate China's famous teas with famous tea brands.


Yahoo! I figured out how to copy and paste Chinese characters in the
Mac 10.0 IE 5.1 web browser. Its round about but use the html
encoding for the character. You see that when you view the source
html. Save what you want also as an html file. You use the same
encoding when you paste into Google for a search.

The rest of the world uses the word Tradenames for the teas you
mentioned.

Jim


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On Jun 19, 2:16 am, niisonge > wrote:
> > This is really interesting, but I'm not sure whom you mean by "we":
> > westerners in general, western expats in China, Chinese people?

>
> I mean by tea-drinkers or tea-lovers in general who happen to know
> something about tea. For example, Xihu Longjing, Anxi Tieguanyin,
> Xinyang Maojian, Wuyi Dahongpao, etc. You get the idea. Just about
> everyone who drinks these teas are familiar with where they come from,
> and the name of the tea. But to speak of an actual brand of tea, it's
> much more difficult. Tea companies here are just not well known. And
> anyway, in China, people really don't care about brand, they only care
> about the quality of the tea.
>
> If you want examples of tea company brands, I could give you some.
> Eight Horses Tea (八马茶) is supposed to be a famous brand - and they
> have retail outlets throughout China. But few people in China have
> heard about them.


For those Tieguanyin drinkers out there you may have heard of the Wang
versus Wei stories on who was the real discoverer of the tea, and
interestingly the Bama group claims to be the descendant of the Wang
family.

It is quite an enchanting marketing line ... There are quite a few
"brands" like them, and probably they will gain more prominence in the
future, catering mainly for the growing wealthy in China.

Without branding, selling teas is a salvage business in China. Most
tea farms are loss making relying on special relationship with
government officials.

Not to say I like the brands, they are expensive and poor value of
money, but the alternative isn't attractive either.

Julian
http://www.amazing-green-tea.com
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