Good for you
Tea is undeniably a healthy drink, with lots of encouraging research showing numerous health benefits that include:
These benefits include:
– Weight loss,
– Cholesterol control
– Stress relief
– Cancer risk reduction
– Skin protection
– Tooth and bone strengthening
– Resistance to diseases such as Diabetes, Alzeimer’s, Parkinsons and Arthritis
Although tea is certainly a healthy option, it is not a cure for ailments and much of the research is new and still be fully understood. Many tea brands and merchants will overstate these benefits to promote their sales. We recommend tea as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Remember that sugar and milk can inhibit some of these health benefits, so good tea that doesn’t need these additives will be better for you.
Please see ‘Why our teas are different’ for more
Tea and Caffeine
Aside from the other health benefits that would have contributed to tea’s rise as a medicine in ancient China, it is quite likely that caffeine was the ingredient that made it popular as social drink and certainly is the reason why it became the world’s most popular beverage worldwide – aside from water that is.
While those of us wishing to stay healthy may shy away from caffeine (try our caffeine free Rooibos if this is you), tea is different to coffee in a few ways. Although tea has more caffeine than coffee by dry weight, only 2-3g of dry tea are used per cup, compared to around 10g for coffee. So, a cup of tea will already have less than a cup of coffee.
Different teas will have different levels of caffeine with the higher grades – those made from the youngest tips – usually having the highest. This will vary across brands as they make use of different cultivars, and are grown under different climates.
Caffeine also dissolves into tea at rate similar to the flavours compounds, so teas with quicker brewing times – such as green and white teas – will have lower caffeine than the hotter and longer brewed teas – such as black and oolong teas.
Also, polyphenols – the bitter flavour compounds found in teas – wrap around the caffeine molecule causing it to be absorbed slower into the body and giving a lasting lift and a gentle let down – unlike the kick and drop from coffee. This led chemists to initially believe that the caffeine in tea was something else – which they called theine – a name still used, but not strictly accurate.
Tea also contains a substance called L-theanine – which has a relaxing effect on the body. This, combined with the nature of tea’s caffeine allows tea drinkers to fall asleep more easily than coffee drinkers – even when consuming identical amounts of caffeine.
Tea – good for the environment
All our teas are sourced from the Baskota Group of Industries’ Kanchanjunga Tea Estate. This estate was the first to be certified organic in 1984 and so has been leading the organic movement in Nepal since then. Organic farming is more than just using natural alternatives to synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. It is about having an empathy for the natural processes that occur in farming areas. An organic farmer seeks to enhance these processes for their own benefit as well for the farm’s production. These benefits extend to the consumer as well (link to why our teas are different)
– Tea gardens are intercropped with indigenous trees that provide habitat for other species. Additionally, these trees’ canopies and root systems add further protection from rainfall and erosion as mentioned above.
– Organic practices encourage predators to form natural pest control. Our tea gardens are noisey with buzzing insects. This may sound like a bad thing, but predators such as spiders and lizards are also there silently hunting their prey creating an intricate food web that one would expect in a natural system.
– Tea provides cash income for local communities, reducing their need to rely on natural resources for food, fuel and income.
– Tea is a permanent crop so there is no fallow season leaving bare soil. With a dense canopy and deep roots, tea provides protection from rainfall impacts and a deep root system allows water to infiltrate while also binding the soil. This protects hillsides that would otherwise be vulnerable to erosion
– By only removing the leaf tips, and not a fruit or the whole plant, very few nutrients are removed from the location, and so the fertiliser inputs required for tea is less than would otherwise be needed for other crops.
Tea – Good for the people and society
KTE tea industry is not just a business but a social enterprise. We employ 200 farmers directly and buy from a further 400 farmers. We provide our workers with housing facilities and free education to their children. The scholarship currently provides free education to 96 children in Panchthar, Eastern Nepal. More than 2300 scholarships have been provided since 2002.
More than 50% of our workers come from the castes that are considered ‘untouchables’.
For example, our first cook at the factory was a ‘damai’ whose food was considered inedible.