Home ANS Feature To Tea or Not to Tea, That is the Question

To Tea or Not to Tea, That is the Question

by Brian Nixon

By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service

OzzyandSlashALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – October 28, 2015) — Calvary Albuquerque is in the process of updating some worn out items in its café, Solomon’s Porch. One of the upgrades is the arrival of a new Clover coffee machine. If you’re anything like me you are clueless about the Clover. But I must live in the coffee dark ages, because there’s websites dedicated to the machine, and even a “how to” website [1]. And folks around here are beside themselves with excitement over the Clover. I suppose I’m excited for their excitement; but still, I’m ignorant of the benefit of the Clover bean!

Why? Because I’m a tea drinker, and darn proud of it.

My earliest memories of tea are of my grandmother, Peggy Sutherland, giving me the drink — with and without milk — as a young boy. From that moment forward, tea became my drink of choice. And still is. I call tea the drink of angels, and coffee the drink of… Well, I’ll keep that to myself, not wanting to offend the other option.

To a certain extent, I’ve become a tea snob, preferring tea from premium cuts, reputable tea distributors, and quality leafs. But who wouldn’t? Would a steak connoisseur want a cut of meat from a sickly cow coming from his ankle region? Heavens no!

BobDylanandteaNow I know there are people that swing both ways—tea and coffee. I’m ok with that. But when push comes to shove, I remind the swinger about tea’s benefits. Here’s just a few taken from Time Magazine [2]:

Tea can boost exercise endurance. Scientists have found that the catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, which accounts for improved muscle endurance.Drinking tea could help reduce the risk of heart attack.

Tea might also help protectagainstcardiovascular and degenerative diseases.The antioxidants in tea might help protect against a boatload of cancers, including breast, colon, colorectal, skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, , prostate and cancers. But don’t rely solely on tea to keep a healthy body — tea is not a miraclecure, after all. While more studies than not suggest that tea has cancer-fighting benefits, the current research is mixed.Tea helps fight free radicals. Tea is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity (“ORAC” to its friends), which is a fancy way of saying that it helps destroy free radicals (which can damage DNA) in the body.

While our bodies are designed to fight free radicals on their own, they’re not 100 percent effective — and since damage from these radical oxygen ninjas has been linked to cancer, heart disease and neurological degeneration, we’ll take all the help we can get.Tea is hydrating to the body (even despite the caffeine!).Drinking tea is linked with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. When considered with other factors like smoking, physical activity, age and body mass index, regular tea drinking was associated with a lowered risk of Parkinson’s disease in both men and women.Tea might provide protection from ultraviolet rays. We know it’s important to limit exposure to UV rays, and we all know what it’s like to feel the burn.

The good news is that green tea may act as a back-up sunscreen.Tea could keep waist circumference in check. In one study, participants who regularly consumed hot tea had lower waist circumference and lower BMI than non-consuming participants. Scientists speculate that regular tea drinking lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome (which increases the risk of diabetes, artery disease and stroke), although it’s important to remember that correlation does not equal causation.Regular tea drinking might also counteract some of the negative effects of smoking and might even lessen the risk of lung cancer (good news, obviously, but not a justification for cigs).Tea could be beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that compounds in green tea could help diabetics better process sugars.

Tea can help the body recover from radiation. One study found that tea helped protect against cellular degeneration upon exposure to radiation, while another found that tea can help skin bounce backpostexposure.Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength.Tea might be an effective agent in the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases, especially degenerative diseases (think Alzheimer’s). While many factors influence brain health, polyphenols in green tea may help maintain the parts of the brain that regulate learning and memory.

TheBeatlesandteaAnd if that doesn’t convince the person of the superior nature of tea, I simply remind them of all the creative people throughout the ages that drank—and drink—tea.

Here’s just a partial list of more recent luminaries: James Dean, Sean Connery, Pierce Bronson, Daniel Craig, Bob Dylan, Ozzy Osbourne, Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Taylor Swift, Johnny Depp, and David Beckham — to name a few [3].

And of course the granddaddy of them all—at least from a musical standpoint—is The Beatles (picture courtesy of Pastor Skip).

But to make my case rock solid—at least with my Christian friends—is that C.S Lewis was a tea devote, giving the world one of the finest tea quotes: “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” You got to love Lewis.

Yes, it’s true, C.S. Lewis did like coffee [4], but it’s his love of tea that resonates with folks worldwide.

All this said I’m glad Solomon’s Porch is getting a Clover. Coffee lovers got to have some new thing to tickle their fancy. As for me, I’ll stick to timeless and tasty tea.

For as Arthur Pinero reminds us, “Where there’s tea there’s hope.”

1) http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/kitchen/clover-coffee-maker.htm

2) http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/04/13-reasons-to-love-tea/

3) http://www.zesttea.com/blogs/zest-blog/14914989-25-celebrities-who-love-tea

4) http://mereinkling.net/2014/02/03/coffee-or-tea-for-c-s-lewis-and-me/ 

Photo captions: 1) Ozzy Osbourne and Slash at a Tea Party. 2) Bob Dylan drinking tea. 3) The Beatles drinking tea. 4) Brian Nixon.

Brian NixonAbout the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon 

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