Thursday, 9 September 2010

Tea Stuff Roundup - Assam, & Mind Your Health Claims

I came across a link to this interesting article about the increase in the number of small farmers producing tea in Assam, India. The farmers grow the leaves and then sell them to larger companies to be turned into made tea. This can provide a significant and steady source of income for the farmers, which is great, although there may be some concerns about quality. However, since better leaf fetches higher prices at auction, i presume there's a strong incentive for the farmers to improve where they can.

Also spotted via Twitter, my main (only?) connection to the external world since I never pay any attention to current affairs, this article about Lipton in the US getting warned off by the FDA for making tea-related health claims. It is simultaneously funny and depressing to see companies claiming that their highly processed, sugar-filled, RTD teas are 'good for you' - come on, it's non-fizzy soft drink, people!

Plus it appears that the antioxidants in tea degrade over time, so fresh is going to be better than bottled - but we knew that anyway!

Finally, I boggled when I read this here:

Tea is generally considered to be safe, even in large amounts. However, two cases of hypokalemia (abnormally low serum potassium levels) in the elderly have been attributed to excessive consumption of black and oolong tea (3-14 liters/day).

To be honest, I think that anyone who was drinking that much (14 LITRES? How could you manage it?) of anything might end up just a little bit potassium deficient...


  1. Wow, that is a serious amount of tea!

  2. I think it's good that people are cracking down on unfounded health claims. I have to say, however, from my research, Lipton is not necessarily the worst culprit. My personal pet peeve are the widespread myths that white tea is lowest in caffeine and highest in antioxidants. I try to put these and other caffeine / tea myths to rest in my article on the caffeine content of tea.

    In the bottled tea Arena, that title goes to SoBe Green Tea, at least according to Men's Health magazine.

    That's encouraging about more small farmers in Assam producing tea. I found an article a while ago that, to my surprise, said that in Kenya, most of the tea is produced by very small farming operations.


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