In times of crisis, it's a national institution that we find or offer comfort in a simple cup of tea. Putting the kettle on to ease stress during a bad day or ahead of impending bad news is a tried, tested and often successful strategy. The social media memes certainly seem convinced:
"A cup of tea solves everything"
"If tea can't fix it, it's a serious problem"
"Tea: The solution"
Some say the comfort of a cup of tea is derived from its warming properties and others from sheer nostalgia. However, tea has been used for thousands of years as a simultaneous stimulant and source of calm in Chinese and Japanese Zen Buddhism. That's why, without making health claims about our own teas, we are fascinated by the L-Theanine school of thought.
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in the leaves of the tea plant and not much else. In some Japanese green teas, such as Gyokuro, which undergo shading shortly before harvesting, the L-theanine is intensified and provides a unique umami flavour. However, varying levels of L-Theanine are present in all forms of fresh tea.
Theanine is thought to have psychoactive properties and has been studied for its potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition and boost mood in harmony with caffeine - and let's face it, a cup of tea is certainly a more relaxing experience than a cup of coffee. Theanine has also been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine levels in various areas of the brain.
So while L-Theanine from the tea plant is not recognised as a health food by the European Union, it is an interesting concept that a cuppa has potentially been a form of therapy for many civilisations over thousands of years due to its chemical composition, not simply an emotional link.
Do you agree? We'd love to hear your thoughts, simply tweet to @debonairtea.
It's an exciting week here at Debonair Tea Company HQ – our very first directly sourced tea is finally available to buy!
Darjeeling teas, and particularly the range produced at Glenburn, are absolute favourites of our co-founder and in-house sommelier, Louisa.
The name ‘Darjeeling’ literally means the ‘land of the thunderbolt’. The British acquired the land here in 1835, the first tea seeds were sown in 1839 and following bumper harvests, private growers had more than 2,000 plants growing in the area by 1853. It was not until 1856 that the first commercial tea garden was established.
Given that some of the very finest tea producing regions are seasonal so that the tea plant only grows in warmer temperatures, Spring is a very exciting time in tea production. Indeed, the plucking season in India, China, Japan and even Europe – including England’s Tregothnan tea gardens (pictured) – run from March through to November.
Following harvesting and processing, the very first of the new season’s tea leaves begin to make their way across the world from Asia in time for early summer.
It's been a lot of work behind the scenes but we are proud to finally be unveiling our latest offering - our high quality, Ceremonial Grade Japanese Matcha!
While we at Debonair Tea Co. enjoy all that the Japanese matcha tea ceremony has to offer, matcha has become quite the superfood darling in recent years and for good reason; it has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea!
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