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Valley Green Tea Blog

Valley Green Tea is a premium loose leaf Chinese tea specialist.

Background

The owner of the business is En Jie. She was a medical practitioner turned public health researcher. She grew up and was trained in western medicine in the tea country of China, the FuJian Province. While she was conducting her public health researcher during the last 20 years or so at various major universities in Sydney, she came cross numerous scientific literatures reporting the health benefits of tea drinking, especially those relating to modern life styles as: obesity, high cholesterol levels and blood pressure, cardio-vascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, arthritis, inflammatory diseases and more. She realised that people raced out to the supermarkets and started consuming green teas (and others) like Chinese medicine. It was then when she decided to introduce the REAL Chinese teas, as an enjoyment and a culture of 2000 years history first, and health benefits as the by-products to the western society now she is living in.

Direction and discussions

She will discuss various of aspects of tea consumption with the readers and tea consumers here, from history to the recent renewed interests in teas, from preparation guides to how to maximise the health benefits of tea consumptions etc. She is also very happy to join in the discussions of topics raised by the readers. So please submit any comments, topics of interests and arguments that you may have. Chinese tea culture is her pride and she will discuss with her passion.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 01:21

When eating starts harming your body?

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I am writing up this blog know the full potential of being criticized as being condescending and judgemental, but will take the risk and call it what it is.

I believe our ancestors from the hunting and gathering days ate to acquire the essential nutrients needed by their bodies. There were days of plenty and days of shortage, but somehow it managed to even out and the human society has surveyed and progressed.

What I was seeing the other day in a supermarket was however quite a different story. I was shopping for family dinner and there was a lady in front of me at the checkout. I am afraid to say she was already twice the size of me. I was rather stunned when I noticed what was in her shopping trolley: a hot chicken, 6 blocks of Canterbury chocolate (quite a substantial stack!), 2 packs of Tim Tam, 3 packs of chocolate waffle. The only item which could be classified as ‘vegetable’ was a bottled pasta source. I could not help it to think from a biochemical point of view that her arteries are already quite clogged up, and her lifestyle habit keeps adding to it.

This is when eating starts harming a body. There will also be a vicious circle after this, the more obese one becomes-> the more burdened his/her heart is -> the less active he/she will be -> more obese he/she will become.

Valley Green Tea will attempt to offer some practical advice on how to break this vicious circle to step into a productive one in a few future blog posts.

Thursday, 30 October 2014 07:22

Buy Green Tea online

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Buy Green TeaFor those who are new to green teas, buying the right one could be a bit of a challenge. The questions that I have been asked:

  • Can I order some green tea please (reality: there are more than 300 Chinese green teas with very distinctive individual characters.)
  • What is the best green tea?
  • Which green tea has the highest level of anti-oxidants?
  • Are all green teas bitter and grassy?
  • Are all loose leaf tea green tea?
  • Any the list keeps growing!

Green tea and its health benefit

Green tea is one of the very original teas and has been consumed in China for a long history. It is however relatively new to the west. The interest in green tea has been rapidly increasing in the last 20-30 years mainly due to the recent documentary of their numerous health benefits.
The health benefits of different green teas are similar, although the anti-oxidant level is believed to be associated with the quality grade of the tea more than the variety (different varieties of green teas are made of different sub-species of the same plant).
I have been advising our customers as follow:

  • Never forget that green tea was discovered as an enjoyable beverage to enhance lifestyle first
  • The health benefits are by-products
  • If you can find a green tea that suites your taste and in-cooperate it into your lifestyle, the health benefits will come naturally.

Purchase green tea online

Tea drinking is a life time journey for many and it is worth while taking time to investigate and find a tea and a supplier that meets you needs and satisfy your taste buds.
They are many online suppliers offering loose leaf green teas today, claiming to be premium quality. The quality range is however very big. There are supplier source their seasonal products directly from the tea farmers in China, transport and store appropriately while the others (with limited knowledge about premium fresh teas) simply purchase their products from a second or even third hand tea merchant. For the later, the product could be of low quality at production, being stored inadequately for a long time and sold under the same tea name for a profit, for example all under the same name Dragon Well green tea. The differences are evident to an experienced tea drinker.

Green tea buying tips:

  • The best green teas are the fresh ones (refreshing and aromatic, never bitter or rough)
  • All loose teas are quality graded and the difference could be quite big (similar to premium wine)
  • Do a thorough check of the site, if the supplier appears to have extensive firsthand knowledge about teas, the chances are you are likely to get some decent quality products.
  • Start from small amount but different varieties. Pick the one that satisfy your taste buds, you can then order bigger quality.
  • Try out some free samples if possible.
  • Tea bags are never of high quality, mainly because the broken leaves are heavily oxidised (different from fermentation!) at the edge to produce the bitter taste and rough texture

More information about green teas and their quality grades at: Tea and Quality.

 

 

 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 03:18

Right tea accessories for the right teas

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When we talk about tea accessories, some inexperienced tea drinkers immediately think about exotic Chinese/Japanese tea ceremonies and the tea accessories used.
They are some extreme tea accessories of course, often for collection purpose that fall into this category. There also others designed for practicalities, specific accessories for specific teas with very valid reasons. For example:

  1. We (Chinese) always use small teapots as these ensure the teas are freshly brewed and severed. A big teapot on the other hand has a tendency to soak the teas.
  2. A glass teapot is recommended for green teas as the young tender leaves create an underwater phenomena during the brewing. It is a visual enjoyment as well as a good opportunity to inspect the quality of the leaves.
  3. A Zi Sha teapot (purple sand teapot) if often used for teas that require a ‘good brew’, such as Oolong tea, black tea and pu-erh tea. The micro-cavities in this unique clay allows teas to breathe through the teapot wall during the brewing process. It has thus gained it reputation to be the premium clay for premium teas in China for almost as long as the history the teas.
  4. We also use small tea cups that are in glass or with white inner lining for drinking. This is for the convenience of inspect the tea brew.  A premium tea’s brew should be brightly clear, in whatever colour the tea is supposed to be in. 
  5. The tea infuser all-in-one is designed to be used in the office (you therefore would not need a tea set in a limited space) or those drinking alone at home that need frequent topping up.

As you can see from the above examples, tea accessories have their very own practical purposes and functions. By selecting the right tea accessories, your tea consuming experience will be largely enhanced. To get the perfect tea accessories for your perfect tea however sometimes can take some time. It is just like teas, everyone has a different taste and preference, but once you have found your perfect spot, it will stay with you for a long time.

Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00

A cup of luxury in the office

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More and more people are drinking loose leaf teas, green tea, white tea or Oolong tea, now in the office appreciating the additional quality and enjoyment they offer.

Making a cup of tea from loose leaves in an office sometimes however can be less feasible, you need at least a teapot and a cup.

As much as the Chinese love their premium loose teas, at home or at the office, a tea infuser all-in-one is invented to overcome this obstacle. These tea infusers are composed by two compartments:

  1. The upper/inner chamber where the tea is brewed. It is equipped by a valve which allows a perfect control of the tea brewing time with a touch of a button.
  2. The lower compartment where the tea brew is drained to can be used a serving teapot or a tea cup to drink from.
  3. The lid is also a perfect saucer, for the brewing compartment to sit on when the lower compartment is being used as a teapot or cup.

Your have questions, there are answers. Just as the Chinese say ‘it is better to be deprived of food for a day than tea’.

 

Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00

Sustainability is the key for weight management

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Weight management is a question, desire, dream, challenge, quest, game, journey, investment, and disappointment for so many in our date’s society.  For some commercial companies, this desperate yearning of being fit and healthy also becomes a profit making vehicle that only leads to an end that see either no result or unsustainable results. An article published today with a title ‘Why diets don’t work – three things you need to know (Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/why-diets-don8217t-work-8211-three-things-you-need-to-know-20140820-1069er.html )’ with an analysis of interaction between one’s mind and body, and how a desire is not necessarily leading to a desirable result, is a restatement of our previous blog ‘Weight management 1 – why we put it on? ’, with some further recommendation on how to achieve a successful result without breaking your back and pockets. This lead to what we have always also been advocating – making SUSTAINABLE lifestyle changes, should it be diet, exercise and supplements. It is an absolute heartache to see desperate people being led to false promises and the only lesson learnt is not to try again.

 

Thursday, 07 August 2014 00:00

Is green tea everyone’s cup of tea

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Many are drinking green tea these days due to their overwhelming health benefits researched and reported. Many however turn up at the local supermarket and grab a box of teabags. The scenario is often they find them difficult to swallow let alone enjoy and can only put up with them for so long. A few hints to help you to find your cup of green tea:

  1. Unlikely commercial tea bags, there are many varieties of premium loose leaf pure green teas (unblended). There are more than 300 alone in China recorded, many times more folk teas have never made it to the record. The teas are made in different areas, using different sub-species of plants grown under different climate conditions and processed by different traditional methods. The end results are teas looking different and tastes different. Try a variety of them and the chances are there will be one that is your favourite.
  2. Purchase the right teas from the right supplier. Premium pure tea is an art of its’ own and a supplier who understands premium teas will certainly help in the teas they source. If you are not sure, ask for samples and a genuine supplier will be more than proud to show off their teas.
  3. Lean to make premium green teas the right way. The traditional English tea making with a big teapot and soak the tea for a long time will ruin the green tea no matter how good quality it is. On the other hand however, you do not need a tea ceremony to make a cup of green tea.  Just a few cautions, such as tea leaf amount, water temperature and brewing time, and after that it is all in your hands. Experiment until you get your perfect cup of tea.
  4. Select the right tea vessel. Teas are very delicate in flavours and will take any odors and flavours around them. Avoid anything that is modern, such plastic, iron or aluminum to store or brew teas where possible. A cupper with the plastic taste is not a flavour for anyone for sure.

Green teas are extremely refreshing. A good quality one will make you wanting to come back for more and more, especially after a rich meal. I remember my village born and died (when she was nearly 100 years old) grandmother could not live a day without her tea. Green tea could be a lifestyle change with plenty of the enjoyment, so do not drink to put up with it! We Chinese have enjoyed for about 2000 years.

 

Monday, 28 July 2014 00:00

Get slim and stay healthy

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There has been a recent surge of Pu-erh tea prices in China, 36%-150% over the last 12 months. Valley Green Tea offers some insight as to why?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 00:00

Should teas be blended?

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Pure tea vs blended tea, reasons to blend or not to blend.

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green tea, a source of enjoyment

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 00:00

Black tea, white tea or green tea?

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Let's talk on the same terms: green tea, white tea or Oolong tea

Monday, 26 November 2012 00:00

Is traditional tea due for a makeover like an old phone?

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Some products need to be updated periodically and the others the originals are still the best. What is happening to tea after being consumed by human kind for more than 2000 years?

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Oolong tea is a class of Chinese teas that are semi-fermented. Oolongl, Wulong and Wulong are translations of different Fu Jian dialects referring to 'dark red dragon' in Chinese, which is what this category of teas

Sunday, 15 April 2012 00:00

Good news or bad news?

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How much do we need to worry about pesticides when drinking Chinese teas? Any way to avoid or minimise the potential adverse effects?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 00:00

Weight management 1 - why we put it on?

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Understanding weight gain through human history.

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Online business is booming. Valley Green Tea offers hints on how to make intelligent choice when purchasing premium teas online

Sunday, 21 August 2011 00:00

Chinese tea was discovered for enjoyment first

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Chinese tea is an enjoyable beverage first, health benefits second.

Sunday, 21 August 2011 00:00

The new comeback of green tea culture world wide

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The tea culture has returned in the 21 century, not only in China but worldwide.

Sunday, 09 January 2011 00:00

Chinese new investment strategy - Pu-erh tea collection

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There has been a recent surge of Pu-erh tea prices in China, 36%-150% over the last 12 months. Valley Green Tea offers some insight as to why?

Thursday, 06 January 2011 00:00

DEHP contamination concerns

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There has been recent media scrutiny regarding certain food products from Taiwan containing chemical DEHP which is potentially cancer-causing. What teas are exposed to these risks?