Saturday, November 23, 2013

Update and Rishi Silver Needle

Yeah Tea!

Lately, I've felt a little more compelled to write, so maybe I'll take it a little more seriously. I have tried to blog again recently on a new blog, but I deleted it because I couldn't keep up with a narrow topic to blog about (just like with this blog about tea). So, maybe I'll just merge everything into this blog.

The last time I blogged was over 2 years ago, and I had tea from Teaspring to talk about. Since then, I haven't really been drinking tea at all, especially not tea shipped from China. At most, I got Rishi Jade Cloud green tea from Whole Foods, and made maybe one black tea order from Adagio. Instead of tea, I got into the habit of drinking yerba mate, and partially got swept up in the new mate culture in the U.S that started as an online community. There's so much information on the internet about the health benefits of mate, and a lot of sources recommend using mate to get off coffee, and some even claim to get off tea as well.

This is one of the reasons I want to blog again. I'll still write about certain teas when I get the chance, but now I'm more interested in health, and about dealing with endless claims about "health promoting" substances, especially when an addictive substance is involved. Alcohol is touted as healthy in moderation, but how much alcohol counts as moderation? Is it the amount it takes to become obnoxious? Similarly, how can yerba mate proponents claim things such as it promoting sleep when it contains caffeine?

Most people don't think about these things, maybe at most they switch to tea because they're conscientious about their caffeine consumption. For me, I've always been caffeine sensitive, and dealt with anxiety for quite a long time. Not a good combo, but I got into caffeine anyway, and alcohol shortly after. Just a few weeks ago, while I'm not drinking alcohol much anymore, I am drinking copious amounts of yerba mate without second thought. I slowly start to notice that I'm becoming more wired than normal, and I'm not really sleeping at night. This got me to reconsider how much caffeine I'm actually consuming. On average, I think I consume 600-1000mg of caffeine a day, but I never believed it could be that high. Mate is supposed to be like caffeine but without any negative side effects.

Now I'm trying to get back into tea! I need to place a tea order soon, but in the meantime, I have Rishi Silver Needle. I bought it from Whole Foods because it's convenient even if it's also expensive, but also because I generally like tea from Rishi. I would have bought Jade Cloud instead, but they didn't have it, so my second pick is this white tea. It was one of the first teas I tried as I explored other varieties other than black tea, and I really enjoyed this one back then.

So, trying it after not drinking tea for almost a year, I'm pleasantly surprised. White tea was something I never gave much credit, thinking there were always more interesting teas out there. Now I have to rethink that. Initial impressions are that there is absolutely no bitterness, and has a theanine sweetness that gives the tea a decent perceived "body." Instead of tasting green and spinach-like, it has more of a cane sugar flavor. After a few sips, I can pull out a generic fruit-like flavor (I only say that because I can't tell what kind of fruit I'm tasting).

For returning to tea, I guess this really wasn't a bad choice. I may even make it a staple tea.

I guess I'm all over the place with this post. I'll probably start posting again, at least for a little while, though I think this blog may get off the topic of tea fairly often, as I might post about general health stuff, personal growth, or just random personal blog stuff. When on the topic of tea, I decided that instead of posting about every tea I try like I did in the past, I'll only post about teas I like and would actually consider buying again. I generally like trying to find the positive in stuff, as I've done with most teas I've reviewed on this blog. Problem is, I rarely bought those teas a second time, which I guess didn't make the impression on me that I thought it did.