A case for older (cheaper) tea?


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

For best health benefits, I would ...

Drink later flushes of green tea if they have higher catechin levels
1
4%
Drink 1st flush if it has more catechins
1
4%
Drink more 1st flush to make up for lower catechins
1
4%
Drink more later flushes to make up for lower catechins
0
No votes
I will just drink what I like, 1st flush for me
20
77%
I will drink what I like, later flushes for me
0
No votes
Other
3
12%
 
Total votes : 26

Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby Chip » Sep 17th, '11, 08:43

I will remind the OP that in the original post you stated you were not going to cite sources, thus the call for sources. You did not mention that you thought it was common knowledge, etc.

There have been for years opposing research studies.

IMHO, healthiest does not equal highest value. What good is healthiest if it is not enjoyed and drunk on a religious basis? You can have the healthiest drink in the world, but what value is it if you cannot drink it, or cannot enjoy it? You are better off taking suppliments.

OMG, the thought of drinking very late flushes, brewed 10 minutes or longer ... with lemon ... curdles my tastebuds. This is simply not going to appeal to the vast majority of green tea drinkers.

If wanting a drinkable tea makes someone a snob or elitist in someone's eyes, oh well. The world is full of judges. I do not care to judge what others drink, nor label the drinker. Again, drink what you want, want what you drink. Like what you drink, drink what you like.

What value is a later harvest beverage (I think it best to refer to the leaves as FF, 2nd flush, and later flushes versus new or old leaves which implies freshness, not flush) that provides 1-2 possibly drinkable steeps and nothing beyond this, while a good FF may provide 3 exceptional steeps and several still enjoyable steeps beyond this.

Value to me (this being subjective) is best taste per gram per dollar.

While I respect opposing thoughts, to call an opposing point of view elitist or snobbery is in itself a form of snobbery.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby woodshadows » Sep 17th, '11, 08:51

Always be suspicious of the arguments of those who have an economic vested interest in something. Money and truth are not easy bedfellows.

"Along with the cheap stuff often comes pesticides and so on. Doing side by side tasting usually resolves any questions about which are more drinkable."

Again I'll clarify here by stating that by 'cheap' I specifically refer to mature leaves, -not- leaves grown in some backwater of China with experimental growth-enhancing chemicals on the shores of a polluted river and picked by a colony of leprous 7 year olds. I make an attempt to preempt any misreading of my statements but I try to give consideration for the intelligence of my reader and take liberties in assuming they can infer context in parsing my statements. I will be try to be more vigilant in the future to avoid this confusion.

You stated that you drink younger leaves because you enjoy the taste more. I made an argument pertaining to the phenomen of taste and the relative subjective nature of it. I won't invalidate what you say you experience from drinking a young flush tea. I will say that it being a conditioned experience, far more so than one hard-wired into you, it too can undergo modification. This sort of modification can even be a very desirable thing. In days past whole wheat bread was considered to have an unpleasant flavour, people clamoured for white sugary bread. These days, with the health argument in it's favour, people have forced themselves to eat whole wheat bread, which after a set period of hesitant eating, have grown an actual liking and preference for it. What if I told you that you could have a green tea that was far healthier, with higher catechin, lower caffeine, and for far less money than what you're currently paying and that the only thing you'd need to do is to bring an open mind with you and introduce your tastebuds to a new flavour sensation, would you say no? Does that no only become a yes after the majority have blazed the trail in that direction for you? Here's another scenario, a thought-experiment for you. You are born. You grow and are introduced to tea. In the hypothetical world in which you inhabit older leaves are those most highly prized. These leaves are given romantic names like "swan of the dew", a story is told of how an elder swan wandered towards a green tea bush and lapped at the dew and gained invigorating strength. Websites and the full force of media and health organizations came out with numerous studies telling you this was a beneficial thing to consume. Conversely, you were told that young leaves were immature, had not yet reached their full value. They were given ugly names, like 'common tea', 'peasants brew', no romantic story to describe their origin, only a cheap price tag to scare you off. In this hypothetical world you buy the mature leaved swan of the dew tea. You find it a bit bitter, but bitter in the grean tea world of this world is what makes for a good green tea (as with a good espresso). You aren't overly eager on it (as you likely weren't with your first sip of green tea). You persist in drinking it, it's good for you, or so everyone says, right? Your taste buds adapt, you develop an appreciation for the subtle notes. You grow to love the fullbodied brisk taste. Out of curiosity one day you try the cheap young leaves of a 'common tea'. You find the taste bland, empty, lacking in quality. You sign up to teachat.com and you circle jerk about how much money you spent on your expensive tea and deride anyone who goes against the prevailing orthodoxy. You go to sleep smug and happy. The end.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby Chip » Sep 17th, '11, 09:10

As moderator, I would ask that posters tone down the rhetoric. We endeavor to have a friendly forum, not a hostile environment.

This does not mean that everyone has to think the same. However this does mean that it is not acceptable to name call, nor ridicule a POSSIBLE error by another poster.

Often the written word is mightier than the sword, but this is double edged.

It might have been wise for the OP to become a member, get to know and be known, prior to posting in such a manner.

I have been known to lock topics.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby woodshadows » Sep 17th, '11, 09:23

Chip, if my ultimate goal were to change opinions then yes it may have been more advantageous to first join the forum, lurk in threads offering safe content and ego-gratifying words until I had infiltrated the flock like the wolf of the fable, before playing prophet to the masses.

That however, would require more than the bare minimum which is what I'm giving now. I'm not expecting any revolution to occur here or elsewhere, people become very set in their ways and ideas, one person can rarely change that. I can however be a pebble. I am sure there are a few other pebbles rolling around out there with a similar message. These pebbles, if ultimately validated, will gain traction, they will develop momentum, they will snowball and overthrow fixed rigid and ultimately invalidated 'truths'. This is my little contribution to that movement. You and others have read my words, there is a spark of doubt in your mind now. Your conscious mind may not accept or allow for it, but in the deep recesses of the unconscious truth will prevail over time.

I am finished here and that is heralded appropriately with the cavalry coming in to use physical force - where intellectual force has been wanting - to decide the issue. I have been searching the menus for the past 5 minutes but im too stewpitt to figure out how to remove my account. Lacking this option I will simply vanish, *Poof*.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby Chip » Sep 17th, '11, 09:28

woodshadows wrote:Always be suspicious of the arguments of those who have an economic vested interest in something. Money and truth are not easy bedfellows.

This is insulting of another member of TeaChat who is respected by many, someone who has been a member for some time.

Here we have many vendor members. They are generally respectful of the forum's rules. Members appreciate having a vendor's perspective. You can be aware of this perspective without being insulting or disrespectful.

O-Cha sells 2nd flush BTW. So following your accusation, he would stand to benefit economically if he followed your plan to populate the world with drinkers of later flushes of tea. All he has to do is stock less expensive tea and increase price based upon wildly escalating demand driving the market for these teas. He can sell whatever the market calls for.

Again as I already mentioned, calling leaves new and old is confusing to say the least, implying freshness or lack thereof. Please refer to flushes and harvest times for clarity.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby Chip » Sep 17th, '11, 09:36

woodshadows wrote:I am finished here and that is heralded appropriately with the cavalry coming in to use physical force - where intellectual force has been wanting - to decide the issue. I have been searching the menus for the past 5 minutes but im too stewpitt to figure out how to remove my account. Lacking this option I will simply vanish, *Poof*.

Predictable ... :lol:

Oddly you have been insulting in some way in every single post, and predictably you are the victim. :?

Please, enjoy your "old tea." Drink what you like, like what you drink, respect what others drink, and they will respect what you drink. There are ways to present arguments, your way is textbook the wrong way obviously.

Since you wish to close your account, as a parting gift please allow me to assist you.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby AdamMY » Sep 17th, '11, 10:18

woodshadows wrote:You stated that you drink younger leaves because you enjoy the taste more. I made an argument pertaining to the phenomen of taste and the relative subjective nature of it. I won't invalidate what you say you experience from drinking a young flush tea. I will say that it being a conditioned experience, far more so than one hard-wired into you, it too can undergo modification. This sort of modification can even be a very desirable thing. In days past whole wheat bread was considered to have an unpleasant flavour, people clamoured for white sugary bread. These days, with the health argument in it's favour, people have forced themselves to eat whole wheat bread, which after a set period of hesitant eating, have grown an actual liking and preference for it. What if I told you that you could have a green tea that was far healthier, with higher catechin, lower caffeine, and for far less money than what you're currently paying and that the only thing you'd need to do is to bring an open mind with you and introduce your tastebuds to a new flavour sensation, would you say no? Does that no only become a yes after the majority have blazed the trail in that direction for you? Here's another scenario, a thought-experiment for you. You are born. You grow and are introduced to tea. In the hypothetical world in which you inhabit older leaves are those most highly prized. These leaves are given romantic names like "swan of the dew", a story is told of how an elder swan wandered towards a green tea bush and lapped at the dew and gained invigorating strength. Websites and the full force of media and health organizations came out with numerous studies telling you this was a beneficial thing to consume. Conversely, you were told that young leaves were immature, had not yet reached their full value. They were given ugly names, like 'common tea', 'peasants brew', no romantic story to describe their origin, only a cheap price tag to scare you off. In this hypothetical world you buy the mature leaved swan of the dew tea. You find it a bit bitter, but bitter in the grean tea world of this world is what makes for a good green tea (as with a good espresso). You aren't overly eager on it (as you likely weren't with your first sip of green tea). You persist in drinking it, it's good for you, or so everyone says, right? Your taste buds adapt, you develop an appreciation for the subtle notes. You grow to love the fullbodied brisk taste. Out of curiosity one day you try the cheap young leaves of a 'common tea'. You find the taste bland, empty, lacking in quality. You sign up to teachat.com and you circle jerk about how much money you spent on your expensive tea and deride anyone who goes against the prevailing orthodoxy. You go to sleep smug and happy. The end.



In response to this I will say that our tastebuds are a product of what we are exposed to on a regular basis, not just tea, but also the food we eat, and the seasonings we use. There is a member on this forum who is incredibly fond of young Sheng puerh, which I personally find exceedingly bitter, especially when I brew it in a similar method to him. Sometimes it was more passable than others, but because I do not enjoy it as much I rarely drink it now. But he himself suggests he might be extra fond of young sheng because he grew up eating food and drinks from cultures that is known to be exceedingly bitter to those that are not accustomed to it. While in theory one could grow used to bitterness by exposing themselves to it regularly, but in the end it could be similar to saying if you repeatedly stick needles in your hand you will lose feeling in your hand. You yourself need to judge if that is something you are willing to do for the "benefits."

Honestly, you come across as rather crass, joining the forum to insist we have a wrong set of values. In truth I think most of us believe you have it backwards, as we drink tea because we love it, and we love the flavors, and its history, very few of us on the forum actually care to drink tea for its health benefits. While in some other universe people may love the older leaves instead of the young ones, in our universe the people on this planet as a whole tend to enjoy the mellow, but wider variety of flavors that are found in tea made from the younger leaves.

*edited to fix a spelling error ( I am sure there are more).
Last edited by AdamMY on Sep 17th, '11, 11:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby Tead Off » Sep 17th, '11, 11:05

Wow. Was the poster drinking too much whiskey tonight? The whole enquiry turned sour rather quickly. I wasn't offended at all. I thought he brought up some good points but began to draw hasty conclusions. I guess we all want our point of view to be the 'right' one.

Chip, a word please. It seems you jump into these things way before you need to. I realize your the moderator and don't want posts to veer off in directions that get too personal, but sometimes interesting discussions can develop if you give it time and let posters go the distance. 2 posters came up with studies that refuted what Kevin said. I'm not blaming Kevin for believing what he did. Often we have wrong information until someone points out the correct information. Did you really feel that it was insulting? Was he wrong saying sometimes money and truth are not easy bedfellows? Most would agree with this statement. This is not to say Kevin has a vested interest in keeping the truth from people. The thought never occurred to this poster (me). I would love to hear from Kevin to see whether he can come up with studies showing that his statements were accurate. I want to learn, too.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby rhondabee » Sep 17th, '11, 18:14

This discussion made me curious and I did a little Googling to see what I could find. Actually a lot of Japanese green tea vendor sites do state that Sencha has the most catechins. Wikipedia states that the youngest tea leaves contain the most catechins :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenolic_content_in_tea

The reference in Wikipedia is this site:

http://teaguardian.com/health/tea_catec ... ences.html

"If you need the health benefits of catechins, wholeleaves, fresh green tea made from the youngest 3 leaves are what you should look for." This site (a non-vendor site) is referring to a Taiwanese study (C.N. Chen et al, Capillary Electrophoretic Determination of Theanine, Caffeine, and Catechins in Fresh Tea Leaves and Oolong Tea and Their Effects on Rat Neurosphere Adhesion and Migration, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2003, 51, 7495−7503)

Then there is this site, which also states that the youngest leaves have the highest concentration:

http://www.itoen.co.jp/eng/allabout_gre ... index.html

"Ichibancha [Shincha] has a catechin content of approximately 12-14%, while nibancha has a catechin content of approximately 14-15%. The catechin content of young shoots (first or second leaf) is higher than mature leaves (third or fourth leaf)."

And I read an abstract of a Japanese study that found that the highest levels of catechins were not found in Japanese greens, but Vietnamese and Indian green teas:)

http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/1 ... 335811.php

"Vietnamese green tea and Indian green teas such as Darjeeling green tea and Darjeeling silver tip contained much more total catechin contents and in those (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate showed a especially higher content in comparison with the Japanese ones." So there you go.

I agree with most everyone else, we don't drink tea for the health benefits, but because we love the taste and perhaps due to the effect it has (relaxation, focus) on us. So drink your Sencha or Bancha, it's all good!
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby a.serrao » Sep 17th, '11, 18:32

rhondabee wrote:This discussion made me curious and I did a little Googling to see what I could find. Actually a lot of Japanese green tea vendor sites do state that Sencha has the most catechins. Wikipedia states that the youngest tea leaves contain the most catechins :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenolic_content_in_tea

The reference in Wikipedia is this site:

http://teaguardian.com/health/tea_catec ... ences.html

"If you need the health benefits of catechins, wholeleaves, fresh green tea made from the youngest 3 leaves are what you should look for." This site (a non-vendor site) is referring to a Taiwanese study (C.N. Chen et al, Capillary Electrophoretic Determination of Theanine, Caffeine, and Catechins in Fresh Tea Leaves and Oolong Tea and Their Effects on Rat Neurosphere Adhesion and Migration, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2003, 51, 7495−7503)

Then there is this site, which also states that the youngest leaves have the highest concentration:

http://www.itoen.co.jp/eng/allabout_gre ... index.html

"Ichibancha [Shincha] has a catechin content of approximately 12-14%, while nibancha has a catechin content of approximately 14-15%. The catechin content of young shoots (first or second leaf) is higher than mature leaves (third or fourth leaf)."

And I read an abstract of a Japanese study that found that the highest levels of catechins were not found in Japanese greens, but Vietnamese and Indian green teas:)

http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/1 ... 335811.php

"Vietnamese green tea and Indian green teas such as Darjeeling green tea and Darjeeling silver tip contained much more total catechin contents and in those (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate showed a especially higher content in comparison with the Japanese ones." So there you go.

I agree with most everyone else, we don't drink tea for the health benefits, but because we love the taste and perhaps due to the effect it has (relaxation, focus) on us. So drink your Sencha or Bancha, it's all good!


Sure, only the youngest buds and maybe second leaves contains catechins the most.
But let's not making confusion between young leaf and first flush.
Ichibanca has 12% catechins versus 14-15% nibancha. Exactly. First flush tea has less catechins than second flush and third flush tea has actually more catechins than second flush tea.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby Kevangogh » Sep 17th, '11, 21:03

I've got a load of files on this subject that I obtained from the library at Arizona State University. Studies done in Japan. These files are in Fukushima and I am now in Uji. I'll get to them eventually. I thought this was a non-issue honestly because I know I have read in numerous places that first flush has higher concentrations of catechins but for the time being, I don't have access to my files. I definitely am not conceding that I am wrong on this point but the next time I get to Fukushima I will pull out the files and site my sources. I will probably go there next weekend.

In the meantime, I will say this. While I'm not a moderator at this forum, I'm well versed in forums. The normal procedure when you are new is to come in and introduce yourself. "Hi, I'm Bob. I have been drinking green tea for X number of years..." blah blah blah. For sure, it's not to come in and on your very first post imply the members here are snobs, and then proceed to tell members who have hung out here and discussed the fine aspects of tea over the course of YEARS "how it is." Who does he think he is? We don't know him from Adam. He may be intelligent, but even if his point was technically "correct", it's hard to take it seriously coming from someone who has no common sense - as indicated by his first post. He alludes to my "vested interest", which is ridiculous. For all you know, he could a vested interest in people not buying expensive tea (sounds like it). Maybe he is a bulk tea wholesaler who imports tea. Or maybe he can't afford expensive tea and it bothers him that others buy it. I really don't know what motivated his post but I guarantee, there's a reason. But looks like we'll never know - he told us almost nothing about himself.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby a.serrao » Sep 17th, '11, 21:08

Kevangogh wrote:I've got a load of files on this subject that I obtained from the library at Arizona State University. Studies done in Japan. These files are in Fukushima and I am now in Uji. I'll get to them eventually. I thought this was a non-issue honestly because I know I have read in numerous places that first flush has higher concentrations of catechins but for the time being, I don't have access to my files. I definitely am not conceding that I am wrong on this point but the next time I get to Fukushima I will pull out the files and site my sources. I will probably go there next weekend.



Kevin, are you sure you aren't confounding theanine with catechine?
Neither a scientific explanation is sufficient for you?
I'm baffled.

More scientific articles:

"catechin content in teas is known to vary depending on the tea variety, origin, season of harvest and sun exposure. Kumamoto and Sonda (1998) reported that more intensive sun exposure relates to the higher catechin
content."

in:
The composition of polyphenols and methylxanthines in teas and herbal infusions
Dunja Horzˇic´ , Drazˇenka Komes *, Ana Belšcˇak, Karin Kovacˇevic´ Ganic´ , Damir Ivekovic´ , Damir Karlovic´
Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

http://missclasses.com/mp3s/Prize%20CD% ... rprise.pdf

and here:
Kumamoto, M., & Sonda, T. (1998). Evaluation of the antioxidative activity of tea by
an oxygen electrode method. Bioscience, Biotechnology and biochemistry, 62(1),
175–177

http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bbb/62/1/175/_pdf
Last edited by a.serrao on Sep 17th, '11, 21:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby Kevangogh » Sep 17th, '11, 21:16

I could be wrong, sure - I'll check into it. I'm not taking your word on anything however because based on past experiences with the radiation thing, I know you are easily prone to misinformation.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby a.serrao » Sep 17th, '11, 21:26

Kevangogh wrote:I could be wrong, sure - I'll check into it. I'm not taking your word on anything however because based on past experiences with the radiation thing, I know you are easily prone to misinformation.


Again?
What misinformation?
Who is misinformed are you on this.
I've never posted anything without posting also a scientific link or a verifiable source.
About the radiation (open and closed parentheses): I was only asking for radiation tests and sceening, so what misinformation are you talking about?

Then again, IT'S NOT my WORD on catechin contents. There are a plethora of scientific papers on this.
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Re: A case for older (cheaper) tea?

Postby chingwa » Sep 17th, '11, 22:00

Well I just wanted to post to say that I got into Tea 1st from a cultural / participatory point of view... and I stayed interested in tea because of the ever improving taste of tea as I rose up the 'quality' ladder.

All of these (supposed) health benefits really had nothing to do with it and regardless of whether Mr.Science says my tea has too many catechins or not enough theanines, I'm going to be happy drinking my tea and enjoying that FIRST-FLUSH-FLAVOR (FFF!) :lol:
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