I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby ctguitarguy » Jun 7th, '10, 07:58

hello everyone, im as newbie as it can possibly get. i have had adagios bottled white teas, but that can get fairly expensive, and from juicing and making fresh smoothies Ive learned that making things fresh is the way to go.

I'm interested in white tea, because i like the lighter,sweeter, less grassy taste as opposed to the Japanese green tea ive had. I'm also doing this for my health as well, from what i have learned silver needle is the healthiest of the bunch.

So having said that, ive never brewed a pot of coffee or tea in my life, im not looking to get crazy traditional here, but i wanted to get some opinions on where i should go from here, given that context.

i was thinking about using the UtiliTEA Kettle to make this tea, so my question would be should i get the silver needle sold by adagio, or from someone else? i will say i do NOT want any loose leaf tea that is made with pesticides whatsoever, i don't "need" the organic label, but i would like to know my tea leaves have had no pesticides used on them.

So what do you guys recommend for the total newb starting out (trying to keep this simple and convenient. But also keep in mind im looking to get the optimum health benefits from this stuff so brand/type of silver needle/ and steeping time/instructions should be focused on that aspect.
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby Mikael » Jun 7th, '10, 11:50

hey there :)

I think you have valid concern about what goes into your cup. I'm really glad that people are waking up and questioning what actually goes into their bodies. As a zealous health nut, I assure you that you have nothing to worry about in regards to tea (at least Adagio tea, not sure about others).

The farmers that Adagio gets the tea from have been more and more using safer pesticides which do not transfer to your cup. These are effective pesticides that keep the tea leaves protected while they grow and also dissipate/get burned off during the brewing process.

Whenever you read sensationalist articles about how you should worry about tea that comes from abroad, they skew the facts. High level of pesticides found on tea leaves is rare, and even so, these pesticides do not get transferred to your cup. Unless you plan on munching on the dry leaves, you have nothing worry about :)

There is only a small number of pesticides that the Food and Drug Administration bans outright. For all others, the FDA has established a level below which effects to the human body are negligible. All of our farmers adhere to these rules. No worries.

From an earlier post by Michael:

What is the industry doing to reduce this number further? While lowering the amount of pesticide applied, and developing tea varieties better suited to naturally ward off pests, tea growers have also been switching to pesticides with a low water solubility (an ability to dissolve in water). The confluence of these efforts is producing teas that are analogous in their health properties to those grown organically. Organic farming continues to be better for the environment. As far as your health is concerned, the differences are negligible.

What may explain the queasiness your feel after drinking tea? The likely culprit is caffeine. Having the enviable task of sampling every tea selected for sale at Adagio, I often time consume more than 20 cups a day. I find that doing this with white or green varieties, which are low in caffeine, suits my stomach better than doing the same with black tea. So if queasiness continues to be an issue, I suggest forgoing black tea, and opting for those that are either lower or devoid of caffeine.


I have also taken the liberty of attaching a scientific article which analyzed pesticides in tea. The conclusion of this study is:

It may be concluded that the mere presence of
pesticide residues in made tea does not necessarily
mean that the tea has become toxic and would pose a
health hazard. The present study revealed that only a
negligible or small percentage of pesticides in made tea
is being transferred to the infusion. Further, the extent
of pesticide leaching depends on its water solubility,
partition coefficient, and the brewing time.


Since the pesticides used by our farmers are water soluble, they pose no risk to you.

Now of course it is better to have organic tea. I buy all my food organic, or at least try to, but tea is different. I've tried the organic tea samples that farmers send us and not only are they very expensive but they also do not taste good. I don't know why this is, perhaps the process of growing tea organically hasn't evolved yet to the point where the tea meets our taste-bud needs. We after all have very high standards for how our tea tastes.

I suggest you stop worrying and relax :) Get some loose leaf tea and some teaware to brew and drink the tea. UtiliTEA is a great kettle but you'll also need an infuser. I prefer the Jumbo cup & Infuser but there are other options. Once you have everything, check out my 'Way of Tea' article on TeaMuse about how to really get more out of your drinking experience. And enjoy!

Welcome to the club.
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby Dresden » Jun 7th, '10, 12:42

Nice info, Mikael!!!
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby ctguitarguy » Jun 7th, '10, 19:01

Thanks for the lengthy and thoughtful response Mikael, while i will consider your suggestions, the FDA- like many other U.S health governmental bodies have long been shown to be corrupt, business influenced, and outdated in their recommendations. Recent studies have shown pesticides varieties and levels accepted by the FDA are very unhealthy, and there is legislation to have all of them re-evaluated like Europe is doing.

So having said that, i would really prefer my silver needle to not be grown with pesticides...particularly considering I'm drinking this principally for health reasons.
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby aya_s » Jun 7th, '10, 21:00

I believe Rishi is a pretty big brand that boasts organic fair trade tea. White tea is among their offerings.

You can enter your zip code on their website to find locations that carry their tea near you: http://www.rishi-tea.com/
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby Mikael » Jun 8th, '10, 00:35

ctguitarguy wrote:Thanks for the lengthy and thoughtful response Mikael, while i will consider your suggestions, the FDA- like many other U.S health governmental bodies have long been shown to be corrupt, business influenced, and outdated in their recommendations. Recent studies have shown pesticides varieties and levels accepted by the FDA are very unhealthy, and there is legislation to have all of them re-evaluated like Europe is doing.

So having said that, i would really prefer my silver needle to not be grown with pesticides...particularly considering I'm drinking this principally for health reasons.


The study I attached is not from the FDA. It's an unbiased scientific study that shows that tea grown with water soluble pesticides is not harmful at all.

Btw, Adagio sells to Europe too.

I get your concern though. Health is important, but don't go too crazy. Life is impermanent :P
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby chittychat » Jun 8th, '10, 05:34

Which country has the highest pesticde and fertilizer consumption per area of arable land?

Which country has the healthiest and longest leaving people on earth?

The answer to both is: JAPAN

:roll: :lol:
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby silverneedles » Jun 8th, '10, 08:30

Mikael wrote:The study I attached is not from the FDA. It's an unbiased scientific study


but! it could be funded by covert tea organizations working with the Indian government ;)

Mikael wrote: Health is important, but don't go too crazy. Life is impermanent

exactly
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby Mikael » Jun 8th, '10, 11:33

chittychat wrote:Which country has the highest pesticde and fertilizer consumption per area of arable land?

Which country has the healthiest and longest leaving people on earth?

The answer to both is: JAPAN

:roll: :lol:


LOL Really? Wow.... that's very interesting.. hmmm...

So why do you think the Japanese are so healthy? lifestyle? diet? tea?
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby teaisme » Jun 8th, '10, 18:10

Chittych... wrote:tea grown with water soluble pesticides is not harmful at all.


The study said negligible to small risk. Not no risk at all. And like you and the study said, this varies on infusion time (as well as multiple infusions which the study did not take into account), the longer the infusion, the more it will leech. Water soluble or not, once you start breaking down the leafs tissue with multiple infusions of boiling water it does not matter. Also with finely broken teas like a fuku sencha you will be drinking the small tea leaves.

One 'unbiased' study is just that, one study. As the world of 'unbiased scientific method' has shown time and time again, many studies said to be unbiased often contradict each other. So I wouldn't draw all my conclusions based on just one study. A simple change in one step of the methodology could significantly change results.

Mikael wrote:but tea is different. I've tried the organic tea samples that farmers send us and not only are they very expensive but they also do not taste good. I don't know why this is, perhaps the process of growing tea organically hasn't evolved yet to the point where the tea meets our taste-bud needs. We after all have very high standards for how our tea tastes.


There are a lot of very good organic teas out there, and often the best of the best is organic...I do agree though that they tend to be more expensive

Ctguitar... wrote:from what i have learned silver needle is the healthiest of the bunch.

As discussed in other places in this forum, different teas have different health benefits. Many say whites have the highest antioxidants, but other teas have other nutritional benefits to offer besides antioxidants. I like to mix it up to benefit from them all :D Many vendors say their whites are organic, my guess is that its kinda iffy unless it is certified (even then its still kinda iffy but not nearly as bad). To answer original post, if you want the max benefits eat the leaf after you brew your organic tea :D

I drink non organics as well as organics, but I do think that organics are healthier for many reasons which I do not feel like listing right now because it's time to get off work!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby Dresden » Jun 8th, '10, 22:33

Mikael wrote:Life is impermanent :P

Hmmmm.... I detect a bit of Buddhism :mrgreen:
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby chittychat » Jun 8th, '10, 23:21

Mikael wrote:
chittychat wrote:Which country has the highest pesticide and fertilizer consumption per area of arable land?

Which country has the healthiest and longest leaving people on earth?

The answer to both is: JAPAN

:roll: :lol:


LOL Really? Wow.... that's very interesting.. hmmm...

So why do you think the Japanese are so healthy? lifestyle? diet? tea?


Off-hand I would say because they have plenty of good food to eat, food not lacking in nutrients and damaged by bugs. And surely diet, fish, seaweed and may be tea plays a roll.

We can only now talk organic because we have the luxury of plenty of food available in the Northern world thanks to fertilizer and pesticides. Plants give a damn where that N is coming from, for them N is N, and some plants have deadlier poisons to defend against bugs than man has ever applied. Before the area of fertilizer and pesticides everybody eat "organic" and scores starved to death. :shock:
Last edited by chittychat on Jun 9th, '10, 07:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby Marky » Jun 9th, '10, 00:15

I recently bought some Rishi silver needle premium organic from their web site and it is very tasty, especially brewed at lower temps like 160-170. A bit pricey, it's true, but not so bad if you consider you get multiple infusions. It's usually good for 2 or 3 brews. Good luck in your search!
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby Mikael » Jun 9th, '10, 11:38

Dresden wrote:
Mikael wrote:Life is impermanent :P

Hmmmm.... I detect a bit of Buddhism :mrgreen:

:lol:

8)
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Re: I'm a Newbie interested in Silver Needle for health reasons

Postby Rithmomachy » Jun 9th, '10, 13:35

chittychat wrote:Off-hand I would say because they have plenty of good food to eat, food not lacking in nutrients and damaged by bugs. And surely diet, fish, seaweed and may be tea plays a roll.

We can only now talk organic because we have the luxury of plenty of food available in the Northern world thanks to fertilizer and pesticides. Plants give a damn where that N is coming from, for them N is N, and some plants have deadlier poisons to defend against bugs than man has ever applied. Before the area of fertilizer and pesticides everybody eat "organic" and scores starved to death. :shock:

It's good to see someone taking a rational approach to food and organics. Organic vs. conventional farming is a complicated issue, and there are definitely valid reasons to buy organic. Nevertheless, there is one fact that is perfectly clear and should be more widely known: One invention is responsible for saving more lives than any other in history - artificial fertilizer. The "Green Revolution" it brought about is not without costs and negative consequences, but hundreds of millions alive today would not be if modern agriculture had not been developed.
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