Thursday, June 28, 2007

Samples: Tzu The T-Bag

Tzu The sells a type of bagged tea that is labeled as "100% Natural Full Leaf Green Tea." I got a sample of it at the World Tea Expo. The packaging looks good, until you actually read it. It touts the EGCG content of the "green tea" (What kind??? I don't know!!!) and includes brewing instructions that call for boiling water (learn about appropriate water temperatures for brewing tea) and suggest steeping for 10-15 minutes (Why would you want to do that? Too bad they didn't read How to Brew Tea.). The tea itself isn't bad. It comes in a pyramid-shaped silk mesh bag and it is (as the packaging says) full leaf. It wasn't gross, but I wouldn't serve it to anyone.

I hope that this kind of marketing and misinformation isn't as common as I fear it may be.

PS--OMG. As I went to post this, I decided to check out their website. I realized that NOT ONLY is it printed incorrectly on their packaging (they left out a dash between "Tzu" and "The"), but they sell energy bars with green tea and "beer" (actually just brewer's yeast, but they say "beer"). They also provide information like this, "The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful natural anti-oxidant only found in Green Tea. Green tea contains more catechins and vitamins than other fermented tea, such as oolong tea and black tea." The secret? I thought it was the thing that was discussed the most about green tea on AM talk shows. When will people realize that EGCG is not the only good thing about tea? I wish people would stop with this fad diet junk. Besides, white tea probably has more of it than green tea*, "fermented" is not the correct word (it should say "oxidized"), and, anyway, Oolong is only semi-oxidized. I am so afraid.

*There are more health claims about green tea than white tea because it has been popular for a longer period of time. For this reason, scientists do more research on green tea than white tea. We'll have to wait and see for sure if white tea has more EGCG than green, but white tea is higher in most other catechins, so I wouldn't be at all surprised.

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