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QI Teas: White Tea and Acai:
Recently I made a purchase in a local health food shop and because I spent over £10.00 I got a free goodie bag which was packed with really cool samples and loads of speciality teas. My favourite one was the QI Teas White Tea and Acai.
You can get this white tea in some health food shops and also from several places online in boxes of 25 tea bags. It costs around £1.20 depending on where you get it. The website for QI teas, (http://www.qi-teas.com/prod_01.html), has a full listing of all stockists.
The tea bags come in recyclable and compostable paper sleeves which are very plain. The colour of the branding, name of the tea and the ingredients list is different for each type of tea and the Acai one is in purple. Speaking of ingredients this contains 78% white tea, 5% acai berry, blueberry leaf, blackcurrants, liquorice, dandelion root, natural cranberry flavour, citric acid and acerola. Each tea bag weighs in at 1.6g.
For those of you who are interested I thought I would look into the, (claimed), benefits of the two main ingredients and a few facts about them in general as they are things that some people won't be too familiar with.
White tea comes from the same plant as black and green teas, (Camellia Sinensis), but it is uncured and unoxidised, (green tea being cured and black tea being both cured and oxidised), and it is believed that it has a higher caffeine content than green and black teas because it contains younger leaves and buds. There are several different species of tea plant that can be used to make white tea; I won't go into them all but Wikipedia has a good list. It is believed that because white tea is less processed than green and black teas that it contains more of the useful anti-oxidants that help your body fight and kill cancer cells. Some studies also show that white tea can help your body's immune system and because it is rich in fluoride it can also help prevent tooth decay and plaque.
Acai berries have been hailed as the king of superfoods and a quick browse round the internet quickly explains why. I won't go into too much detail but apparently they contain something called anthocyanins which is a plant pigment also found, (but in much smaller quantities), in red wine grapes. These anthocyanins are powerful anti-oxidants. Curiously Acai berries also contain more essential fatty acids than olive oil without the associated health risks, (olive oil is still a fat and if heated to high temperatures the anti-oxidants turn into damaging free-radicals). These ingredients have massive cardiovascular benefits and some studies show that anthocyanins are helpful in preventing things like blood clots; they can help improve blood circulation and help to relax blood vessels. The fatty acids can also help the body absorb fat soluble vitamins. Many people also believe that acai berries can aid weight loss.
Obviously loads of things that are good for you taste revolting but luckily this is not the case here. The white tea has a very delicate flavour and as long as you use water just off the boil and don't stew the tea it is not bitter at all and lacks that grassy flavour that green tea has. With all the other things added to this tea it tastes lovely and fruity and I am quite glad to say that the liquorice is not noticeable at all. It's the first hot drink I have tried that could seriously tempt me away from my eight plus cups of coffee a day!
QI produce organic and fair-trade teas and their website has plenty of information about them as a company and their general philosophies.
I would definitely recommend QI teas to anyone looking for a refreshing change and for those who would benefit most from the range of health benefits.
Brand: Qi / Fairtrade white tea.