Health Benefits of Tea

Part 2 0f 6 

Tea comes from the leaves of a flowering evergreen plant called Camelia Sinensis. There are four principal types of tea – black, green, white and oolong. All are from the same plant but the leaves are processed differently.

Tea contains enzymes that interact with the oxygen in the air when a leaf is broken or crushed. This reaction is called oxidation or fermentation, and it causes the leaf to darken and increases its caffeine level. Once the leaf is heated and dried the oxidation process stops.

BLACK TEA – is fully oxidized and dried and has a smooth taste. Most of the teas on the market use black tea such as Orange Pekoe, Earl Grey, English Breakfast etc. Generally you would add milk or lemon and a sweetener (sugar/honey) to black tea.

GREEN TEA – is unfermented tea. The leaves are quickly dried then heated and rolled, so it is not as processed as black tea. There is a great variety of green teas – some are light and mild tasting while others are grassy and vegetable tasting. You would not add milk to green tea. Green teas generally come from China or Japan.

OOLONG TEA – is a hybrid between black and green tea and is popular in China. The leaves are partly oxidized and some Oolongs are less fermented and more closely resemble green tea; other Oolongs are more fully oxidized and come closer to black tea. Generally you would not drink Oolong with milk or sugar – it has a strong flavour that holds its own.

WHITE TEA – has only recently become widely available and it is possibly the healthiest of all teas because it is the least processed. It’s picked before the leaf buds fully open, then it’s air dried or gently dried by steaming and that’s it. The buds are covered with fine white hair which gives the tea it’s white look. Like green tea, it is not fermented. White tea often has such a gentle flavour that it’s like drinking water. Now it is often blended with vanilla, spices and fruit flavours.

There are other teas on the market called herbal teas. Herbal teas are not made from the tea plant, so they’re really NOT TEA. These are TISANES or infusions of other plants, herbs, flowers, spices, roots and flavourings, for example; Peppermint, Chamomile, Rooibus (ROY-BOSS) or red tea, and different blends

to be continued… in the mean time join us for a cup of your favourite tea!

Creemore Spring Marinated Grilled Flat Iron

Creemore Spring Marinated Grilled Flat Iron is served on the Old Mill Toronto Menu  with warm potato salad, pairs great with a nice beer, a perfect indulgence on a summer’s eve!   

1 16 oz. pc Flat Iron Steak
8 oz. Creemore Springs Beer
4 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 bunch Thyme
1/2 bunch Rosemary

Mix beer with Garlic and Herbs, add the Flat Iron and let marinate in fridge over night.

Pre-heat BBQ to a high temperature 450 – 500 degrees

Add salt and pepper to flat iron liberally (or to taste)

Cook 3-4 mins per side until med rare

If you cook the flat iron past med it will become tough and chewy

Serve with warm potato salad and a nice beer, great on a summer’s eve! 

Compliments of Executive Chef Tim Dunnill

Health Benefits of Tea

Part 1 0f 6 

In 1840, Anna Maria Bedford, more commonly known as the Duchess of Bedford and one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, introduced a new concept of taking afternoon tea. This was the beginning of the tea craze in Europe and North America, and as tea became more popular, people wondered about this strange new beverage. Was it healthy or unhealthy?

In the 19th century, most water was unfit to drink, they didn’t have the knowledge and means to purify water, so tea was wonderful because it forced people to boil their water which killed the bacteria.

Throughout the 1800′s people used to drink beer or ale for breakfast and dinner because it was strong enough to kill bacteria and drinking cold water was simply not safe. When tea became popular beer brewers were threatened because tea was competing with their sales. The brewers started a massive crusade against tea. The church of England joined in because they also felt threatened by tea. (Maybe they thought people would just have tea parties on Sundays instead of going to church.) Don’t forget that tea was a new, foreign imported drink and aroused a lot of suspicion. The church denounced tea as a sinful drink, and according to one account, the church declared that “all men who drink tea will become impotent, and all women who drink tea will become ugly”.

In 1822 William Cobbett, who was a member of parliament and a social commentator wrote an article called “The Evils of Tea”. In it he declared, “I view tea drinking as a destroyer of health, an engenderer of effeminacy and laziness, a debaucher of youth, and a maker of misery for old age.” 

Interestingly, despite this bad publicity, tea became increasingly popular throughout the 1800′s. When scientists at the time were asked about the health benefits of tea, they simply stated that it was a pleasant, mildly stimulating drink and that in moderation thay could see nothing wrong with it.

This scientific view that tea was neither here nor there as far as health benefits was held for more then a century. In fact, scientists only started taking a real good look at tea’s health benefits in the early 1990′s. And what they found, and are continuing to find is astounding…