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Health & Life Style

Free radicals


Free radicals are naturally present in the body and help our immune system by neutralising viruses and bacteria. However, environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke and herbicides can lead to our body containing an excessive level, which can then damage our healthy cells.

Antioxidants are needed to help prevent the free radicals destructive behaviour on our cells. As soon as free radicals are created, they are checked by antioxidant enzymes in our body and dealt with. When the ratio of free radicals becomes too high for our enzymes or antioxidant nutrients to deal with, health problems arise. It is important to remember that free radical damage will also accumulate with age.

As well as being found in fruit and vegetables, high levels of antioxidants are also found in green tea. Green tea contains a potent polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).


Anxiety and stress

L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes a feeling  of calm and relaxation as it affects chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These chemicals affect our moods so coupled with the caffeine content, we are left feeling with increased energy and wellbeing.

Drinking as little as 3 cups per day can have a positive effect on  your body and mind and contributes to your daily fluid intake. With so many different types to choose from we hope everyone is able to find a flavour  to suit their palate and experimenting with the range  of varieties is all part of the wonderful experience.

Weight loss

Whilst being overweight can make us feel unattractive on  the outside, it is also puts a terrific strain on our body on  the inside. Green tea is low in calories. The leaves of the tea plant are thermogenic, which means you can enjoy green tea whilst raising your metabolism but not increasing your heart rate.


A healthy heart

A study in Japan found an average decrease of eight cholesterol levels for men with the highest intake of green tea compared to men that drank the lowest levels.

Hydration

70% of our body is water and it is important we  keep replacing lost fluids throughout the day to optimise the function of all aspects of our bodies. The recommended daily intake of water is 2.5 litres and many people struggle with this. Green and white tea is low in caffeine (20-25mg per cup compared to 150mg in a coffee) so will count towards your daily intake of fluids.

History of Tea

Strange as it may seem, the story of Ceylon Tea begins with coffee. The tale begins in the early 1820s, barely five years after the surrender of Kandy, the last surviving indigenously-ruled state in Ceylon, to the British crown. By then, the rest of the island had already been a British colony for more than a generation. Its possession was considered vital to imperial interests in India and the Far East, but the cost of maintaining the military presence and infrastructure necessary to secure it was prohibitive. Attempts to raise revenue by taxation could not by themselves fill the gap; how to make the colony pay for itself and its garrison was a problem that had troubled successive governors since the first, Frederic North, took office in 1798.


Experiments with coffee may already have begun by 1824, when the fifth of Ceylon’s colonial governors, Edward Barnes, arrived in the island, but it was he who first saw in coffee a solution to the colony’s perennial balance-of-payments problem. The plant had already been found growing naturally among the approaches to the central hill country; sensing an opportunity, Barnes threw the weight of official support behind large-scale cultivation. Land in the central hills was sold for a few pence an acre, official funds were dedicated to research and experiments in coffee-growing, planters and merchants were provided with incentives and support. Most important of all, Barnes provided the infrastructure – a network of roads, including the all-important trunk route from Kandy to Colombo – that enabled coffee-planters to get their produce to town, and thence to market in England.

Barnes’ term of office ended in 1831. By then the coffee ‘enterprise’ (today we would call it an industry) occupied much of the country round Kandy and was spreading southward and upward into the formerly virgin forests of the central hills. Then, in 1838, the abolition of slavery in Jamaica caused the collapse of that country’s coffee industry. The resulting boom in Ceylon coffee opened up much that remained of the hitherto trackless hill country.


Despite setbacks in the late 1840s, the enterprise continued to grow. In the mid-1870s Ceylon became the world’s largest producer of coffee. Profits and revenues generated by the enterprise turned the colony into an imperial showpiece, prosperous, civilized and modern. Railways threaded the coffee-clad hillsides, roads plumbed the interior; the city of Colombo was gas-lit and its port had been developed with a breakwater and new quays. An effective government and civil administration kept things functioning smoothly, although the people of Ceylon had little say in either institution.


This idyll was to be short-lived. In 1869, the first signs of a new plant disease, coffee-rust, appeared on a plantation in Madulsima. The blight took slightly more than a decade to wipe out the entire coffee enterprise in Ceylon.

To qualify for the special, legal distinction denoted by the words ‘Ceylon Tea’, and for the famous Lion logo that goes with it, the tea must not only be grown and manufactured entirely in Sri Lanka; it must also conform to strict quality standards laid down and administered by the Sri Lanka Tea Board. It cannot, moreover, be mixed or blended with tea from any other part of the world. Even a blend that is 95% Sri Lankan cannot be described as Ceylon Tea.


Tea bearing the Lion Logo must also be packed in Sri Lanka. Overseas importers and distributors cannot use the logo on their packaging, though if the contents are 100% Sri Lankan, the name ‘Ceylon Tea’ may still legally be used. These strictures are needed to help consumers distinguish real Ceylon Tea from the thousands of products, including many with international brand names that are available around the world, which contain tea of mixed, non-specific origin.

These products are blended from whatever teas are available on the international markets. The skill of the blender ensures a consistent product regardless of origin, while the firm enjoys economies of scale and suffers no supply-side anxieties. However, the level of quality rarely equals that attained by single-origin teas, and such blends can never emulate the character, so prized by connoisseurs, of pure Ceylon Tea.

The Lion of Ceylon


Indivisibly associated with the Ceylon Tea brand is the famous Lion of Ceylon logo, found only on packages of pure Ceylon tea packed in Sri Lanka prior to export. The logo is based on the Lion of Ceylon, an ancient heraldic device which decorates the national flag of Sri Lanka. It was first adopted by the Tea Propaganda Board, one of the precursors of the present Tea Board, and is a registered trademark in over a hundred countries around the world.