Forget aromatherapy. These days, the buzz about the health benefits of tea has sent the trendy set looking to exotic specialties-like yerba maté and matcha-for a natural cure to what ails them.
FOR OVERALL HEALTH: Research
indicates that white tea, grown primarily in China, is very high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. The least processed of all teas, white tea is extremely rare and very expensive. At Vancouver’s
Herbal Republic, a 50 g can of white peony tea costs $8.95.
Those looking for a healthy boost are turning to yerba maté, brewed from maté, a naturally caffeinated South American herb. Rich in nutrients, maté is said to invigorate the mind and body. On its own, the tea’s earthy flavour is quite unappealing, but shops like Toronto’s Tea Emporium are offering delicious blends like Sunshine Maté (with added lemon myrtle and orange peel, $4.98/50 g).
Japanese matcha, popularized on the West Coast by Vancouver’s Infuze Tea House, is low in caffeine and high in L-theanine, an amino acid reputed to provide a relaxing, balancing effect. Made from the highest grade green tea, matcha is increasingly being used to enrich everything from cookies and ice cream to cosmetics like green tea soap. JEFF HARRIS
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