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The first cup of tea was made in 2737 B.C. by Emperor Shennong (Shen Nung) – the Father of tea in China.
The first tea used in the West came from China to England in the mid-1600’s. The UK is still a largest importer of tea in the World.
Different kinds of teas come from how the tea leaves are processed – especially the length of time of the oxidation period (fermentation): green and white tea are the shortest while black and pu-erh tea is the longest; Oolong and yellow teas are between them. The processing produces are different kinds of Phytochemicals.
Taste of different kinds of teas is from Polyphenols in teas.
Color of deferent kinds of teas comes from Flavonoids, the Plant Pigment from teas (also referred as Tannins before).
If you don’t like the taste of green tea but like its benefits, consider the tea combination of 2 kinds of teas, e.g. green-black tea, green-Oolong tea.
Drinking 4 cups of green tea daily reduces the development of arthritis by 50%. (source: study by Case Western Reserve University)
Drinking 4 cups of black tea daily improves 50% impaired blood vessel functioning in heart patients. (source: study by Boston University School of Medicine)
The main active components in teas are Polyphenols, similar to other Phytochemicals found in many foods like broccoli and carrots, which are much higher in tea up to 36% of dry weight.
Polyphenols include many chemical compounds. The most beneficial Polyphenols are Catechins which are found more in Green Tea but also in other teas.
The most effective Catechins found so far are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epigallocatechin (EGC). EGCG has been reported to block the envelope of HIV (AIDS virus). (source: Kuzushige Kawai, MD, and colleagues from the University of Tokyo)
Another antioxidants from tea are Flavonoids included Theaflavis and Thearubigens which are produced from Catechins of Black Tea.