Health benefits of tea

January 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
While a gourmet meal and cup of tea each have their own distinct characteristics, together they can create a wonderful balance. Reem Rahim, co-founder of Numi Tea, shares some tasty ways to utilize the many health benefits of tea.

Numi Tea recommendations:

While an exquisite gourmet meal and a cup of fine tea each have their own distinct characteristics, together they can create a wonderful balance. Teas' tastes and complexities vary just as much their applications as ingredients to enhance various dishes. From appetizers to entrees to desserts, tea can be used as a rub, an infusion, or a marinade.

Magnolia Salmon


  • 6 teabags Magnolia Puerh
  • 3 cups water

Boil 4 cups of water and remove from heat, place teabags in water, cover and let steep for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, squeeze tea bags and remove from water. Let tea cool before marinating Salmon. Refrigerate for 3 hours (for best results, overnight).


  • 6 teabags Magnolia Puerh
  • 1lb. marinated Salmon filet
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 4 Tbs. sherry
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 3 cups water

We recommend using organic ingredients when available.

Preparation time: 30 minutes


Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large steam pan, steep 6 tea bags Magnolia Puerh for 4 minutes. Squeeze out remaining liquid in teabags and remove. Scoop out 3 tablespoons of tea and set aside. Place marinated Salmon in steamer rack over the simmering tea and cover. Let steam for 15-20 minutes until flaky.

To make sauce:

Simmer soy sauce, sherry and 3 Tbs. tea in a sauce pot, add honey and reduce sauce. Plate fish and serve with sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Nutty Jasmine Rice


  • 3 cups of water
  • 8 teabags of Jasmine Green - Monkey King
  • 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups uncooked rice, preferably Basmati
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbs chopped parsley

We recommend using organic ingredients when available.

Preparation time: 20 minutes


In a pot bring water to boil, remove from heat and add tea bags. Cover pot and let steep for 5 minutes, after 5 minutes squeeze and remove tea bags from water. Stir in oil, salt and rice, cover and let cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Toast pine nuts and almonds in a dry sauté pan until golden brown. Serve rice with toasted nuts and chopped parsley

Makes 4 servings

Tangy Yunnan Green Beans


  • 3 cups cooked whole green beans
  • 4 tea bags Chinese Breakfast - Yunnan
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. orange rind
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbs sherry
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs chopped shallots
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • Chili Flakes
  • Salt

We recommend using organic ingredients when available.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes


In a mug, pour boiling water over teabags and orange rind. Allow to steep for 3 minutes. Squeeze out tea bags and remove. Sauté green beans in oil for 2 minutes then add tea, sherry, vinegar, soy sauce and shallots and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Season with salt and chili flakes.

Makes 4 servings

Chocolate Puerh Milk Tart


  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 teabags Chocolate Puerh
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh strawberrries
  • Pinch of salt

We recommend using organic ingredients when available.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes


Place teabags in milk and bring to a simmer, set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy. Add flour, cornstarch and salt, mix well. Squeeze teabags after they have steeped for 5 minutes and remove from milk. Incorporate milk into sugar mixture, one cup at a time in a pot over medium heat until mixture is thick and smooth. Add vanilla and butter; continue stirring until butter melts. Pour into your favorite pre-baked 8" - 9" crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with slices of fresh strawberries.

Makes 8 servings



Tea is rich in polyphenols, tannin, and flavanols, often termed catechins, fluoride, and vitamin C, P, K, and B. Although tea contains caffeine, the amounts are far less than those in coffee and produce a softer, beneficial effect. Studies suggest that as few as four servings of tea a day may have a positive impact on your health. Read on and continue sipping tea for your health and well-being.

Antioxidant Powerhouse:
Researchers have found that green tea was the best antioxidant scavenger of deadly free radicals. Free radicals are very powerful oxidants, which cause intense cell damage. When exposed to oxygen cell tissues are vulnerable to free radical attachment, causing an effect much like that of rust. Over time this may lead to cancer or cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants in tea are able to neutralize the damaging effects of oxygen and free radicals that are present in the body. Antioxidants slow or prevent cell damage from exposure to oxygen by creating a barrier around cell tissue. (University of California, Berkeley)

Cancer Prevention:
Green Tea has been found to inhibit the growth of esophageal and stomach tumors in mice. Green and black tea could inhibit the development of pre-cancerous lesions as well. (Saitama Cancer Center and the Department of Biochemistry, Bunri Tokushima University) A recent study showed that a compound in black tea called TF-2 caused colorectal cancer cells to "commit suicide"; normal cells were unaffected. (Rutgers University)

White Tea Health:
Recent studies show that the polyphenols found in green tea appear in greater concentrations in white tea helping to destroy bacteria and other organisms that cause disease. (Pace University's Dyson College of Arts & Sciences)

Improved Cardiovascular Health and Reduced Risk of Stroke:
A study undertaken found that of 340 men and women who had suffered from heart attacks, those who drank a cup or more of black tea daily had a 44% lower risk of repeated heart attacks compared to non tea drinkers. Flavonoids are theorized to improve the lining of blood vessels, accounting for the decrease. (Brigham and Young, Harvard Medical School) Studies show that drinking black tea helps to prevent narrowed or clogged arteries that lead to ischemic heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. (Boston University School of Medicine; The Zutphen Study, Netherlands)

Reduces "Bad" Cholesterol:
Black tea was shown to reduce LDL-cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") by 11.1% in three weeks. It was speculated that tea polyphenols might limit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine, thus reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood. (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Reducing the "bad" cholesterol LDL deposits, tea elevates HDL, the "good" cholesterol. Green tea and oolong especially, could prevent arteriosclerosis. (The University of California)

Oral Health:
Green tea, specifically flavonoids, mainly catechins, found in green tea have exhibited inhibitory effects on the growth of cariogenic bacteria by inhibiting the adherence and growth of plaque at the tooth surface. (Sakanaka, et al (1990)) Studies show the tannin and fluoride content present in tea prevents tooth decay. (American Dental Institutions) Polyphenols found in both green and black tea, can block bacteria from producing foul-smelling compounds such as hydrogen sulfide in the mouth. (American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC)

Relieves Arthritis:
Green tea was shown to inhibit the development of arthritis in mice. Mice given green tea polyphenols were significantly less likely to develop arthritis. The study was conducted on 36 mice. Of the 18 mice that received the green tea, only eight (44%) developed arthritis. Among the 18 mice that did not receive the green tea, all but one, or 94% developed arthritis. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, CWRU's School of Medicine - April 13)

Increased Metabolic Rate:
It was found that green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in energy expenditure (a measure of metabolism), plus also had a significant effect on fat oxidation. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

Burns Calories:
A recent study showed that green tea's antioxidant EGCG stimulates the body to burn calories, notably fat. In the study, a daily dose of 270 mg EGCG (the amount 2-3 cups of green tea) caused men to burn 4% more energy - about 80 extra calories a day. (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Reduced Risk of Kidney Stones:
In a study of more than 81,000 women 40 to 65 years of age, it was concluded that 8 fluid ounces of tea consumed daily actually lowers the risk of developing kidney stones by 8%. (The Third International Scientific Symposium on Tea & Human Health) Furthermore, tea acts as a diuretic (stimulates the flow of urine), promoting better kidney function and aids digestion.

Retards the Aging Process:
It has been shown that Green tea reduces infection and the stresses of bacteria on the system thus significantly retarding the aging process. (The Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Japan)

Immune Booster:
Blood cells from tea drinkers respond 5 times faster to germs than those of coffee drinkers. (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA)

Puerh Reduces Cholesterol and Aids in Digestion:
Puerh has long been drunk for its health properties - namely known to eliminate cholesterol and sipped after meals as a digestif.

Holds Promise as HIV Therapy:
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGGG) an active ingredient in tea, has antiviral, antioxidant and antibacterial properties that are now being reported to inhibit the HIV virus. (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX)

About Numi Tea:
Numi Teas only use real ingredients. Most tea companies use oils, essences or natural flavorings, artificial flavorings. All of our boxed teas are organic and the majority are fair trade. It is also the first company to launch flowering tea, Rooibos, Honeybush and this year our exciting new line of Organic Puerh tea. Numi is the only company to offer a full organic line in the US. Their teas can be purchased in a number of stores around the Bay and nationwide. Numi is a local company and based out of Oakland, CA. They are members of B Corp, and a part of many local organizations.

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