Those of you who are regular readers at T Ching, know I’m a big fan of Dr. Andrew Weil. I believe him to be the father of alternative medicine in the U.S. We have written, on a few occasions, about the issues associated with adding milk to tea and have warned our readers to drink their tea straight up. I came upon a Q&A with Dr Weil on September 9, 2008. The title is “Want tea’s antioxidant benefit – don’t add milk”.

Dr. Weil clearly states, “If you add milk to your tea, the milk protein, casein, binds catechins, making them unavailable to the body. German researchers recently focused on this effect in a small study, which included 16 postmenopausal women who first drank black tea without milk. The investigators found that the tea improved the ability of arteries to relax and expand, increasing blood flow. But when skim milk was added to the tea, this healthy effect was blocked. They also looked at how tea alone and tea with added milk affected blood vessels in rats and observed the same effects seen in the women.”

As far as I’m concerned, this is the last time I’ll be writing about this. The research actually explains the Asian paradox quite nicely. Why else would the green tea drinkers from Asia, who drink their tea straight up, have the wonderful health benefits the tea provides and yet the British research doesn’t support this benefit? It is well known that the British routinely use milk or milk products in their tea.

I want to remind you that if you brew your green tea correctly, you’ll find it’s quite delicious. Please refer to my earlier post for details – W + 3T= the perfect cup of tea . . .each and every time. I suspect the biggest problem for most impatient drinkers is that they use water that is too hot and/or steep the tea for too long, as they’re multitasking a thousand other things. So one more time . . . slow down and smell the tea.

Editor’s note: T Ching published an earlier post, “Say no to ‘got milk’,” that references the same study.