Nearly every day, my friends forward to me 15 to 20 mass-distributed emails, which they, in turn, have received from their friends.  Surprisingly, a number of these emails are related to tea.

In one such email – containing a list of the world’s 16 most expensive foods – Da Hong Pao, also known as Big Red Robe Tea, was mentioned as the most exclusive tea on earth, costing more than US$200,000 per kilogram.  According to the email, 500 grams are produced annually, as only six Da Hong Pao tea trees currently thrive in the harsh mountainous region of China’s Fujian Province.  This tea was mentioned in a few T Ching posts.  Other posts on the Internet explained that the reason the tea is named “Big Red Robe” is that it was once picked by trained monkeys wearing red robes.   As an aside, this email also mentioned that the most expensive ice cream sundae was created by Serendipity 3 in Manhattan; with a price tag of US$25,000, the customer got to keep the gold goblet and spoon embellished with diamonds.

Green tea is known for being antioxidant rich and for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.  In another email I received, the original composer described how her migraine was miraculously cured by drinking green tea sweetened with four to five teaspoons of brown sugar, a remedy provided by her in-laws.  According to the email, this lady has been sharing this cure with her friends ever since and many have benefitted.   A quick Internet search does not validate her claim.  Nonetheless, it seems a remedy worth experimenting with if one is regularly tormented by migraines, for green tea itself contains other health boons.

Tea is not discussed in the “Ninety Least Known Facts” email I received, which notes that pigs cannot look up in the sky, giraffes cannot cough, a duck’s quack does not echo, and the sentence “Quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses all twenty-six letters in the alphabet.

Certainly not all information in these emails is up-to-date or accurate; often their contents are more myth than fact.  However, in many cases, these emails effectively serve the purpose of sharing important information.