Americans have several myths we perpetuate during childhood: Santa Claus; the Easter Bunny; and the Tooth Fairy. Santa is used to force small children to behave well, and if you receive nothing from him – or worst of all, underpants, as a gift – you could always think of a time you were naughty. The Easter Bunny of the 1950’s and 1960’s was almost firghtening: a man would dress in a ridiculous white or yellow or pink suit with giant floppy ears and hand out the nastiest of egg-shaped candies. Almost every family could afford to dye a dozen eggs and have an Easter Egg Hunt, however, which is great fun for children of all ages. America’s glaring gap between the haves and the have nots was not so apparent at Easter as it was at Christmas.
The Tooth Fairy was invoked when you lost a baby tooth. In my childhood, the Tooth Fairy left a dime for a front tooth, and a quarter for a molar. While this doesn’t sound like much in today’s world, remember that gasoline cost $.28 per gallon and you could get four tootsie pops for a dime. (Word on the street is that the Tooth Fairy is leaving a dollar under pillows these days, worth checking for loose teeth!)
While the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were fairly harmless diversions of my childhood, I must admit that if Santa actually existed, our world would be a better place: well-behaved and moral people would be rewarded and naughty people would be punished.
But I digress. There are also many myths about tea. Unlike the gift-bearing creatures of childhood – which time out naturally – tea myths gain momentum over time. Today I am going to name three of these tea tales and provide links to the sources so you can read and evaluate the evidence yourself.
First, never boil the water you intend to make tea with because it will remove all the oxygen from the water. Not! World Tea News takes this one on in their article here.
Second, tea has more caffeine than coffee. That is hogwash, according to this article. While this website looks a bit whimsical, the source of the table is impeccable.
Third, tea is healthiest for you if you add nothing to it. I must admit that I have clung dearly and tightly to this myth and I am correct regarding some additives, like sugar. Study results, however, assert that a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a dab of honey increase the health benefits of our favorite beverage. According to the study results, “The citric acid in a squeeze of lemon juice—or lime or orange juice—will help to preserve the flavanoids in tea if you’re brewing it ahead (such as if you’re making iced tea). The flavanoids are the compounds deemed responsible for many of tea’s health boons. Also, adding honey to your tea may make you more productive on the job, suggests a small 2010 study published in the journal Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. When study participants drank the two together, researchers found that areas of the brain associated with attention worked more efficiently than when tea was sipped solo.”
Why did Santa, the Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy pass so quickly while tea myths gain momentum?
VERY interesting Regena. I’ve known about the lemon/honey issue when making iced tea. I still believe that adding sugar and milk is detriment to tea however.
I did hold to the notion that boiling water lowered the oxygen level of the water making for a flatter cup of tea. I guess my expectations continued that perception.
It’s important for people to understand that each cup of tea really does have considerably less caffeine than coffee. Time and temperature are key in that regard. Thanks for the myth busting.
With really great classic unblended loose teas, who would want sugar or lemon when the flavor is so incredible? Even if it makes it healthier, that pure quality flavor would be smothered.
I have to agree with Diane on this one.