Coffee and Tea Reports
from the Front Lines
JAPANESE DEVELOP A TASTE FOR |
Tokyo, Japan - Part of the worldwide health trend, Japanese
consumers are warming up to many exotically flavored teas for both
taste and health benefits. Teas flavored with flowers, herbs, berries
and tree leaves are among the many flavored tea products available,
reports The Nikkei Weekly.
Yerba mate tea at the Printemps Ginza department store in
Tokyo is attracting attention from health-conscious consumers.
Calcium-rich yerba mate is derived from a small evergreen tree in
South America, where people drink it to prevent fatigue, fever,
rheumatism and depression, and to aid digestion.
CHAtea, a green tea spiced with essences of fruits like
strawberries and herbs like lavender and peppermint, was originally
aimed at the markets in the U.S. and Europe, but Japanese
consumers, already completely accustomed to green teas, have taken
a liking to the new taste, described by the company as mild.
Minami Fujisangyo Co. in Shizuoka Prefecture markets a
blended tea featuring stevia, a sweetening herb commonly used in
Paraguay and Southern Brazil that helps regulate high and low blood
sugar, increase energy and alertness, and lower growth of some
bacterias and infections. Another tea contains Chinese matrimony
vine, a leafy plant whose carotene-rich red berries are good for their
Teas featuring blueberries are also popular thanks to news that
blueberries contain antioxidants and substances that protect blood
vessels, particularly in the eyes.
CAFFEINE FOUND IN SEATTLE’S WATER
Ontario, Canada - A Seattle, Washington harbor has been found to
contain such high levels of caffeine that researchers have had to
modify the tests by which they track water contamination, reports
Murray White of Ontario’s National Post.
So much coffee has found its way into Seattle’s Puget Sound
that researchers are no longer able to use caffeine to easily detect
the degree of human waste flowing from sewer systems into the
water. As in other major cities, levels of caffeine has been used in
Seattle to track the flow of waste that escapes through cracked sewer
pipes and into bodies of water. Because the only animals that
produce caffeine are humans, waste containing it could only have
been contaminated from sewers or water treatment plants.
However, a lot of Seattle coffee ends up in storm drains and
then flows directly into the Sound, explained Scott Mickelson, chief
microbiologist for King County water quality control. He said peaks in
the caffeine flow remain discernable. Just before 9am, for example,
caffeine levels in the sewer system are nearly eight times as high as
usual, he said.
Despite the problems, caffeine is still found in so small a
concentration that it is not thought to be a threat to wildlife in the
sound, Mickelson said. “There’s probably not even a buzz effect,” he
Seattle gave birth to Starbucks in 1971. The chain has spawned more
than 3000 stores world wide. In the greater Seattle area alone, there
are 144 Starbucks locations.
Tea & Coffee - September/October 2000
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