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We have very discerning guidelines and values checklist for the thoughtful, conscientious, People + Planet discovery and curation work we do before adding anything to our collections at Pretty Things & Cool Stuff. Below will give you an idea of why we love working with the good folks at Elmwood Inn Fine and bringing you their organic Lung Ching Green Tea and more:
"Our goals are to explore the globe in search of extraordinary teas, to honor and respect the people who work to produce those teas, and to offer exceptional teas to a world thirsting for peace and equality. We are committed to sharing the ideal that tea is a lifestyle; not a commodity."
— Bruce, Shelley and Ben Richardson — Founders, Elmwood Inn Fine Teas
Lung Ching Organic Dragon Well Green Tea is a premium-quality, classic green Chinese tea that is grown organically on the hillsides of Longjing, in the village of Dragon Well, just across the West Lakes of the ancient capital of Hangzhou.
The pan-fried, flat green leaves produce a clear, yellowish-green liquor with a slightly sweet aftertaste and a low level of caffeine.
Prized for four unique qualities: jade color, vegetative aroma, mellow chestnut flavor, and singular shape, Lung Ching Organic Green Tea contains the powerful antioxidant EGCG. It is one of the highest antioxidant teas.
Brewing Directions: To steep tea like a professional, never used boiling water on green tea. The optimal water temperature for this delicious tea is 165 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit, and let it steep for 3 to 4 minutes.
Also, here's what Elmwood Inn founder Bruce Richardson said when we asked him exactly what is used to make their tea sachets:
"Elmwood Inn Fine Teas has never used plastic or nylon fabric for our tea sachets.
We avoided the first nylon machines – which appeared in the US twenty years ago – and moved directly from paper tea bags to much more costly pyramid sachets using plant-based (non-GMO cornstarch) material in 2011.
Our tea sachets are made from plant-based, biodegradable fabric that can be toss into your garden or compost bin where they will eventually dissolve, naturally."
Origin: Longjing, Dragon Well, China
Ingredients: Premium, organic green tea
Caffeine Level: Low
Water Temperature: 165 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit
Brewing Time: 3 to 4 minutes
Information from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center about Green Tea
Green tea contains substances called polyphenols, which scientists think contribute to its anticancer activity. Laboratory studies of one polyphenol, catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), show that it may interfere with several processes involved in cell replication, causing tumor cell death. It also might slow the formation of blood vessels around tumors.
Epigallocatechin (ECG), another polyphenol, stops leukemic cells from multiplying in laboratory studies. As an antioxidant, green tea may repair cell damage, but whether it can prevent cancer is uncertain. It is also unknown how it might help protect the heart, but it reduces LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Tannins present in green tea generally have antibacterial properties.
ABOUT ELMWOOD INN FINE TEA
The Elmwood Inn Fine Teas story began in 1990 when Shelley Richardson opened a tea room in the Civil War village of Perryville, Kentucky - just as the American tea renaissance was about to awaken.
For the next 14 years, Elmwood Inn developed an international reputation as one of America's favorite locations for a traditional afternoon tea. Bruce and Shelley Richardson chronicled their life in tea through three books and eventually launched a tea importing and wholesale packaging company - Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.
After serving thousands of guests, the tea room closed on July 31, 2004, in order for the family to focus on their expanding tea and publishing businesses.
And we think you should know a little more about Bruce, who MSN calls "a leading tea expert involved in tea's American renaissance for over 20 years."
The native Kentuckian is a writer, photographer, tea blender, and frequent guest speaker at tea events across the country. He can often be found appearing on television and radio talk shows, or as a guest speaker at professional seminars such as World Tea Expo.
Bruce has been a contributing source for articles and news stories in Slate Magazine, MTV, CNN, The Smithsonian, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and BBC. He also has consulted with several Fortune 500 companies interested in tea's future in the world marketplace.
In addition to being co-owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and Benjamin Press, Bruce also serves as contributing editor for TeaTime magazine, contributing editor for Tea Journey magazine and editorial board member for Fresh Cup magazine.
He also has authored 14 books on tea.
In 2011, Bruce was named Tea Master for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, where he is helping define tea's historical role in the iconic 1773 event that helped shape America's destiny.