simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Tea Time
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Thursday, 21 February 2008

Tea Time

I suppose it was naive to think than Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng Co. was my own little discovery. After all, it is on Mott Street in the heart of Chinatown. But I had no idea how large this company was. It has not just one store, but over 100 worldwide with 20 in the USA. And the company is 55 years old, founded in Taiwan in 1953. They are now one of the largest tea importers in the world. A photo on their website shows a former president and other notables having tea in their various stores - so they are far from the undiscovered secret I was hoping to bring you. Ten Ren is the largest Chinese tea emporium in the city - the New York stores are run by Ellen and Mark Lii.
The health benefits of green tea, both validated and not, have been well circulated in the various media, with much attributed to their antioxidant properties of catechins present. Claims have been made that it reduces blood pressure, decreases the risk for heart attacks, stroke, and cancer, reduces cholesterol, enhances digestion and the immune system, increases fat oxidation and reduces cavities and gingivitis (green tea contains fluroide) and that it aids rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis.
However, none of this means that you should not put Ten Ren on your must visit list. The calming, pleasant atmosphere is a nice antidote to the melee that is Chinatown. The walls are lined with an array of urns holding over 100 varieties of loose tea from a few dollars to over $100 per pound. Tea is also available in bags and gift boxes. Free tea samples are offered ...


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