Advertisement

Women's Club holds teatime program

Program highlights benefits of sipping tea

Program highlights benefits of sipping tea

March 28, 2005|by JANET HEIM

janeth@herald-mail.com

For Hagerstown Women's Club members like Agnes Hutchinson, a recent fund-raising program called Tea Time and Dessert offered new insight into tea drinking. "I'm trying to wean myself off of coffee," said Hutchinson, as she sampled tea along with a colorful plate of teatime tidbits.

The program, presented by Ellen DeCaro of Columbia, Md., on March 16, at the the Women's Club, at 31 S. Prospect St., contained information on the origins of tea, customs of teatime around the world and the health benefits of drinking tea. Women's Club member Mary Anne Kamas coordinated the event.

It was DeCaro's hobby of gardening that led her to develop programs on Colonial herbs and crafts, cooking with herbs, aromatherapy, scents for the holidays, teatime and a young gardeners program for school groups. She said she travels across Maryland and some areas of Virginia giving presentations to garden clubs, senior centers and corporations.

Advertisement

Women's Club members and visitors, some adorned in spring hats, learned that tea originated in China in 2737 B.C.

DeCaro said that it's assumed the British began drinking tea before Americans, but actually it was the reverse thanks to the Dutch settlers of the New Amsterdam colony in New York who brought tea with them to their new settlement.

While black tea is currently the most consumed tea - with Chai tea, a spiced black tea, probably the most popular form - green tea is gaining in popularity because of its health benefits.

DeCaro said that the less processed the tea leaves, the healthier the tea. White tea, which is very expensive because it's only harvested once a year, is the healthiest, followed by green tea, then black tea.

She said that the Japanese, who drink about four cups of green tea daily, are heavy cigarette smokers, yet have lower cancer rates than in the U.S.

Other health benefits of tea drinking include improved dental health and bone density, lower cholesterol levels, fewer flu and viral infections, is a natural diuretic and clears the mind and stimulates thinking, among other things, DeCaro said.

The interest of teatime has resulted in tea shops opening locally, as well as more places that are offering teatime, such as Tranquilitea in Waynesboro, Pa., Aunt Clara's in Middletown and the Harborcourt Hotel in Baltimore.

"It was very interesting, I thought," said Nancy Burger, a club member who helped serve.

The proceeds of the event will be used for the upkeep of the Women's Club historic home, including the top floor rooms that are rented to women in the community in need of low-cost housing.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|