Librarian shares love of tea

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 3, 2008

PROCTORVILLE — A room of the eastern branch of the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library was filled with treats and the sweet aroma of tea last Wednesday.

Christine Hunt, one of the adult services librarians, and Eileen Schley, a Proctorville resident, shared information about teas while attendees tasted a variety of teas and complementing snacks.

“I am not a professional,” Hunt said. “I am just a librarian who loves tea.”

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Schley said she became interested in studying tea after she worked for a call center that answered questions about a brand of tea from a coffee company.

The event taught residents about black, white, green and oolong teas. The information shared also included the history of tea drinking.

Hunt said a Chinese Emperor started drinking camellia sinensis tea in 2737 B.C to protect him from prevalent diseases.

Hunt said people started having teatime as a social event.

Schley said teatime was used as a time for people to show their new purchases to others.

Hunt said most of the tea drank in America is black because during World War II the supply of green tea from China and Japan was cut off.

Iced tea is also usually made with black tea, which makes it so popular in America.

She said the black tea consumed during the war was supplied by British controlled India.

Hunt said green tea can be used to alleviate problems associated with high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, infection and other ailments.

She also said there is less caffeine in green tea compared to black tea.

Schley said green teas help with tooth decay because of the fluoride trace in the tea.

“Herbal teas are good when you are trying to avoid caffeine,” Schley said. “You have to be careful because it still has caffeine just not as much.”

She said chamomile teas help with insomnia, nettle tea can be used as a diuretic and relieve prostatic complaints and peppermint tea stimulates the liver and gallbladder and also helps with motion sickness.

More caffeine is in teas that are brewed for shorter periods of time, Schley said.

Russell and Judy Whitley, Chesapeake residents who attended the tea tasting, said they participated in the tasting because they enjoy teas and have been drinking them for more than 20 years.

“Learning the history was very good,” Russell Whitley said. “We hadn’t taken the time out to look it up. I was amazed at the time frame.”

Hunt said another tea tasting will be offered Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. at the Southern branch library.