I have just started attending a short course in Chinese tea appreciation. Among the many things the teacher talked about, two areas related directly to my earlier postings on this blog about caffeine and one’s body constitution.
Chinese green teas (classified as unfermented) have the highest level of caffeine. Therefore they are best drunk in the morning.
Pu-Er tea, which undergoes the longest fermentation (it is often left to age for years and decades), has the lowest caffeine and can be drunk in the evenings. The older the Pu Er, the lower the caffeine.
The tea appreciation instructor, when she sells tea, will always ask who the tea is for, and about the age, health and lifestyle of the person drinking the tea. This information will enable her to recommend a suitable tea.
For example, if you tend to cough and often feel cold (does that indicate a yin constitution?), you should not drink too much green tea. Pu Er tea is more suitable.
She also corroborated my own stand on this – you know best your own constitution so you need to make sure that you choose suitable teas. This of course begs the question, how do we know what our own constitution is? I suppose the answer is to learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine. Muscle testing, as used in applied kinesiology, is also a good skill to help us test our own condition.