There is an idiom “Moderation in all things” which is usually taken to mean roughly “do not do anything too much or too little” — it’s one I turn a bit sideways to “All things in moderation.” And that includes tea…or does it?
The trick here, of course, is how you define “moderation.” That definition varies greatly when you are speaking of imbibing tea versus sugar and fat intake, non-water-soluble vitamin consumption (especially vitamin A), aerobic exercise, body piercings, TV viewing, and various contact sports played on a non-professional level. Briefly, the threshold for tea consumption is much, much, much higher. Of course, some heights are so high as to be virtually insignificant in any kind of limiting factor way. So why bother even discussing them? Well, why not?
Actually, the idea was sparked in my brain by a posting on Facebook claiming that sugar consumption was bad. Certainly overconsumption was bad, but then that is true of a lot of things. So my mind traveled down this pathway for awhile and came up with more and more items that should be enjoyed in similarly modest fashion. But tea never made it on that list.
Except for those who have a hypersensitivity to caffeine, I have yet to hear of someone actually overindulging in this fabulous and varied beverage. Even when engaging in multiple infusions of a nice sheng (raw or uncooked) pu-erh, as one of my Facebook “friends” prefers, the amount of liquid being taken in is actually rather small — less than if you were to share a bottle or two of wine, for instance. I tend to steep up a 6-cup potful of tea and finish it off fairly quickly. So far, no ill effects. Of course, that’s just anecdotal evidence. A site specializing in green tea drinking for health does caution that too much green tea can cause you to consume too many of the minerals that naturally accumulate in tea leaves such as aluminium, manganese, and fluoride. But they do imply that you’d have to drink excessive amounts such as 20-30 cups per day for many years.
One article claims that 3 to 5 cups of tea per day is harmful due to excessive caffeine. If that’s the case, I’m in big trouble since my daily intake regularly exceeds that. Stomach upset has also been reported and attributed to excessive tea drinking, but I have never experienced it even after doing taste tests (not the kind where you swish and spit, but the kind where you actually drink the tea) of oolongs, green teas, black teas, and even pu-erhs. Again, anecdotal evidence. Sigh!
Which brings me to the conclusion that “moderation” is a very personal matter. You’ll know when you’ve had too much tea — that is, if there really is any such limit. Cheers!
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