To all our lovely customers, we want to 1) update you on our responses to the current coronavirus health crisis, and 2) answer some of your questions about tea and covid.
First, here's what we're doing:
Extreme sanitization: We have doubled all our sanitizing efforts in our warehouse and for our tea packing and shipping team
Monitoring for symptoms: None of our team are currently showing any signs of illness. To state the obvious, no sick or possibly sick person is ever allowed to be near tea
Social distancing: When not fulfilling your orders, all our team and their family members are following all governmental guidance regarding social distancing when not in our warehouse
Careful storage: All of our tea, in the warehouse, has been there since before the health crisis started this winter and is stored in vacuum-sealed packaging until we fulfil an order, when it is quickly transferred from one sealed package to another, and then everything is re-sealed
No members of public allowed: Our warehouse is entirely private, with no access to the public.
As we are a small and new business, these are difficult times. Thank you, truly, deeply and sincerely, for your support throughout this crisis. It means a tremendous amount, and it warms our hearts seeing the tea care packages so many of you are sending. So lovely! Stay safe, stay healthy.
Above: Elizabeth & Vientiene, co-founders of Matcha Alternatives
Second, time for your questions...
Can green tea cure Covid-19?
The answer is clear: right now, there is no cure for the coronavirus. There is no food or drink out there that that can cure nor prevent it, and this includes green tea. Researchers are scrambling to find medicines that may help, as well as develop a vaccine.
Anyone who says that a certain food, or tea, or medicine is the cure or can help prevent it is peddling false, dangerous misinformation and our archenemy: pseudoscience!! Don't believe them, and instead practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, don't touch your face, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and stay at home as much as possible.
That being said, regular tea drinking has a large role in any healthy diet, and during these times when we all want our immune systems to be at their strongest, boosting your daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, green tea, herbal teas and other antioxidant rich foods is a good idea and certainly can't hurt. And on that note...
Can tea boost my immune system?
Yes, depending on what type. If you click on our selection of tea articles below you will find well-researched, well-referenced information about how green tea, Tulsi Holy Basil, Moringa, and Yerba Mate all can play a role in boosting the immune system, among other benefits.
Tulsi, for example, has immunomodulatory action, making it a great choice if your immune system needs a nudge or if it needs to back down a bit. This immune regulation makes it safe in moderation even for those with an overactive immune system. Yerba mate and green tea support and stimulate the immune system, and moringa, as with Tulsi, helps regulate your system as it is an adaptogen.
It's all about consistency though: one mug and that's it won't do much, however regularly drinking tea is part of a healthy lifestyle.
Learn more about these teas:
Can drinking tea help improve my mental health? I'm stuck inside and going stir-crazy!!
On the mental health front, especially while we are all staying at home and social distancing, the ritual of tea is a beautiful thing. Tea can help bring some sense of normalcy to the day, with the routine of measuring out the tea leaves, boiling the kettle, brewing and drinking. It is a reminder to be mindful and focus on what's right here, to be in the moment, to put our worries for family, friends, our countries, ourselves, and the world in general aside for the time it takes to sip a cup of tea. If you can't go outside, go inside.
On the science front, green tea has been shown to help relax, stimulate and calm, as has Tulsi Holy Basil. Studies have found that Tulsi has anti-anxiety and anti-depressant properties and is a brilliant tea for re-centering.
Can the coronavirus survive on tea?
Thankfully, the World Health Organization and the Food and Drug Administration say there is no evidence of food or food packaging transmitting Covid-19. The University of California recently released a study finding that the virus could only survive on plastic surfaces for three days and cardboard for up to 24 hours, meaning that once you open and discard the outer packaging of mail-ordered tea (i.e. the shipping box) and wash your hands, the tea packages inside should be safe. You can still wipe them down if you're worried, as is recommended for any groceries once you get home. Additionally, our teas have been at our fulfillment center from before the start of the covid-19 outbreak and are stored in vacuum sealed containers.
Just tell me what teas to order - what are you drinking to stay calm?
No problem! This is what we are currently drinking, and recommend for battling the Covid blues. Many of these also help with trouble sleeping and racing minds. You can see our favorites here:
Sea Air Decaf Sencha Green Tea - A delicate seaweed nose, with a round, slightly floral, slightly salty, and lightly grassy liquor.
How is this an alternative to matcha? The same type of antioxidants as matcha (EGCG), only 2mg of caffeine making it ideal for evenings, with easier brewing and a sweeter taste.
Ingredients: Certified Organic decaffeinated Green tea (Japanese Sencha)
Pretty in Purple Lavender Chamomile - French lavender combines with Egyptian chamomile flowers to help you instantly relax.
How is this an alternative to matcha? Although it has a lower ORAC score than Matcha, it has anti-inflammatory antioxidants and specifically aids sleep and relaxation, making it perfect for those who struggle falling or staying asleep
Ingredients: Egyptian Chamomile, French Lavender
Classy Earl Grey Rooibos - This tea is absolutely fantastic. Everyone loves Earl Grey! This mix has the right balance of citrusy Bergomot and rich rooibos, with pretty blue cornflowers for fragrance, and zero caffeine
How is this an alternative to matcha? More antioxidants than matcha (an ORAC score of 1537 vs Matcha's 1384) and entirely decaf, with antioxidants linked to deep and solid sleep
Ingredients: Rooibos, Cornflower Petals, Citrus Bergamot Extract, All Natural Flavors
'The Purist' Organic Tulsi Holy Basil Looseleaf - Classic Tulsi, entirely organic, and with a light spice and sweetness. Proven to help reduce anxiety, this tea is calming and stimulating.
How is this an alternative to matcha? More antioxidants than matcha (an ORAC score of 2550 vs Matcha's 1384) and a decaf adaptogen. What is an adaptogen?
Ingredients: Organic Tulsi Holy Basil Loose Leaf
Superior Organic Moringa Tea Powder - Our favorite superfood and the ultimate matcha powder substitute: moringa has more antioxidants than Matcha!
How is this an alternative to matcha? More antioxidants than matcha (an ORAC score of 1575 vs Matcha's 1384) and a decaf adaptogen. What is an adaptogen?
Ingredients: Pure Organic Moringa Powder (finely ground) small batch production
To help pass the time inside while you wait for your teas, dive in to our blog! With a cup (or pot!) of tea, of course.
For a personal update on how covid-19 is impacting us, we just published on our personal blog a piece about our experiences and those of friends and family around the world.
All of the information regarding the herbs, botanicals, minerals, vitamins, etc., is information drawn from traditional use data or academic research and should be regarded as such. If you, the reader, has a health or medical concern, please consult your healthcare professional. The information found here is not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe or cure and has not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is for educational purposes only.
Coronavirus References & Information to Stay Safe and Well-Informed:
John Hopkins' Tracker - Updated constantly and extremely useful and easy to read
University of California - Los Angeles. "Study reveals how long COVID-19 remains infectious on cardboard, metal and plastic: People may acquire coronavirus through air and by touching contaminated surfaces." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2020. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200320192755.htm
Learn more about these teas: