(picture above: Christmas table centerpiece made with fresh cut camellia, heavenly bamboo and cypress brances from my garden. Note the camellia flower buds--those remaining on the tree will be blooming in spring!)
As a tea enthusiast, I subscribe to "The World Tea News". It updates me with tea research and development around the world, as well as tea-related cultural happenings in US. The recent issue has two articles of great interest. One is a Korean study on the influence of tea's chemical components (which directly influence taste quality of tea) by shading tea plants during the growth. The article provides scientific proof on the shading effect at tea plantations. Another article is a research report by Ito En (a Japanese bottled tea company) on EGCG's (a prevalent component in green tea) inhibition effect of flu virus. Quite a reassuring article for all to continue the daily enjoyment of tea sips!