Leave coffee behind, tea is hip

Will rooibos, oolong and yerba mate replace espresso, cappuccino and latte as the beverages du jour?

Teashops are becoming more common, with several springing up around the Southeast Valley in the past few months. One major reason for the growth, according to the Tea Association of the United States, is that consumers are more health-conscious.

With blended, flavored coffee drinks pushing 300 and 400 calories, switching to tea sometimes or all the time can be a way to watch the waistline. Also, herbal teas – though not technically made from the tea plant – do not contain caffeine.

 
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And many studies have linked some teas to health benefits, including lowering the risk for cancer. The Food and Drug Administration, however, has rejected claims that it helps reduce heart disease.

Elaine Kerns of Sun Lakes drinks tea because she believes it’s more healthful, though that’s just part of it. Her new “home away from home” has become Urban Tea Loft in Chandler, a chic tea salon/bar/restaurant.

“I think it’s fabulous,” she said. “Every time I go, I pick a different flavor.”

Mobile phones, coffee found unlikely to cause cancer

Drinking coffee, using mobile phones or having breast implants is unlikely to cause cancer, according to a risk ranking system devised by an Australian cancer specialist to debunk popular myths.The cancer risk assessment reaffirms smoking, alcohol and exposure to sunlight as leading risk factors, but allays concerns about coffee, mobile phones, deodorants, breast implants and water with added fluoride.

The five-point system created by University of New South Wales Professor Bernard Stewart lists the risk of cancer from proven and likely, to inferred, unknown or unlikely.

“Our tool will help establish if the level of risk is high, say on a par with smoking, or unlikely such as using deodorants, artificial sweeteners, drinking coffee,” Stewart said.

He found active smokers and ex-smokers to be the most at risk, although the risk is reduced for people who quit smoking.

Drinking alcohol was also a high risk factor, particularly for people who also smoke, although Stewart said no specific type of alcoholic drink was most strongly to blame.

Drinking chlorinated water and using a mobile phone was far less likely to cause cancer, Stewart said, although the risks associated with the long-term use of mobile phones had not been fully established.

He said there little risk from drinking coffee, using deodorants, drinking fluoridated water and having breast implants or dental fillings.

Stewart’s research was published in the latest edition of the Mutation Research Reviews journal to mark world cancer day on Monday.