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Khumbu Green Tea
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Khumbu Green Tea
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Planning a trek in the Himalayas? Maybe a summit push to the top of one of the 14 so-called Eight-Thousanders? (That’s the name given to the grouping of the world’s tallest mountains, each one over 8000 meters above sea level.) So what’ll it be? A jaunt up the famed north face of Shishapangma? (8167m) A scenic tour through the Abruzzi Spur 5000 feet up K2? (8,611m) Perhaps a walk across the perilous and constantly shifting Khumbu ice-field of Everest, (8848 m)? Well, have we got the tea for you!Named in honor of the famed ice-field, this Hunan grown green tea is the perfect beverage to take along on any mountain outing. Why? For starters the dried leaf is exceptionally light, contains Vitamin C and can be brewed repeatedly, between 3 and 5 times. On a major climb, pack space is at an incredible premium so anything that can provide nourishment and be reused has immense value. The next reason has to do with environmental conditions. Two things all the Eight-Thousanders have in common is the possibility of being completely bathed in very intense, direct sunlight and a marked lack of oxygen. On Everest there are segments of the climb where temperatures can soar to over 100° as the sun reflects off the rock faces and vast stretches of ice and snow. Recent studies have shown that the high levels of anti-oxidants found in green tea make it an excellent natural counter to the dangers of sun poisoning that can occur under such conditions. Green tea has also been shown to improve oxygen flow to the blood, a natural way to curb the effects of altitude sickness.But the main “must-have” feature of this incredible tea is its ability to be brewed in cold water. Now, as we mentioned temperatures can soar to near-tropical levels, but for the majority of the climb they are incredibly low, well, well below freezing. That, combined with the limited pack space means that any food item that can be prepared with minimal reliance on heating fuel - which must be carried - is a godsend. Certainly, fresh liquid water will still need to be melted in order to brew Khumbu green, but the fact that it can be brewed cold means great savings in fuel expenditure can be realized since the water doesn’t have to be heated to boiling. Khumbu green, plucked from a special sub-genus of Camelia Sinensis is one of the world’s only teas in which all the benefits of green tea can be extracted without heat.
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