Not since 1773, when a group of American colonists dumped 300 chests into Boston Harbor to protest British taxation, has there been this much talk about tea. Those brave patriots may not have unloaded that tea if they had known of its life-sustaining benefits, according to Jonathan Barr of Flavia®.

Now the health benefits of tea are as close as the office breakroom, with the Flavia Beverage System -- a brand of Mars, Incorporated.

"Five varieties of real leaf teas are just seconds away, with the by-the-cup brewing process of the brewer," says Barr. "Flavia tea in a meeting room or reception area conveys to employees and clients that the business values their discerning taste, desire for choice, and appreciation for staying healthy."

But not all tea is created equal. Green tea retains many of its helpful ingredients because it is not fermented. That's important because green tea contains cancer-fighting chemicals called polyphenols -- antioxidants that help lower the risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease and stroke, as well as cholesterol.

An U.S. Department of Agriculture study reports that the antioxidant capacity in green tea outweighs that of 22 fruits and vegetables. Green tea also contains less than a third of the caffeine in coffee.

Traditional Chinese medicine recommends the properties in green tea to alleviate a range of ailments, including headaches, body aches and pains, digestion problems, depression, immune system disorders, and loss of energy.

Modern research has confirmed many of these health benefits, and people have responded accordingly. Green tea is the second largest segment in the specialty tea category -- growing at about 50 percent a year. The tea industry as a whole is booming. Since 1990, the wholesale dollar value of the tea industry has grown from $1.8 billion to more than $4.3 billion in 1998, a 140 percent increase.

Flavia, the world's leading single-serve hot beverage office refreshment system, has been satisfying the individual tastes of coffee and tea drinkers at work for more than 15 years and can be found in nearly 45,000 offices, sports and entertainment venues, upscale automobile dealerships and other outlets worldwide. For more information and an online demonstration of the Flavia Beverage System and single-portion filterpack technology, visit http://www.flavia.net/.