We must admit that the green tea has become popular worldwide. If some people drink it every day, others use the natural extract to improve their health and appearance. It’s so good for us that many doctors actually use it for themselves. Read everything you need to know about it from our ultimate guide to green tea.
Table of contents
- Green vs. black vs. white vs. oolong
- Nutritional value
- Types of green tea
- Drinking guide
- Art of serving
- Weight loss
- Beauty benefits
A short history of green tea
Of all other teas, green tea has the longest and most impressive history. Obviously, it was well-researched, because many Asian cultures use it on a daily basis, since centuries. It sounds crazy, but green tea was first steeped in 2737 BC. An old Chinese tale tells us that when the Emperor Shen Nung and his convoy took a break in one of their journeys, he experienced the taste and effect of green tea for the first time. Several leaves fell accidentally into his cup of hot water. He did not notice until he got to consume the contents of the bowl. Because he felt refreshed, he demanded the members of his convoy to make it for him from that time on.
Fun fact: Tea is the most popular drink in the world, behind water.
It’s one of the most notable events, as it is the first recorded instance of green tea being brewed and consumed. After that, its popularity has increased, and not only in China. Other cultural historians trace the history of the green tea back to over 3000 years ago. People all over the Southeast Asia grew it and consumed (chewed and ate) the fresh leaves. Why? Well, for recreation. It took a while until they finally begun to process it and steep it in hot water.
The Tang dynasty – in the 5th century – brought a significant change in culture. It’s the time when tea drinking became a social convention throughout China. “Tea ceremonies” were organized, a sign that proved the importance of green tea for the Chinese people’ social life. From those days, it has begun the perfecting of the process of steaming the tea leaves. And by the 8th century, the tea masters have baked and roasted the leaves to halt the process of enzymatic oxidation – which triggers the darkening of the leaves.
It was introduced in Japan in the 7th century when many Japanese Buddhist monks visited China and brought seeds back to their country. The Portuguese priests and merchants enjoyed the taste of green tea in the 16th century. In Britain, drinking the magic potion became popular barely in the 17th century. In fact, they promoted the production and consumption to India so that it would compete with the monopoly won by China.
In our days, statistics show that over 158 million Americans drink tea on a daily basis. And the industry anticipates a continuous growth! If 80% of them prefer the black tea, 16% enjoy the green tea. The others drink oolong, dark, and white tea. But did you know that all true tea comes from the same plant?
And here is a fun fact-based infographic about our drink.
About the production of green tea
No matter how crazy may seem, the truth is that green, oolong, black, and white tea are produced from just one plant – Camelia sinensis. The evergreen plant is indigenous to China and India. It can be cultivated and harvested in other parts of the globe, too, as long as they maintain a suitable climate and a desirable pH of the soil.
The manufacturers of green tea take the top two leaves and the buds of a shrub and dry them (to prevent fermentation and oxidation). If the Japanese process it with steaming, the Chinese use large pan-fired woks and stir the leaves carefully until they are dried evenly. In some parts of Asia, people spread the tea leaves on racks of bamboo to dry them with the help of warm air or sun.
An interesting fact is that machinery does the shaping or rolling of green tea in most countries. On the other hand, in China, the high-end leaves are hand-rolled in various shapes: round, pointed, twisted, curly, and even more. Why do they give these forms to green tea? Apart from giving its distinctive look, it also regulates the release of flavor and other natural substances.
In Japan, drying and rolling are performed in several steps. First, a special machine will simultaneously dry and roll the leaves for approximately 48 minutes. Then they are dried – to improve their strength – and pressed. The moisture is removed as the leaves are rolled and pressed under a rotating disk. It actually brings the moisture from the center to the surface. Why? Because it is crucial to take out the leaves at the same moisture level. After that, another machine is used for 40 minutes to convert the green tea leaves into a round shape. Small portions are obtained. They are put into pots and rolled with a weight in a needle or round shapes. Most of the moisture is removed.
Some say that the process undertaken by Japanese is better since it takes only 3 hours. But the hand rolling and heating performed by Chinese involves more care and efforts, considering it takes 10 hours. As for the taste and flavors, each one has their own preferences.
What’s the difference between green, oolong, black, and white tea?
Although we say it’s tea, for many times, it’s only an infusion. No, you don’t drink chamomile tea or mint tea. What you have in your cup is chamomile or mint infusion. So, how is it possible to obtain both green and black tea from Camelia sinensis? The secret lies in the processing of the leaves. Those for the black tea are fully oxidized – process that has begun right after picking them from the plant. On the contrary, the leaves for the white tea are barely oxidized.
In fact, the leaves for the white tea are the least processed of all teas. It’s also the reason why they release the smallest amount of caffeine 10-15 mg per 8 oz. cup). They are plucked when the young tea buds are tightly enclosed in a few new leaves because it gives them a silky, downy quality. Its subtle taste is soft and sweet, and the aroma is delicate.
The leaves of green tea must be processed on the same day when they are plucked. It bypasses oxidation, while it also retains many of the natural nutrients: caffeine, tannins, chlorophyll, vitamin C, minerals. Unlike black and oolong, this one has a subtle, yet more astringent taste. An 8-oz cup contains up to 30-35 mg of caffeine. That’s because the heating starts immediately after picking the leaves.
Black tea ( the Chinese call it “red tea”) is obtained from fully oxidized leaves and has a high content of caffeine – 40-80 mg per 8 oz. cup. It’s the most popular tea in the western world. After picking, the leaves are left to wither for a while before being rolled and crushed. The oxidation process is permitted so that the leaves would turn black. Then, they are fired in ovens to hinder the further oxidation. Flavors are usually added to black tea – even since the year 1368 – and fruits and floral essences are pretty common. It may sound crazy, but a wood smoke aroma is often enjoyed in black tea.
Those who prefer oolong tea drink it because it’s fresh as the green one, but has the complexity of black tea. The antioxidant and caffeine content is mid-way between that of black and green tea. It’s pleasant and healthy, while the aroma ranges from fragrantly floral to lusciously rich. The leaves are only partially oxidized. And the statistics show that the most appreciated oolong is obtained in the charcoal firing of the leaves. Nevertheless, all of the teas mentioned above – green, black, oolong, and white – will provide countless health benefits to the consumers.
Why you need to drink green tea – An impressive nutritional value
Now that you know how green tea is made, you need to learn why should you drink it daily. Its chemical composition includes caffeine, theophylline, theanine, theobromine, and flavonoids. Moreover, if you consume green tea daily, it will nourish your body with numerous minerals and other nutritional components – vitamins C, B6, and E, riboflavin, epigallocatchin-3-gallate, chlorophyll, magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium, zinc, sodium, folic acid, fluoride, copper, and iron. So, the health benefits are provided by the constituents mentioned above.
- Caffeine – is known for improving focus and concentration. Although green tea does not contain as much caffeine as coffee, it will still offer several advantages to the consumers. Because it blocks adenosine (an inhibitory neurotransmitter), it will boost the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. Reaction time, mood, and memory will improve. Studies show that caffeine reduces the risk of cancer, strokes, and health problems. It promotes detoxification, relieves post-workout muscle pain, increases alertness, stimulates hair growth, elevates the energy levels, and alleviates asthma. Do you want to reduce chronic inflammation naturally? Drink daily one cup of green tea.
- Theophylline – even though only traces are found in green tea, it does not mean it’s less valuable. Theophylline works by relaxing the smooth muscles, reducing the lungs’ response to irritants, and opening the breathing passages. Doctors prescribe it as a medicine for asthma and other lung diseases. The disadvantage of theophylline is that it does not work effectively when it’s not used regularly. However, a 5-ounce cup of tea contains only 1 mg of theophylline. The pills, on the other hand, have 100-400 mg of it.
- Theanine – reduces stress, promotes relaxation, and improves the sleep quality, without sedating the consumer. Did you know that L-theanine is actually an amino acid? A 200 ml cup of green tea contains 7.9 ± 3.8 mg of theanine. The safe and natural ingredient works as a powerful brain enhancer. It can bring you into a state of calm attentiveness, elevates the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and GABA, and sharpens concentration and focus. Together with caffeine, theanine will boost the cognitive functions and optimize the mental performance. No wonder why college students love it!
- Theobromine – crosses the blood-brain barrier and ensures an amazingly stimulant effect. The experts tell us that it has a structure similar to caffeine. Hence, it energizes the nervous system, while it also calms the brain. It relaxes the smooth muscles and makes breathing easier – reason why it’s used in several lung conditions (just like theophylline). Other health benefits of theobromine include lowering the blood pressure, alleviating digestive problems, and promoting the blood circulation throughout the body. How much theobromine is in a cup of green tea? From 1 to 3 mg.
- Flavonoids – more specifically, kaempferol, myricetin, and quercetin – inhibit medulloblastoma, a common malignant brain tumor in children. More than 26% of childhood cancer deaths are caused by brain tumors. The flavonoids contained in green tea – 133 mg in a 100 ml cup – also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The scientists have discovered that the components mentioned above will prevent heart disease and improve the immune response.
- Vitamin C – the typical commercial green tea contains approximately 280 mg per 100 g of dried leaves. Therefore, one cup will have only 7 mg of Vitamin C. although the heat and steam will cause the breakdown of the element, it will still provide several health benefits to the consumers. It improves the immune system, fights against various illnesses, and protects against heart damage. Considering that an adult needs 65-90 mg of Vitamin C daily – maybe more, in the case of health conditions – eat more foods that contain it.
- Vitamin B6 – fights against fatigue and tiredness naturally. What very few know is that its antioxidant impact can be 20-70 times that of Vitamin C. It means that B6 will protect the immunity, control the hormone production, and promote a healthy metabolic rate. Nerve and liver functions rely on proper Vitamin B6 levels. A cup of green tea contains 0.02 mg of it. But our body needs almost 1.3-1.7 mg – so make sure you take it from other food sources and supplements, as well.
- Vitamin E – increases fertility, promotes the health of skin, lowers the risk for heart disease, and alleviates cataracts. Other positive effects of Vitamin E are improving the functioning of the nervous system, increasing the metabolism of fats, and treating emotional disorders. Because it regulates the hormone production, this vitamin aids virility and sperm motility. 23 g of green tea leaves contain 15 mg of Vitamin E.
- Riboflavin – or Vitamin B2 – cannot be produced in the body; thus, we need to take it from foods or dietary products. Follow a treatment with riboflavin when you want to slow the pace of aging. The health benefits of the vitamin are ensuring proper growth of organs and tissues, improving the absorption of nutrients in the body, assisting the energy production, regulating thyroid activity, and promoting the formation of red blood cells. It sounds incredible, but riboflavin also diminishes the progression of AIDS virus and aids in fetal development. A 200 mg cup of green tea includes almost 0.1 mg Vitamin B2.
- Epigallocatchin-3-gallate – or EGCG – is a polyphenol that keeps you calm when you are stressed out or overwhelmed. The truth is that this compound was thoroughly studied because it promises much in preventing and treating several mental health conditions. According to the information published here, it delays brain aging, improves learning, attention, and memory, reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and works as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Plus, it stops the oxidative damage and promotes a better mood. Evidence shows that one cup of green tea can contain 5-450 mg of EGCG.
- Chlorophyll – is known as an indicator of green tea quality. 1 g of tea leaves has approximately 1.39 mg of chlorophyll, according to a study performed back in 1959. Since it’s not soluble in water, you ought to eat it to absorb it into your system. Some of the health effects of chlorophyll include promoting wound healing, balancing hormones, ensuring a normal blood clotting, and detoxifying the system. Why do we love it? It combats the effects of aging, fights off cancer, and reduces the symptoms of insomnia.
- Magnesium – one cup of green tea has 4 mg of magnesium. This mineral has been linked to increased energy, reduced muscle spasms, and better digestion. Some people take it as health supplements because it calms nerves and anxiety, prevents osteoporosis, diminishes migraine headaches, and regulates the levels of calcium, sodium, and potassium. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, get some more magnesium, and it will help you unwind safely.
- Calcium – strengthen bones and keeps the heart, nerves, and muscles in perfect state. It helps to control the blood pressure, reduces the risk of kidney stones, and aids maintaining optimal body weight. When you want to prevent the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, get some calcium. Studies show that 200 mg of green tea contain almost 6 mg of calcium. On the other hand, one cup of milk contains approximately 300 mg of the mineral.
- Manganese – supports the absorption of calcium and plays a significant role in carbohydrate metabolism. Because it helps balance the hormones naturally, manganese improves the overall health of the consumers. It was linked to strong immunity, good digestion, and proper bone development. Adults need approximately 2 mg of it daily, and a cup of green tea has about 0.6 mg of this element.
- Potassium – helps you to stay away from stress, high blood pressure, anxiety, kidney disorders, heart conditions, and stroke. Experts tell us that potassium boosts the metabolic rate and improves the muscle strength naturally. Some of the deficiency symptoms of potassium are muscle weakness and fatigue. Thankfully, many foods contain it: grains, veggies, citrus fruits, fish, almonds, poultry. One cup of green tea has almost 54 mg of potassium – which represents only 1.15% of the recommended daily dose (which is 4,700 mg, according to the Institute of Medicine).
- Zinc – we need it for blood clotting, wound healing, proper immune function, and thyroid system. It influences our skin, mood, and sex life. Some of the most notable benefits of zinc are maintaining the hormonal balance, fighting free-radicals, reversing heart diseases, and treating cold safely. An adult needs 8-15 mg a day, and 100 grams of loose green tea leaves have 3.2 grams of zinc.
- Sodium – 100 ml of green tea serving has 3 mg of sodium, element which is responsible for transmitting the electrical impulses in the body. It aids regulating muscle contractions, and it’s a crucial constituent of nerves. So, why do people keep a low sodium diet? It can lead to hypertension and stomach cancer. The recommended daily dose is 1500 mg-2300 mg, but studies show that most of the people ingest more of it.
- Folic acid – folate, or Vitamin B9 – is an essential vitamin with important effects on our wellness. It helps in DNA synthesis and repair, and it’s essential during the preconception period and pregnancy. Many pregnant women take it to enhance the fetus development and prevent congenital disabilities. Because it improves mood, it can cure depression and ensure proper brain functioning. Folic acid also helps to treat acne, stimulates hair growth, improve digestion, boosts skin health, and reduces blood clotting. 100 ml of green tea serving contains 16 ƒÊg folates.
- Fluoride – prevents tooth decay, helps fight against plaque bacteria, and repairs the enamel layer. However, swallowing fluoride provides little benefits to teeth, the reason why many people argue over the fluoridation of water. Nevertheless, green tea contains small amounts of it – 0.1 mg per one cup of green tea.
- Copper – supports transportation of oxygen, encourages melanin formation, and is a crucial constituent of numerous enzymes. 100 mg of sencha green tea has approximately 1.3 mg of copper. Other health effects of copper include reducing inflammations, stimulating proper growth, aiding the synthesis of hemoglobin, and boosting the brain functions. It increases the energy levels, supports the absorption of iron, delays the signs of aging, and inhibits the development of bacteria.
- Iron – is another mineral with important effects on our overall well-being. Although 200 mg of green tea contain only 0.4 mg of iron, it will still be beneficial for us. It fights against anemia and muscle weakness, improves nails strength, and encourages the formation of hemoglobin. Plus, iron enhances the brain function, alleviates the restless leg syndrome, and supports muscle tone and elasticity. Now you know why you should drink one cup of green tea daily!
Guide to green tea types
It sounds crazy, but you can enjoy green teas that are slightly different – and even priciest! – than others. Apart from having different flavors and aromas, they also provide various health benefits to the consumers, since their chemical composition isn’t the same. Some are more astringent than others. Green teas with jasmine have a sweeter taste, while those with Moroccan mint freshen up the breath and improve mood. Here are some common green tea varieties you need to try:
It is a Japanese Ryo Kucha (green tea) that results after infusing the whole tea leaves in hot water. As shown by statistics, Sencha represents 80% of the total tea production in Japan. The popular variety is manufactured from the first flush of the year – and many people claim it’s the most delicious. The tender new leaves contain concentrated nutrients – maybe more than other green tea types. The color is greenish golden, while the flavor is different, depending on the water’s temperature. When the water is hot, it has an astringent taste. But when it’s more temperate, the taste is relatively mellow. Unlike the Chinese green teas, this one has a more vegetal, grassy aroma, and it’s more bitter.
Or the first month’s harvest of Sencha – has a sweet and fresh aroma that all green tea fans appreciate. It’s the earliest tea of the season and has a low content of caffeine and bitterness (given by catechins). It’s high in amino acids and vitamins. The flavor is grassy, sweet, with minimal astringency and a resinous aroma.
It is basically sencha that was grown in the shade. Why? To improve the development of relaxing amino acids and boost sweetness. A week before picking the leaves, the plantation is covered to cut the direct sun rays. A screen produces shading, and the tea resulted is milder than the standard sencha.
Similar to Kabusecha, but the production is shaded for an extended period. If Kabusecha stays in the shade for 7 days, Gyokura gets its amazing flavors because it’s kept in a darker place for 20 days. The infusion has a pale green color, a sweet flavor, and an increased content of alkaloid caffeine and theanine. It’s actually the most expensive types of Sencha available in Japan.
It is a fine Japanese green tea. The consumers compare it to Gyokuro because both have the same sweet flavor. But Tamaryokucha – frequently named Guricha – has a berry-like taste. If the aftertaste is almondy, the deep aroma has tones of grass, citrus, and berries. The enzymes are destroyed in 1-2 days of processing (with steaming or pan-frying). You may drink it throughout the day since it has a reasonable caffeine level. Some prefer to reinfuse it and enjoy a slightly different taste. How to prepare it? Steep at 70°C for 2 minutes, and you will obtain a golden yellow infusion.
Or Chinese green tea. The leaves are withered, steamed, rolled into small round pellets, then dried. It was first produced in 618-907, during the Tang Dynasty. Prepare the infusion by adding 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea in 150 ml of water that has a temperature of 70-80°C. Steep for 60 seconds for the first and second brewing. Remember to warm up the teapot or cup before preparing the tea! The taste will be thick and strong – people describe it as a soft honey – with a slightly coppery aftertaste and smokey flavor. Sometimes, Gunpowder has a grassy, peppery, or minty aroma.
Japanese tea, harvested from the second flush of Sencha. The leaves are plucked between summer and autumn, the reason why they have a lower grade. Nevertheless, the flavor has a strong, organic straw smell, and the aromas are rather unique. As for the brewing method, you must infuse at 80°C (for a bitter taste) or bring the water to boiling point, then insert the leaves from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Finely ground powder resulted from a specially cultivated and processed green tea. The plants are grown in the shade for 3 weeks before picking the stems and veins. Because the growth is slowed down and the chlorophyll content increases, the levels of amino acids is enhanced. The infusion has high amounts of caffeine and theanine, so it promotes relaxation while it energizes the consumers. Did you know that 30 grams of Matcha are ground in almost 60 minutes? If the millstones used to grind the leaves get too warm, it would alter the aroma of the tea leaves. The highest grades of Matcha have an intense sweetness and deep flavor, compared to those of a lower grade.
Kukicha – or Bocha
Prepared in Japan, using the stems, stalks, and twigs of Camelia sinensis. Therefore, it contains parts that are usually excluded from other teas – mainly after the production of Matcha, Gyokuro or Sencha. Surely, it’s the reason why the infusion has a special aroma.
For this type of organic green tea, the leaves are combined with roasted brown rice. Centuries ago, it was enjoyed by poor Japanese – the preparation method certainly reduces the costs. But in our days, all segments of society drink Genmaicha. The flavor is warm and full, somehow similar to that of nuts. The color of the infusion is light yellow, and the roasted rice gives it a great aroma. The fresh grassy taste makes it a common choice for numerous people, especially when Genmaicha is sold with Matcha powder.
An old legend says that Meng Mountain is the place where tea was first cultivated. The infusion is yellowish-green, and the consumers appreciate it for its sweet aftertaste. The picking season begins in March when only the most tender tea buds are selected. The flavor is fresh, rich, and with a sweet chestnut aroma.
Famous Chinese green tea with a floral aroma and fruity, delicate taste. The leaves are plucked in early spring and rolled into tight spirals. The experts appreciate it, especially because it’s so tender, that 1 kilogram of organic green tea encompasses up to 15,000 tea shoots. Sometimes, depending on the harvesting area, Biluochun tastes nutty.
Roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal. Many consumers are not aware that this Japanese green tea started to be performed approximately 100 years ago. Because of the production method, the green leaves turn to a reddish-brown hue. The catechins are destroyed due to high temperatures; hence the taste of the tea is less astringent. Drink one cup, and you will savor a toasty, caramel-like aroma. Plus, Hojicha has a reduced caffeine content, reason why most people serve it during or after the evening meal. And it can be enjoyed by children, too!
One of China’s top 10 teas. It is obtained from yellowish green leaves with sleek and flat shapes that were plucked in the earliest harvesting season. The flavors are durable, and the aftertaste is sweet. It can have a brisk and delicate taste or a chestnut-like aroma, depending on how the leaves were dried.
The leaves of this Japanese tea are gathered in spring. The experts place it somewhere between the quality of Sencha and Gyokuro. Only the leaf buds and tips of the early crops are processed to obtain Mecha tea. Due to its bitter taste, the Japanese serve it after the meal. The flavors are deep and astringent – perfect to cleanse the palate after a consistent lunch.
Aracha – or Crude Tea
Manufactured in Japan, using the entire leaf of Camelia sinensis. Yes, you read that right! The leaf stem, blade, fine leaf hair, and even broken particles of the leaf are included in Aracha. Therefore, the liqueur will have a deep green color and quite bold taste. After sorting the parts of the leaves, the Japanese producers obtain Sencha tea – and varieties, of course!
Anji bai cha
It is considered a rare tea. The Chinese produce it in Anji County and often call it “white tea,” even though it’s a green one. The yellow leaves are long and narrow and contain high amounts of polysaccharides. It means that Anji bai cha can hinder the hemolysis of blood cells. It has a low polyphenol and chlorophyll content, but it includes more amino acids than other varieties of green tea. The health benefits of Anji bai cha are alleviating stress and diminishing the production of cortisol in the consumers.
Made in China. The top 2 leaves and the bud of the new season growth are plucked for processing in March-April. Some say that the dried leaf looks similar to a white-haired monkey’s paw. The texture is creamy, while the taste is fresh and subtly seaweed. The vegetal aroma is infused with a delicate, nutty sweetness. As for the aftertaste, it’s described as dry. Prepare the liqueur using 1 teaspoon of leaves for 200 ml water that has 80°C. Steep for 3 minutes and enjoy!
Although it has a dusty appearance, this Chinese green tea is sweeter than many other varieties. When you want to relish a drink with a bright flavor and toasty warm, clean finish, choose Chun Mee. You can drink it at any time, day or night. The delicious taste and aftertaste prove why it’s still one of the most popular Chinese teas.
Maojian – or Xinyang Maojian
One of the most famous teas in China. Many individuals consume it to unwind after a busy day. The leaves are dark-green, with straight and delicate edges. You first enjoy the aroma left into the air, then the taste: distinctive, sweet, and delicious. Plus, the flavor is quite bold and has a strong aromatic scent.
Lu’an Melon Seed
Does not contain any melon seeds. The name is given by the shape of the processed tea leaves – they are flat and oval, resembling of the melon seeds. Why is the taste different? Because the leaves are baked. Thus, the brew has a sweet and smooth nut-like flavor. You may even sense a slightly reminiscent of toasted pumpkin seeds. Boil the water, cool for 2 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of loose leaves. Let it steep for 1-2 minutes and savor the drink! You may get up to 3-5 infusions out of it. If it is expensive, it means that it has a better value.
People know it because of its “two knives and one pole.” That’s because Taiping houkui results after plucking and processing from the plant 2 straight leaves and its large bud with white hairs. The consumers appreciate this gentle afternoon tea because it has a lingering sweet aftertaste and an orchid-like fragrance. No wonder it’s one of the most revered and expensive Chinese teas!
Hyson – or, as called by the Chinese, Lucky Dragon Tea
Has a full-bod, pungent taste. The consumers describe it as a warm, light, smooth, and sunny beverage, and consume it hot or iced. In most of the cases, they enjoy it without adding any milk or sugar. Some individuals prefer to drink it cold and with slices of lemon or lime. The truth is that there’s no such thing as a wrong way to consume it. By adding sugar, milk, and citrus fruits, the flavor of Hyson is diminished, and you will no longer savor a beverage that reminds you of spring.
Another famous Chinese tea. It has a slight floral overtone. How to prepare it? The sweet tea will have no bitterness if you add 2 teacups to 250 ml water that has a temperature of 85°C. Steep for 3 minutes before enjoying it. You can use the same leaves to obtain 3 steeps. The flavors will surprise you every time!
Although it was first produced in China, now it’s a specialty manufactured in Japan. It has a small degree of bitterness, but the sweet and fresh notes prevail. Surprisingly, but Kamairicha does not have the characteristic astringent taste that the majority of Japanese green teas have. On the other hand, it contains significant amounts of Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, and B3. After processing the organic green tea leaves – they are burnt in hot iron pans, up to 300°C – they are shaped like commas or magatama. The refreshing taste is light, sweet, and with roasted flavors.
Resulted from the dust, specks, and small leaves of Sencha or Gyokuro. Due to its strong flavor, some Japanese prefer to cook it. The brewed infusion has a deep green color and strong taste. It is considered a lower-grade tea, but it actually contains leftovers from good-quality plants. Hence, the chemical components are the same as in Gyokuro and Sencha. It’s astringent and somehow bitter – exactly how the Japanese enjoy it! Remember to brew 1 teaspoon of Konacha in 130 ml water that’s just below the boiling point. Steep for only 30 seconds, then serve it. The leaves are tiny, so they dissolve pretty quickly, compared to other organic green teas.
Longjing – or Dragonwell
The most popular Chinese green tea in the United States. It’s produced mostly by hand, and the leaves are roasted soon after being picked – to stop the oxidative process. Hence, the infusion will have a yellow-green hue and a gentle, sweet taste. Additionally, it contains considerable amounts of catechins, amino acids, and Vitamin C. The disadvantage? The price cannot be too affordable, since it’s hand-rolled, and the leaves are of the highest quality. Remember that if it has too much chlorophyll and the leaves have a dark green color, the Longjing purchased has a low quality. Did you know that you can also eat the leaves of this green tea type after infusion?
The price of green tea varieties
If it costs more than gold, you can bet it’s the best green tea ever. The price of the leaves depends on a series of factors: quality, processing method, harvesting area, and even transportation. Gyokuro tea can reach to $650 per kilogram, while 50 g of Matcha powder can cost you up to 30$. Thankfully, you will brew 20-25 cups with 50 grams.
A 100 g-package of authentic Kukicha green tea costs approximately $10. And you must expect to pay twice the same amount of money for 50 g organic young Hyson tea. Genmaicha is available in many online stores – 50 g will cost you more or less $15. Do you enjoy the taste of Hojicha tea? A pack of 50 g has the price tag of $10. As for the rare green tea known as Tamaryokucha, you will purchase 100 g for only $15-20. Frankly, that’s a small price to pay, considering its sweet flavors and delicious aftertaste!
A beginner’s guide to drinking green tea
You cannot say it’s your favorite if you haven’t tried more than 3 green tea varieties. Most of them are sweet but refreshing and crisp like a glass of wine. However, the health benefits are impressive – green tea is known to promote weight loss, lower the risk of heart disease, and even prevent the development of cancer cells.
Choose to buy green teas that were harvested in China or Japan. The regional climate, careful farming, and processing give an authentic taste – and price! – to what you will savor. A good tea can be steeped for 3-4, even 7 times. And the flavors will be slightly different each time – you’ll know that your money was well spent! A valuable, authentic green tea has to be prepared accordingly to the instructions. If some varieties need only 30 seconds to steep, others should stay in hot water for several minutes. The aroma may be sweet, with nutty flavors and astringent notes.
Temperature and time are essential when brewing your organic green tea. A high temperature can trigger the release of tannins – hence a better taste – and a lower content of nutrients. If Chinese and Japanese use a relatively large amount of leaves – 4-5 g – in a small amount of water – 100-150 ml, the western style brewing implies using one teaspoon for every 8-oz cup of water. There’s no wrong way to serve your green tea!
Why do Americans prefer to serve it iced? Statistics show that 85% of all the tea consumed in America is cold or with ice cubes. Plus, they have flavors and sugar, and sometimes contain fewer nutrients than the green tea brewed with hot water. The bottled green tea does contain antioxidants, but only if it’s prepared correctly. And in most of the cases, the manufacturers use low-quality teas or add too many chemicals. So, instead of improving the overall health of the consumers, the tea will increase the risk for obesity, diabetes, and other illnesses.
Make your own iced tea! Purchase authentic, organic green tea and steep at room temperature for 2 hours before adding the ice. Another brewing method involves adding the leaves to hot water, according to the instructions, steeping for 1-3 minutes (depending on the green tea variety), and shaking it with some ice before finally enjoying it. Do you think it’s too bitter? Add some honey, lemon slices, mint, or ginger. You will obtain a refreshing, delicious beverage to enjoy in the morning, on your way to work, and even after dinner!
The art of serving tea
In China, the concept of tea culture is called “chayi,” meaning “the art of drinking tea.” Back in the past, tea was served only in exceptional circumstances, such as a family gathering or as a sign of respect. In traditional Chinese society, the young people showed their respect to the older members by offering them a cup of tea. Needless to say, it was authentic green tea. Sometimes, they invited their more elderly relatives to restaurants for tea. And when there were divided into social classes, those from a lower class would serve the infusion to those who they respected – members of an upper class in society.
Almost every Sunday, they had family meetings. The daughters and sons leave their parents’ home for marriage or work, but they meet during weekends. It helps them to reconnect. It’s not uncommon for parents to pour a cup of tea to their children. All they want is to prove their care and love.
Tea is served to apologize or show gratitude. At weddings, the groom and bride knee in front of their parents, to thank them for raising them. In some parts of China, the groom serves the bride’s family, while she serves her husband’s parents. This way, they will celebrate the joining of the families.
You can still find numerous traditional Chinese tea houses. Enter here, and you will be surprised by its multiple functions: recreation, relaxation, a place for meetings, and more. The hostesses are well-trained and offer small plates of food along the omnipresent tea. Sometimes, they use Yixing clay teapots, so that the taste is “round out.” Drinking tea is seen as an essential part of self-cultivation. In case you did not know by now, Camelia sinensis infusion is often associated with philosophy, arts, and literature.
Whenever you visit China, your guests will welcome you by brewing a cup of hot tea. What you have to do is sit down, talk, and enjoy the fragrance of your beverage. If you stand, your gesture will be regarded as uncouth. So, thank your guest and show them your respect, too!
What happens to your body when you drink green tea daily
It’s one of the most popular health foods worldwide. The experts have demonstrated that green tea protects the heart, increases the metabolic rate, and helps fight off diabetes. 3.5 cups of green tea have effects similar to medicines. The numbers are impressive (and show the amounts of nutrients provided from the recommended daily intake):
- 25% Vitamin B2
- 25% Vitamin C
- 10% Vitamin B1
- 45% Potassium
- 45% Magnesium
- 10% Folic acid
- 10% Zinc
- 45% Natural fluoride
- 16% Calcium
- 6% Vitamin B6
Tons of research prove that green tea is beneficial for your overall health. It boosts the immune function, stimulates weight loss, and enhances the wellness of skin and hair. When you drink it daily, the natural beverage will regulate the glucose levels and lower the cholesterol in blood. Because there isn’t as much caffeine in green tea as in coffee, you will reduce the risk of high blood pressure and strengthen the cardiac muscle.
Did you know that regular consumption of green tea varieties will help you stay away from depression? Due to the presence of theanine, the infusion will have a tranquilizing effect and assist you to calm your nerves and body after a busy day at work. Other health benefits include: stimulating the digestion, improving detoxification, alleviating the symptoms of acne, enhancing tooth health, and diminishing the signs of aging. To enjoy these amazing effects, you should not drink more than 3-4 cups daily. Should you stop drinking coffee and enjoy green tea instead?
Caffeine in green tea
Start your day with a cup of organic green tea and prepare one more to savor at work. It will guarantee you full energy throughout the day! Many doctors recommend to quit coffee and consume green tea instead. Does green tea have caffeine in it? Absolutely! The lab tests prove that an 8-oz cup has 35-70 mg of caffeine. On the other hand, the same amount of coffee has 150-200 mg of caffeine. However, you can use the same leaves and obtain 3-4 infusions. What does it mean? You will still feel refreshed and rejuvenated, but using a smaller quantity of caffeine.
Too much caffeine – more than 400 mg a day – is likely to trigger the appearance of unpleasant side effects. Fast heartbeat, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, migraine headaches, and stomach upset are only some of the negative consequences. Plus, you will experience muscle tremors, nervousness, and frequent urination, since it has diuretic effects.
Even a little can make you jittery if you are more sensitive than others. Yes, you read that right! A cup of coffee may elevate the heartbeat and give you sleep problems. With green tea, you will not suffer from the effects mentioned above. Some constituents from your favorite infusion – particularly theanine – reduce your body’s physiological response to stress and relax your body. So, you don’t need a massage to unwind before bedtime! What’s even more important is that you will burn calories at a faster rate and get a beach body in no time!
Organic green tea and weight loss
Have you heard of the green tea diet? Several nutritionists claim that you could lose weight if you drink a certain amount of green tea each day. But you must stay away from most bottled products. Why? They are packed with additives, sugar, and preservatives. Plus, the lab tests prove that they don’t even contain EGCG, the substance with powerful antioxidant effects.
The surprising results of a study were published in the year 2005. After 12 weeks of consuming organic green tea regularly (so, an intake of 136 mg EGCG) and a placebo, things were more than edifying. Men who drank green tea had a two-fold greater fat loss – 3.1 lbs versus 1.5 lbs – and weight loss – 5.3 lbs versus 2.8 lbs – compared to those on placebo.
What did this study prove? The subcutaneous and visceral fat in the abdomen (which is associated with increased risk for various health problems) disappears more quickly when you follow a green tea diet. However, it shouldn’t be any product. Choose a natural, authentic, organic green tea. You may even take green tea supplements, as long as they have natural extracts and fewer additives.
Drink to your health!
You can lose weight with green tea. The diet implies fasting and combining abstinence from food with green tea consumption to lose weight fast. However, most specialists would not advise you to stay hungry. It could do more harm than good! Starvation will lead to malnutrition, as you will have various minerals, vitamins, and nutrients excluded from your diet. And, instead of losing weight, you will actually decrease the resting metabolic rate. What does it mean? You will burn calories even harder. Bone loss, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and even high blood pressure were linked to fasting and starvation.
The best way to lose weight with green tea involves eating healthy foods, staying active, and drinking your favorite infusion daily. Instead of stopping feeding your body, you should consume plenty of fruits, legumes, veggies, fish, low-fat meat/poultry. The truth is that a balanced diet will assist you to accomplish your goals sooner than if you would cut the calorie intake drastically.
You are certainly aware of the yo-yo effect that follows weight loss diets. It appears when you adopt several eating practices, but you finally return to unhealthy foods and fast food products. So, you will gain the body fat that you initially lost. Or worse, you may get more belly fat than you had before following a diet.
Request the assistance of a nutritionist if you cannot lose weight. Green tea is beneficial, too, but you also have to eat healthier and be more active. Apart from shedding several pounds, it will also improve your overall wellness and increase your self-image. Cut the carbohydrates intake, stay away from sugar and artificial additives, and reduce portions, too. The fat-burning properties of natural green tea will help you get the beach body desired. Consume 2-5 cups daily (prepare it accordingly to the instructions) and do not add sugar or milk to it, especially if you want to flatten your belly within months.
Can green tea be bad for your health?
How much is too much? Why shouldn’t you drink more than 4 cups of green tea in a day? Well, besides the fact that you’ll have to go to the bathroom at every 30 minutes, the beverage also has caffeine and might cause irritability. Although it’s often known as the magic weight loss potion, green tea contains elements that may prevent your body from assimilating iron. The tannins decrease the absorption of folic acid, and it will also reflect on your well-being.
If you are anxious, drinking too much Camelia sinensis infusion may make you even more anxious. Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome? In this case, you should avoid green tea abuse. Additionally, the doctors recommend curbing the green tea intake when you have anemia, bleeding disorders, glaucoma, or heart conditions.
Honestly, you have many reasons to sip it every day. But when you find yourself swallowing more than 5 cups a day, expect for some troubles. Some consumers said that they were fine after drinking up to 10 cups daily. However, on the long run, the cons of drinking too much green tea will occur. You will experience several adverse effects. And, if you are a pregnant or nursing mother, you should definitely limit the green tea consumption. Go for it only after discussing with your general practitioner.
Infusion versus green tea capsules
Many factors could interfere when you opt for infusion. If it’s not brewed correctly, the bioactive compounds are destroyed by heat. Does it mean that the green tea extract pills are better? Well, that’s hard to decide.
Brewing the tea leaves and preparing the infusion demands some efforts. How come? You have to use the right amount of tea leaves, add to a certain quantity of water that has a specific temperature. Then, you have to let it steep for the right time so that it would have the perfect flavor and composition. If you use too little leaves or the water is too hot, the natural ingredients from Camelia sinensis may be altered. And the tea will no longer provide you the health benefits expected.
On the other hand, green tea capsules aren’t always produced accordingly to manufacturers’ promises. Yes, the label often lies! Tea leaves freshness is crucial, considering that the levels of EGCG diminish considerably 6 months after harvesting. Even though it’s more convenient to swallow a pill, the experts told us that supplements are often made of low-quality herbs that were treated with pesticides. When you want to enjoy the best effects, it’s better to prepare your infusion using organic green tea leaves. Or you could savor its taste in a green tea Frappuccino, especially if you’re not pregnant!
Green tea and pregnancy
Ask the advice of your general practitioner or scroll the internet. The truth is that you will not find an official recommendation that says you should avoid drinking green tea during pregnancy. Because it contains caffeine, you shouldn’t consume more than 3-4 cups a day – this amount will limit the caffeine intake to less than 200 mg. Caffeine might dehydrate you, leading to premature labor or low amniotic fluid. Plus, it may cause restlessness and rapid heartbeat – events that aren’t beneficial to your baby.
Though it promotes immunity and helps you maintain strong bones, the infusion could alter the absorption of folic acid, an ingredient which is mandatory for a healthy fetus. Without proper levels of folic acid in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the baby could develop spina bifida and other neural tube defects.
What are the scientists saying? Don’t drink lots of green tea if you want to become pregnant. Consume it in moderation. A study published in 2008 in the journal Epidemiology showed that consuming less than 200 mg of caffeine per day will not increase the risk of miscarriage. Remember that several other foods contain the element: cola, chocolate, sodas. In conclusion, pay attention to what you eat and drink while pregnant.
The best 11 homemade recipes with green tea
With green tea, you can’t go wrong. But if you steep it for too long or use hot water, it won’t give you the benefits expected. And, as studies show, adding milk isn’t the best way to serve it. That’s because the protein from milk binds with green tea’s flavanols (catechins) and might hinder their absorption in your system. Therefore, no weight loss with green tea! However, there are many other great ways to relish it.
- Iced lavender green tea. The name says it all: add several fresh lavender blossoms or lavender sprigs to your regular green tea – that was prepared properly. Pour in a large pot with some ice cubes and the subtle lavender flavor will be delicious! No need to add sugar. Savor the delicate taste on a hot summer day!
- Peach and mint iced tea. You need the ingredients: quality green tea leaves, boiling water, fresh mint, ripe peaches. Sugar or honey are optional. Let the water cool for 2 minutes, add the green tea leaves, steep for 1-2 minutes (depending on the variety selected), then remove the leaves. When it reaches the room temperature, refrigerate it with one small bunch fresh mint sprigs and 4 peaches that were cut into small pieces – ½ inch. You could strain it or enjoy the chunks of fruit. It’s perfect to serve to your guests!
- Bubble milk tea – if you still want to add milk and you appreciate tapioca. This recipe will remind you of Starbucks latte. What you need is your favorite green tea, sugar syrup, ice cubes, tapioca pearls, and milk (or rice, almond, soy milk). Combine the brewed tea with all the ingredients, except for the pearls. Shake or blend until the pot is frothy, then add tapioca. When you’re hosting a garden party, bubble milk tea is a must!
- Sangria-like tea. It’s a slightly sweet tea that you can make in only 10 minutes. With 8 cups water and 4 teaspoons green tea leaves, you will brew a flavorsome tea. Once cooled, add 1 navel orange cut into wedges, ½ cup honey, and 1 lime cut into wedges. Serve it once over ice, and you will certainly wish to savor it again very soon.
- Green tea Frappuccino. Besides the fact it’s delicious, it also detoxifies the body and has anti-aging effects. Plus, it improves the immune function and increases the fat-burning process. Make it with 2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder, ½ cup coconut milk, 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey, ½ cup water, ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 2 cups ice – or ice cream. Put all the components in the blender and blend until you obtain a smooth paste. Don’t you think it’s even better than Starbucks’ recipe?
- Blueberry-lemon iced tea. It’s ready in no time! Boil for 5 minutes 1 package frozen blueberries with ½ cup fresh lemon juice. Let it cool, then pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer. Boil 4 cups water, prepare the green tea infusion, then stir in a ¾ cup sugar with the blueberry paste. Chill for 60 minutes, then serve it over ice.
- Green tea and honeydew granita. Let’s get the party started with a stronger beverage! Brew the infusion with enough green tea leaves for 6 servings in just ¾ cup water. Let it stand, then dissolve 2/3 cup sugar – using heat, if required. Cool for 20 minutes, add 4 cups cubed honeydew melon, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 6 tablespoons melon-flavored liqueur. Blend the ingredients until it has a smooth and homogenous texture. Freeze for half an hour, then scrap the iced edges and mix with a fork. Place into the freezer once more for 20 minutes, and repeat the entire procedure until it’s 100% frozen into icy crystals. Yes, it takes about 2-3 hours until it’s done, but it will worth it!
- Green tea smoothie. Because why not? This amazingly delicious recipe can very well pass for a meal. It contains 1 banana, 2 large handfuls of baby spinach, 1 cup coconut milk, juice of ½ lemon, 1 ripe peach, and matcha green tea. Blend the infusion with the other components and enjoy the energy boost!
- Spiced green tea. Get some cinnamon sticks and cloves for this one. Combine them with the green tea infusion, some lemon zest, and honey or sugar if you want. Let the flavors infuse before tasting it. You will definitely prepare it again.
- Rosemary hot white chocolate. The name does not say it, but of course, it has green tea in it! Give a twist to your regular winter drink with some green tea and rosemary sprigs. Here’s how to obtain it: boil 2 cups unsweetened almond milk with the rosemary, 1 tablespoon green tea leaves, and 1 vanilla bean. Infuse for 30 minutes, then strain it and pour it into a blender together with 1 cup cashews (that were soaked in water for 4 hours) and 4 soft dates (no pits, chopped). Blend until very smooth. Separately, melt ½ cup raw cacao butter, add 2 tablespoons maca powder, then pour the blended mix over it. Whisk carefully and taste it. If you want some more flavors, sprinkle ground cinnamon, cocoa powder, and nutmeg. Raw vegans will love it!
- Green tea ice cream. It’s quite popular throughout Asia, and especially in Japan. Get the ingredients from this list: 6 large eggs, 1 cup whole milk, 2 cups heavy cream, 2/3 cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons matcha powder. You also need an ice cream maker before proceeding. Heat and bring to boil the milk, cream, and salt. Remove from heat. In a different bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, and green tea. Pour in this bowl 1 cup of the hot mixture prepared. Whisk over moderately low heat and make sure it does not boil. Place through a fine sieve into a metal bowl and keep it at the room temperature until it’s cool. After that, cover and insert it in the ice cream maker. If you want to enjoy it later, put into the freezer to harden. Or you could just savor it right now!
Beauty benefits of green tea
From olive oil and apple cider vinegar, many natural products have become must-have beauty secrets. Even today, many women don’t know that the extract of Camelia sinensis can be applied externally for skin glow. It can reduce the signs of aging and improve the skin health naturally. Instead of paying exorbitant prices on creams and lotions that are packed with chemicals, you should make your own beauty products using green tea. Here you have some of the best skincare treatments with green tea.
- Green tea facial cleanser. Boil water, let it cool for 2 minutes, then infuse the green tea variety you have. Any of them are great for your skin, as long as they’re organic. So, take the liquid and just splash it on your face. The effects will occur immediately; your skin will become incredibly clean and smooth!
- Anti-aging mask. The skin around the eyes is extremely sensitive and thin. It gets darker when you’re tired and betrays you if you had a sleepless night. But you can banish the signs of aging effortlessly with this mask. All you need is 1 teaspoon green tea and 1 teaspoon honey. Mix them in a small bowl until you obtain a homogenous solution, then use your fingers to apply it near your eyes. Leave it for 5 minutes, then rinse it carefully. Useful tip: use it regularly if you want to achieve a more youthful skin within weeks.
- Anti-acne treatment at home. At the advice of your doctor, you can forget about tretinoins and antibiotics. Because green tea contains astringent and nourishing components, it can fight off acne and provide natural UV protection. Combine ½ teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon green tea. Use a clean cotton pad or ball to apply on the problematic areas of your face: forehead, nose, chin. Put a small amount on pimples, and they will go away soon. Wait for 3 minutes, pad it again. Repeat for several times until you’re out of the mixture, let the mask settle for 5 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water. The appearance of blackheads will be diminished, too. Why? The natural ingredients tighten pores, balance the oil production, and have anti-bacterial effects. If you have very sensitive skin, moisturize it with organic coconut oil once your mask is off.
- Exfoliating face mask. Instead of using harsh chemicals to remove the dead cells, pull out the sebum and dirt from pores with this homemade remedy. Add some oat flour to 1 teaspoon green tea and mix until it results in a lump-free solution. Apply it evenly on your face and gently rub it to clear your pores. Remove it with warm water and hydrate the face with a natural cream or coconut oil. Don’t use this exfoliating mask more often the 2 times weekly. When used excessively, it can dry the skin and enhance the sebum production – and you don’t want that!
- Skin disorder treatment. Dealing with psoriasis and rosacea is hard. Swelling, redness, bumps, and flushing on your face will make you look for the priciest products on the market, believing that they might help you. However, rosacea and psoriasis are difficult to combat. And when you thought they’re gone for good, the symptoms appear again. Thankfully, green tea may reduce the redness and improve the health of the skin. How to use it? Prepare an infusion of Matcha green tea and gently rub it onto your skin. Wait for 3-5 minutes to absorb, then rinse with lukewarm water. After that, hydrate with your regular face cream. Make sure you use the treatment three times weekly if you want to obtain significant results.
In Ayurvedic medicine, green tea has always occupied a special place. It can be used both internally and externally to cure various diseases and promote the overall health of the consumers. It rejuvenates skin, reduces the wrinkles, and eliminates puffiness. Because it has powerful antioxidant properties, it delays the signs of aging and protects against the harmful sun rays. Yes, green tea can be used as a natural skin toner. When you deal with hair loss, using hair products with Camelia sinensis extract will stop the problem from the root and stimulate the regrowth of strands.
Make green tea great again
Many proven benefits of green tea convince us to keep it at reach. It became popular in the United States because of its essential components. The most recent research studies validate what our ancestors claimed centuries ago. The organic Camelia sinensis extract will provide countless dermatological and physiological benefits to those who will drink it or apply it on their body.
It accelerates the healing of scars, minimizes crow’s feet, tightens skin, and strengthens hair. The infusion can reduce inflammation, deodorize feet, and prevent bad breath. Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Fergie, and Gwyneth Paltrow drink it to curb appetite and maintain their youthful looks naturally.
Why do bodybuilders love it? Green tea is often found in a fitness enthusiast’s arsenal. It’s because the magical drink will shrink tissues, contract structural proteins within mucosa and skin, improve the energy levels, and assist them to work harder in the gym. Have you ever enjoyed a cup at the end of a training day? It gives you a peaceful feeling without compromising mental activity or motivation.
A word from Maximsnews
The ultimate guide to green tea must have revealed everything you need to know about one of the healthiest beverages in the world. With a rich history and providing many healing properties, the extract of Camelia sinensis may be savored by people of all ages. All green tea varieties contain impressive amounts of nutrients. But drinking the infusion is considerably better than just swallowing a supplement with green tea extract. Are you a heavy drinker? What is your favorite green tea type and how do you prefer to serve it?