In the modern world we live in, more and more people turn to natural medicine instead of pharmaceuticals. Mother nature has a cure for almost any disease, and the world of tea holds many of them. You can make many combinations that can help you boost your health and overall well-being; all you need is a little knowledge. Let’s learn more about green tea, its benefits and its wide range of uses.
What’s Green Tea?
Green tea comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis. It’s an all-green shrub that originates from China. It grows best in cooler temperatures and places with higher elevations. Two of the most dominant worldwide producers are Japan and China. They both have different methods of drying the tea after a harvest. Both countries do it by hand and preserve it with heat. Japanese do it by steaming the leaves, and the Chinese use an oven-shaped drum. Because there are several types of green teas, they taste slightly different and have specific characteristics. The Japanese types have a grassy flavour with hints of citrus, and the Chinese varieties have sweeter, floral, and woody notes.
How to Prepare Green Tea?
Making your perfect cup of green blissfulness entails just a few simple steps and a couple of ingredients. There are three methods of preparing it depending on whether it’s leaves, tea bag or powder.
When preparing tea leaves, you should remember that if you put them in boiling water above 90 degrees Celsius, they’ll release the bitterness, so steep them in water that’s not that hot. For one cup of tea, you should use one teaspoon of leaves; if you do more than one, just add that many spoons. Put the leaves in a strainer and leave them aside. Boil the water around 80 degrees Celsius but don’t let it boil. If it does, just wait for it to calm down a bit. Put the strainer with the leaves inside and wait for 3 minutes. If this is too strong for you, take them out sooner. It may be easier to buy bulk green tea leaves and have them at hand at all times.
Tea bags are very convenient. You can transport them anywhere and have your cuppa at any time. Just heat 1 cup of water, but not to a boil, put the bag inside the cup and wait for 3 minutes. Again, if it’s too bitter for you, take it out sooner. You can sweeten the tea with a tablespoon of honey.
Green tea powder is the third possible option you have. You should use one and ½ teaspoons for one cup of water. Heat one cup of water to the right temperature, cool it for a few moments and add the powder. Let it sit for 3 minutes and strain it. You can add honey to taste and enjoy your perfect brew.
Types of Green Tea
This is the most popular Japanese green tea, with 80% of the total tea production in that country. Sencha has a sweet, earthy flavour with some subtle tones of summer fruit and pine. It gets its yellow colour and vibrant flavour from the brief steaming. Some varieties have a dark colour because of the more extended steaming period, and they have a bolder earthy taste. Sencha is filled with vitamin C, and people use it to manage their winter colds.
Another name for this tea is Fukamoshi Ryokucha. Manufacturers steam it twice as long as the Sencha tea, as shown in its name. Fukamushi = “steamed for a long time”. After it’s been steamed for a longer time, this tea transforms into powder, gets a deeper, darker green colour and takes on a stronger taste. The leaves also become more delicate, and you get a higher leaf content with every cup. Even though many of its components don’t dissolve in water, they still get absorbed, and you get their benefits, such as a soothing effect on the stomach.
This tea also has a Japanese origin, and its translation is “jade dew”. This plant requires special treatment before the harvest. Twenty days before harvesting it, manufacturers cover the trees with cloth or reed screens to boost the production of its nutrients, especially chlorophyll. This tea requires the lowest possible temperature for brewing, 50-60 degrees Celsius, for about 3 minutes. Because of its amino acids, Gyokuro has a mild, sweet flavour. The chlorophyll helps with tissue growth, and the caffeine boosts the nervous system.
Similar to the Gyokuro, this green tea is covered before harvesting. Producers do this one week before picking it to block some sunlight. This causes the new leaves that grow to be a darker colour and have a full-bodied flavour. Its name means “shaded/covered tea”, rich with theanine and caffeine. Once you try it, you’ll have a lingering sweet taste with a rich umami touch. Kabhusecha’s optimal boiling temperature is 70 degrees Celsius because anything more than that will burn the leaves and give them a bitter flavour.
Matcha is one of the most popular green teas nowadays. It’s made from finely powdered leaves that grew under shades. Its production requires more labour, that’s why it is pricier than the others. It has a vegetal taste that transforms into a lingering sweetness. It has an excellent nutritional value; to prepare it, you need a teaspoon of powder and 1 cup of water heated at 80 degrees Celsius. If you want to do it the traditional way, buy a whisk called Chase. Start whisking from the bottom and work your way up to break all the clumps. After the foam appears, you’re ready to rejuvenate your skin and clean your body.
Shincha is the tea that comes first in the harvesting season. It’s very refreshing and has a beautiful leafy aroma. People usually buy a bulk green tea leaves of this kind because it’s not that bitter and has a high amino acid content.
What Are the Benefits of Green Tea?
Green tie earned its title as one of the healthiest drinks on the planet for many reasons. Because of its nutritional value and richness in antioxidants, it offers many health benefits:
Improved brain function;
Protects against cancer;
Lowers the risk of heart disease;
Help in weight loss;
Fights against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease;