JUNE IS ALL ABOUT GREEN TEA
How is GREEN TEA different? Most high quality green tea produced starts with plucked young Camellia Sinensis tea shoots from the spring season (early April being the best). The best picking is usually limited to only unopened buds, or tea shoots that are a bud connected with one, two or three young leaves. The most important characteristic of quality green tea is spring freshness.
During harvesting, the young tea shoots are plucked by hand (highest quality and most expensive) or a mechanical tea picker, then delivered to tea factories as soon as possible. The leaves are thinly spread out indoors in shallow baskets to ventilate and slightly wither while waiting for fixation (deactivating the oxidation process). The waiting time should be as short as possible to avoid oxidation, which turns the green leaf and stem to a reddish color (which would no longer be green tea). The desired green leaf, green liquor, and vegetal/grassy taste of green tea is preserved by quickly halting oxidation by heat with pan frying, roasting, steaming, or baking. When fixed leaves become soft and flaccid, they can be dried then further processed by flattening, curling, or rolling depending on the type of green tea being made. Steamed green tea is the most grassy and mainly produced/consumed in Japan, while pan-dried green tea has less grassiness and mainly produced in China.
After sorting to remove stalks, dust and impurities, the best tea is graded to produce a uniform size and standardized appearance. Some tea types are renowned for their curved, twisted shape (like a human eyebrow). Others like Dragonwell are flat leaves, while Gunpowder is featured with tiny, tight, round balled leaves.
There are a couple of meanings when referring to orthodox tea. First, tea that is natural and unflavored. But orthodox also means tea that is processed in the traditional and complex manner that includes withering, roiling, oxidation, and firing (the higher grade teas). The opposite of the orthodox process is CTC (crush, tear, curl) which is a mechanized way of producing large volumes of medium to lower quality tea. Medium grade tea can be flavored with fruits, spices, flowers, or a combination.
How to make GREEN TEA properly? The true aroma, taste, and quality of green tea can be enjoyed only through correct brewing. Many tea types have their own unique flavor that prefers a unique way of brewing. The first important rule of green tea brewing is short infusion times (compared to oolong or black tea), typically one or two minutes. Even more critical is lower temperature water, typically between 160-185°F vs boiling 212°F for black tea or herbals. Remember: Brewing green tea too long leads to bitterness, or too hot a brewing temperature also leads to bitterness. Doing both?… it's so bitter, that’s when folks say they don’t like green tea.
What’s the caffeine level for GREEN TEA?
Generally green tea is considered an ‘average amount' for tea. An 8oz cup of green tea yields about 1/3 less caffeine than that of an 8oz cup of coffee. This measurement can vary depending on how long the tea is steeped. The longer the steep time at first, the higher the caffeine content will be. Caffeine content will lessen each time tea is re-steeped. In the case of oolong teas, the caffeine content lessens by about 1/3 with each steeping. The 4th infusion or later is close to almost no caffeine, but will still have great flavor.
How is GREEN TEA healthy? Green tea has increasingly become a very popular drink worldwide because of its powerful health benefits. Drinking three to four cups of green tea today, you're definitely doing your health a big favor.
- Immune System: Certain polyphenols are what's believed to give green tea its immune-boosting effects. One laboratory study  suggested that a particular group of polyphenols, called catechins or Flavan-3-ols, may kill influenza viruses. Experimental studies have reported that tea catechins inhibited influenza viral absorption and suppressed replication. They were also effective against some cold viruses. In addition, tea catechins enhance immunity against viral infection. One particular catechin called EGCG is among the most studied of the polyphenols. Specific, quantitative ‘scoring’ of green, black, oolong, white tea polyphenols is available in USDA Flavonoid Content of Foods Database . The database is produced frequently, about every 2 years. The primary difference between green-black-oolong tea is the level of oxidation during processing.
Polyphenols / Flavan-3-ols
Green, large leaf
- Cancer: Green tea helps reduce the risk of cancer. The antioxidant in green tea is 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 24 times better than vitamin E. This helps your body at protecting cells from damage believed to be linked to cancer.
- Heart disease: Green tea helps prevent heart disease and stroke by lowering the level of cholesterol. Even after the heart attack it prevents cell deaths and speeds up the recovery of heart cells.
- Anti-aging: Green tea contains an antioxidant known as polyphenols which help remove free radicals from our bodies. Free radicals are highly reactive particles formed in our body that can damage cells when their numbers get too high. Consuming foods high in antioxidants like catechins may help limit free radical damage. What this means it helps you fight against aging and promotes longevity.
- Stress: The L-theanine, which is a kind of amino acid in tea, can help relieve stress and anxiety.
- Weight loss: Green tea helps with your body weight loss. Green tea burns fat and boosts your metabolism rate naturally. It can help you burn up to 70 calories in just one day. Green tea prevents obesity by stopping the movement of glucose in fat cells. If you are on a healthy diet, exercise regularly and drink green tea, it is unlikely you'll be obese.
- Skin: The antioxidant in green tea protects the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals, which cause wrinkling and skin aging. Green tea also helps fight against skin cancer.
- Arthritis: Green tea can help prevent and reduce the risk of arthritis. Green tea has benefit for your health as it protects the cartilage by blocking the enzyme that destroys cartilage.
- Bones: The very key to this is high fluoride content found in green tea. It helps keep your bones strong. If you drink green tea every day, this will help you preserve your bone density.
- Cholesterol: Green tea can help lower cholesterol level. It also improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol, by reducing bad cholesterol level.
- Diabetes: Green tea improves lipid and glucose metabolism, helps prevents sharp increases in blood sugar level and balances your metabolism rate.
- Alzheimers: Green tea helps boost your memory. And although there's no cure for Alzheimer's it helps slow the process of reduced acetylcholine in the brain, which can lead to Alzheimer’s.
- Parkinson's: Antioxidants in green tea helps prevent against cell damage in the brain which could cause Parkinson’s.
- Liver disease: Green tea helps prevent transplant failure in people with liver failure. Researches showed that green tea destroys harmful free radicals in fatty livers.
- High blood pressure: Green tea helps keep your blood pressure down by repressing angiotensin, which leads to high blood pressure.
- Food poisoning: Catechin found in green tea can kill bacteria which causes food poisoning and kills the toxins produced by those bacteria. Green tea is considered a mild antiseptic.
- Blood sugar: Blood sugar tends to increase with age, but polyphenols and polysaccharides in green tea help lower your blood sugar level.
- Asthma: Theophylline in green tea can relax the muscles which support the bronchial tubes, reducing the severity of asthma.
- Tooth decay: Green tea destroys bacteria and viruses that cause many dental diseases. It also slows the growth of bacteria which leads to bad breath. Again, green tea is considered a mild antiseptic.
- Allergies: EGCG found in green tea can relieve some allergies.
So who's ready for some green tea? Please let us know what you think, or send us some questions.