Amazing Health and Weight Loss Benefits of Green Tea
WHAT IS GREEN TEA?
Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea first originated in China, but it has become associated with many cultures throughout Asia. Green tea has recently become popular in the West where black tea has been the traditional tea. Green tea extracts have more recently been used in various beverages, dietary supplements, cosmetics and especially in weight loss. Different varieties of green tea have been created in the countries where it's grown. These varieties can differ due to varied growing conditions, horticulture, production processing, and harvesting time.
GREEN TEA RESEARCH AND HEALTH BENEFITS
There are many claims about the health benefits of green tea based on its chemical composition, in vitro studies, and animal studies. Green tea contains a variety of enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, sterols, related compounds, phytochemicals, and dietary minerals. Green Tea contains lots of antioxidants and is considered to be an antiviral agent. It aids in fighting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. Green Tea is great for cleansing the body of impurities, free radicals and toxic substances. Detoxing your body system, at least monthly, can help reduce bacteria, fight cavities and bad breath, and strengthen tooth enamel.
Green tea helps improve your digestive system and aids weight loss by boosting your metabolis, and also lowers cholesterol levels. Green Tea is also great for the skin by improving circulation, cleansing your skin of acne and improving complexion. It is also known to slow down the ageing process, and prevents wrinkles by improving your skins elasticity.
GREEN TEA HISTORY
Tea consumption has its legendary origins in China dating back more than 4,000 years, making it the oldest herbal tea known. Green tea was first brewed in 2737 BC during the reign of Emperor Shennong. A book written by Lu Yu in 600-900 AD, "Tea Classic", is considered important in green tea history.
GREEN TEA BREWING & SERVING
Steeping is the process of making a cup of tea; it is also referred to as brewing. A general guide is 2 grams of tea per 100 ml of water, or about 1 teaspoon of green tea per standard cup. With very high-quality teas like gyokuro, more than this amount of leaf is used, and the leaf is steeped multiple times for short durations. Green tea steeping time and temperature varies with different tea. The hottest steeping water temperatures are 100 degrees and the longest steeping times are 2 to 3 minutes. Traditionally, lower-quality green teas are steeped hotter and longer, whereas higher-quality teas are steeped cooler and shorter. Steeping green tea too hot or too long will result in a bitter, astringent brew, regardless of the initial quality, because it will result in the release of an excessive amount of tannins. High-quality green teas can be and usually are steeped multiple times; 2 - 3 steepings is typical. The steeping technique also plays a very important role in avoiding the tea developing an overboiled taste. The container in which the tea is steeped or teapot should also be warmed beforehand so that the tea does not immediately cool down. It is common practice for tea leaves to be left in the cup or pot and for hot water to be added as the tea is drunk until the flavor weakens.
GREEN TEA PRODUCTION
Growing, harvesting and processing... Green tea is processed and grown depending on the type of green tea desired. As a result of these methods, maximum amounts of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds are retained, affecting aroma and taste. The growing conditions can be broken down into two basic types − those grown in the sun and those grown under the shade. The green tea plants are grown in rows that are pruned to produce shoots in a regular manner, and in general are harvested three times per year.
The first flush takes place in late April to early May. The second harvest usually takes place from June through July, and the third picking takes place in late July to early August. Sometimes, there will also be a fourth harvest. It is the first flush in the spring that brings the best-quality leaves, with higher prices to match. Green tea is processed using either artisanal or modern methods. Processed green teas, known as aracha are stored under low humidity refrigeration in 30- or 60-kilogram paper bags. This aracha has yet to be refined at this stage, with a final firing taking place before blending, selection, and packaging takes place. The leaves in this state will be re-fired throughout the year as they are needed, giving the green teas a longer shelf-life and better flavor. The first flush tea of May will readily store in this fashion until the next year's harvest. After this re-drying process, each crude tea will be sifted and graded according to size. Finally, each lot will be blended according to the blend order by the tasters and packed for sale.