Many people have heard before that Green tea is healthy, but what exactly are the health benefits of green tea?
For centuries, especially in the Chinese culture green tea has been used medicinally to help fight many conditions, such as reducing high blood pressure and even for the prevention of cancer.
In China they believe green tea can help with all sorts of other conditions such as helping treat infection, reduce swelling, a cure for bad breath, better digestion and healthy hair, you get the idea right?
Although there is no actual research to prove definitely that green tea can help fight all of these conditions, what we can say is that green tea is packed full of antioxidants and polyphenols which really means that it is a super healthy drink, that can only do your body good. Compare that to many unhealthy alternative options on the market (Cough cough……Sugary fizzy drinks)
In a healthy lifestyle green tea is the go-to drink and you can soon understand why when you see the list of the health benefits green tea has and this is where quality green tea is key! Real whole loose leaf tea and quality ceremonial grade Matcha are packed with health benefits!
Increased Brain Power
Green tea is packed with caffeine and this is said to boost brain activity and can therefore help your mood, reaction speed and even aid with memory development. Green tea contains plenty of L-Theanine (amino acid) this little beauty helps with an increase in dopamine levels and this can improve motivation, battle fatigue, reduce mood swings and aid with memory loss.
Work out fuel and fat burner
We have all been at the gym and need that little boost to our workout. Well great news the high caffeine found in green tea can improve your physical endurance by turning fatty acids into energy. Caffeine has been shown in some case studies to improve workouts by as much as 10%.
It is also thought that green tea can also be used to help aid weight loss. Studies say that the antioxidant catechin and caffeine can help burn your body fat and increase your bodies metabolic rate. The safest bet is to keep working out though as nobody has found any real hard evidence, but having a cup of green tea before and after the gym can only help.
Green tea is high in antioxidants and these are believed to help the body protect against cancer and although lots of studies say that green tea could help protect your body many other people say there is no hard evidence of this. But is has to be worth trying right?
We all feel a little sick from time to time but did you know that green tea is packed full of catechins and they are thought to protect the body from infections and viruses, no wonder the Chinese believe that green tea can prevent illness.
The catechins found in green tea are also perfect for the mouth, it can stop the growth of streptococcus mutans which could lead to plaque build-up and cavities and keep your breath smelling nice and clean. No more morning coffee breath?
A Lower Risk of Type II Diabetes
Did you know that studies in Japan found that people who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower chance and risk of developing Type II Diabetes, it is thought that green tea can help improve your bodies insulin sensitivity and keep our blood sugar levels balanced.
Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Again its all about the antioxidants that green tea is packed with, drinking green tea can help you provent from high cholesterol levels. It is believed that 31% of people who drink green tea had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Health and Beauty – Anti-Ageing
We are all spending our good earned money on fancy face creams to try and stay young looking, but could it be as simple as drinking green tea? With all the antioxidants that green tea contains and anti-inflammatories perhaps green tea could be the answer to maintaining your youthful look?
How Many cups of Green Tea Should I Drink a day?
If you are like me, then I have the kettle on every hour. Some studies say that you should have as few as two cups a day but others recommend up to five cups.
Just remember that green tea is high in caffeine and full of tannins that can affect your body’s ability to absorb iron and folic acid, so if you are pregnant or don’t need a caffeine overload you best stick to herbal teas. I like to personally drink green tea during the day and then switch to herbal or rooibos in the afternoon, as both are caffeine free and will not keep you up through the night. If you are having trouble sleeping why not read our 8 tips to combat insomnia here!
Where can I find great Green Tea?
Here is the thing! finding good green tea is like choosing a fine wine. So many things can impact the quality and taste of the tea. The first thing you should look at is the quality of the leaf and please stay away from tea dust!!! Of course tea quality will change depending on how the tea was grown, when it was picked and what part of the leaf was used.
The least processed the leaf, the better the quality, don’t worry though we have you covered at Tea and the gang HQ, we only take the best tea from the best tea estates from around the world! Shop green tea from Tea and the gang here
Is all green tea the same?
There is actually many different types of green tea on the market. Here is a list of some that you might want to try.
Jasmine Green Tea:
This green tea is often scented naturally with jasmine flower and has a beautiful floral aroma, that is a joy to drink. Tea and the gang HQ are working hard on bringing you the best Jasmine Pearls green tea so watch this space!
Sencha is a steamed green tea mainly originating from the Shizuoka provience of Japan, the tea is picked early summer and produces a rich, full bodied texture, with a clean, refreshing aroma. It is often said that Sencha has a seaweed like flavour.
The cup develops a sweet flavor reminiscent of tender steamed veggies and fresh seaweed, with a rounded finish that coats the palate at the end. Our Sencha Overture has a classic sencha flavor, perfect for fans of all things ‘green.’
The superhero of green tea! Originating from Japan, this green tea powder is thought to contain 10 times the health benefits of normal green tea. See our post here focusing on all that is great about Matcha.
Dragonwell (Longjing) is probably China’s most famous green tea, grown in Hangzhou (Zhejiang province) This green tea has a very unique shape. The pan-frying process has been perfected in China, giving the tea a lovely toasted aroma.
What green tea do we use at Tea and the gang?
We only take the best green tea from the best tea estates around the world. We have sampled thousands of cups of tea and taste tested many different green teas, making sure we always offer you the best green tea on the market.
This superior green tea draws upon thousands of years of Chinese tea making tradition to produce a pure and elegant tea. The type of tea you’d serve your master, if you had one.
How to Brew Green Tea the right way.
So you just boil the kettle and pour onto the tea bag? Wrong!!!! Green tea is much more delicate than herbal or black teas and should be treated with greater respect. The correct water temperature should be around 80 degrees C and I know what you are thinking ‘I don’t have time to measure the exact temperature’, well one amazing tip is to boil the kettle two thirds and top up with one third cold water. Or in a mug put one third of cold water and then top up two thirds with boiling hot water, then add your tea bag.
You should let the tea steep for around 3 minutes and stop the infusion process. If you are using loose leaf then 1-2 teaspoons (2.5-3 grams) of loose leaf tea per cup of water.
Gong fu brewing
The traditional Chinese style of brewing is called “Gong Fu Cha”, which can be translated to English as “highly skilled tea”
Brewing your green tea using the “Gong Fu Cha” technique requires a very small teapot such as a Gaiwan (guy wan) or Yixing (ee shing) teapot. Gaiwan literally translated means “lidded cup and is normally a porcelain or ceramic cup with a lid and saucer. The Yixing teapot is often an unglazed teapot made of a red clay that is meant to absorb the tea flavour over a long period of time, therefore it is best to have one Yixing for each type of tea that you are brewing.
The idea of using this technique is to taste many different layers of your tea. Western brewing has less leaves, brewed over a longer period of time. Gong Fu has much more leaves with a smaller amount of water but is to be brewed over a much shorter period of time of around 30-50 seconds up to 10-20 times and you can add time towards the last brews to get the most strength out to the leaves.
The Gong Fu style of drinking is a great ceremonial way of drinking tea allowing one to appreciate the many layers the tea has to offer. Why not try this with your friends and family next time you sit around the table together?
Ideas to serve your green tea
Why not add a spoonful of honey or a squeeze of lemon to your plain green tea? It’s great when you like something a little sweeter, or are feeling under the weather.
Matcha lattes are amazing! Just add some whisked heated milk to your whisked matcha power and water, this can also be great in the summer as a cold matcha latte by swapping out hot milk for cold milk and ice.
Iced tea is easy to make in the summer, so there is no excuse not to drink green tea when it is boiling hot outside. Add some lovely fruits to your cold brewed iced tea.
Green tea iced pops why not turn your favourite iced tea recipe into iced pops? Simple and easy to make.
Article written by Tea and the Gang HQ.
Feature Image Credit to: U.S. Department of Agriculture