Green tea is an extraordinary drink. Originating from China, green tea has now become a popular health beverage throughout the world (1). It is not only good for health when used as a beverage, but is also very beneficial when used in skincare and beauty products.
Green tea has numerous beneficial properties. It contains various enzymes and amino acids and is enriched with carbohydrates and lipids. Green tea is also infused with sterols, polyphenols, carotenoids, tocopherols and more. Caffeine and related compounds are also a part of green tea. It has a very bitter taste and this taste is intensified if the tea is not prepared properly. But with regular practice, this bitterness can be reduced.
Types of Green Tea:
For getting the best taste and goodness of real green tea you must try to buy it from Chinese tea shops. The Chinese always have the best green tea recipes!There are many expensive ones available:
- Dragon well or Lung ching: It is one of the costliest green teas. It is bright green in color and is produced in very little quantity and hence the prices are very high (2).
- Sencha: If you want a sweeter green tea consider getting Sencha which is a sweet green tea (3) and is cheaper than dragon well. It is easily available at the stores than dragon well and other expensive green teas.
- Bancha: It is a cheaper version of Sencha and is also less flavoured
- Matcha: It is one of the sweetest green teas available. It is the tea used in traditional ceremonies in Japan (4). It is expensive and many consider it the king of green teas.
- Gyokuro: The leaves of this green tea are shade grown and have rich flavor but are low in astringency. It is one of Japan’s most expensive tea.
- Genmaicha: It is one of the most popular teas in Japan and has a mix of roasted rice and either sancha or bancha tea.
- Hojicha: This tea is made from finished tea leaves roasted for a few minutes and is ideal for meals (5).
Benefits Of Green Tea:
1. Heals Ear Infection:
Do you know green tea helps to reduce ear infection? Use a cotton ear bud dipped in green tea to cleanse the ears to help stop infection (6).
2. Relieves Stress and Anxiety:
Green tea has amino acids which help to relieve stress as well as anxiety (7). A perfect beverage to soothe your troubled mind!
3. Stops Virus From Spreading:
Japanese scientists have discovered that egcg in green tea can help stop HIV virus from clinging on to the healthy cells and helps to stop the virus from spreading (8).
4. Lowers Risk of Parkinson’s Disease:
Green tea helps to prevent brain cells from damage which may lead to Parkinson’s disease (9).
5. Controls Blood Pressure Levels:
Green tea can help keep your blood pressure low by reducing angiotensin which leads to high blood pressure (10).
6. Strengthens Immune System:
Green tea is good for making your immunity strong. The polyphenols and flavonoids in the tea help to keep the immune system strong (11). This leads to better ability to fight against diseases.
7. Boosts Resistance:
Also green tea helps to keeps you safe from cold and flu (12) by providing vitamin C which helps boost resistance.
8. Lowers Risk of Food Poisoning:
Green tea is effective in reducing the risk of food poisoning; also it helps to reduce chances of kidney failure and other kidney diseases (13).
9. Maintains Bone Density:
If you drink green tea every day, the healthy fluoride in it will help keep your bone density from decaying (14).
10. Lowers Obesity Risk and Cholesterol Levels:
Green tea is really effective in preventing obesity by hindering the movement of glucose to the fat cells. Also green tea helps lower cholesterol levels and increase the amount of good cholesterol (15).
11. Adds Glow to the Skin:
Green tea is great for keeping your skin youthful and also helping you live longer (16).
12. Lowers Risk of Cancer:
Green tea reduces risk of cancer with its high antioxidant amount. the antioxidants in green tea helps the body to protect cell damage which is believed to be linked to cancer (17).
13. Lowers Blood Pressure:
Green tea is great for heart diseases as it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol (18).
14. Good Slimming Solution:
Green tea is helpful for those who are trying to lose weight. It helps to boost energy so that you may exercise longer and achieve greater results while slimming (19)
How To Prepare Green Tea With Leaves:
Green tea preparation is different than that of average black tea that we make at home. It requires some simple steps. While making green tea, do keep in mind that if the tea leaves are steeped into water that’s over 90°c they will become bitter. So keep in mind to steep it into water that’s not as hot.
So what you will need:
- Green tea leaves – the basic quantity would be 1 teaspoon for 1 cup of green tea – some may also use green tea pearls
- A tea strainer(washed and dried)- this step is necessary if you use this strainer to make regular black tea
- A cup
- A stainless steel pot
Take one teaspoon of green tea leaves. Even if you decide to make it for the whole family, keep in mind that you take a teaspoon of tea leaves for each cup.
Now take the tea leaves in a strainer/sieve and keep aside.
Now take a stainless steel pot/pan and boil adequate water. If you want use a glass bowl instead. The ideal temperature for green tea is 80 ͦc to 85°c so keep an eye on the water to make sure it’s not boiling. We need to take water near to the boiling point but not boiling. If accidentally it starts boiling, just switch off the gas/heat and let it cool a bit (for say 30 to 45 seconds) and then it should be ready for use.
Now place the cup/mug in which you want to make the tea. Take the sieve/ strainer and place it over the cup or mug.
Now we need to pour the hot water into the cup and let the tea steep for 3 minutes max. This is the step where we need to be very careful. Not everyone likes their drink strong and to see whether the tea is just right, keep a spoon handy and drink a spoonful of tea every 30/45 seconds to find out if the flavor is right.
Now take out the sieve once you are sure of the taste (or it’s passed 3 minutes) and keep it aside. Add some sugar( ½ teaspoon ) or if you want a healthy choice, add some honey (1 teaspoon).
Stir the sugar/honey in and let the drink cool a few seconds and enjoy your cup of green tea.
[ Read: Green Tea For Face ]
How To Make Green Tea With Powder:
Some may make the Tea using green tea powder which is available readily in the market. So here’s an easy way to make it using green tea powder.
You will need:
- Green tea powder – 1 and ½ teaspoon,
- Water – 1 cup,
- Sugar – 1 teaspoon
- If you are on a diet then use 1 teaspoon of honey as substitute to sugar
Take cup water in a stainless steel bowl or glass bowl and heat it. Remember green tea turns bitter when it is over heated so just keep a check on the temperature. Use a kitchen thermometer to see if it’s around 85°c.
Switch off the heat once it reaches boiling point. Now let it cool for a few seconds
Add the green tea powder to the water. The ideal time to soak is about 3 minutes but you may take a sip after 1 ½ minutes to check if the flavor is strong enough.
After 3 minutes, the colour should have changed to brown. Strain the tea powder using a strainer.
Add the sugar or honey to the tea and pour into the cup. You may also add a pinch of cardamom powder for an added taste.
For getting the best cup of green tea remember:
- There are many variants available in the markets. Try different variants and choose the best one.
- Always use good quality leaves/ powder to get the best taste.
- Never add the powder to boiling water as we usually do for our normal black tea.
- Always add the powder to water that is hot but not boiling. The ideal temperature is 80-85 °c for making the best cup of tea.
- Add honey to the tea if you drink 3 to 4 glasses of it each day. This will reduce the amount of sugar you consume each day.
Green tea has many benefits. So if we use it as a daily drink along with healthy food and lifestyle, you will start seeing the results within a couple of weeks. Stay fit, stay healthy!
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