Green tea works as an immunity booster and a natural remedy to keep illness at bay in many cases. A lot of people around the world choose this beverage as a healthier alternative to coffee. Its nutrient-packed and antioxidant-rich properties have brought green tea the title of “wellness potion”. Arguably, green tea is one of the superfoods among health-conscious people, but how much do you know about the ingredients in your cup? Here are some known and unknown facts about green tea:
Dating back to almost 5,000 years in ancient China, Emperor Shen Nung is believed to have discovered green tea in 2737 BC for therapeutic purposes. By the third century, it became a regular drink, which led to cultivation and processing. Later, the tea got popular in Japan in 1190, when a Zen priest visited china’s great Buddhist monasteries and returned to Japan with tea plant seeds and bushes. He spread the use of tea in the same way how it was consumed within the community of Buddhist monks. Later, the use of green tea and its benefits have spread worldwide from Japan.
Types and variants of green tea:
The unprocessed version of green tea tastes sweeter and less bitter than the processed ones. Even though all the green teas come from the same plant variety, not all green tea varieties taste the same. Based on how each blend is processed and the method of cultivation changes the flavour. For example, the Chinese green tea variants like gunpowder and dragonwell offer an earthy and roasted flavour due to their pan-fried processing. On the other hand, Japanese green tea has a unique sweet and seaweed-like flavour that can be achieved from the steaming process.
In India, Matcha and Sencha are the two most popular Japanese green teas. Sencha tea produces a clear yellow/green tea with a sweet astringent flavour, whereas a rich green powder form is used to prepare matcha tea to provide a light and sweet flavour. The green tea variant that is popular in India is available in teabags. When green tea is prepared with other herbs and spices, it enhances the health benefits that fight against fatigue, improves digestion, and aids metabolism.
What makes it better than other tea counterparts?
Before you sip the green tea, look for the best possible ways and consumption time to reap its optimal health benefits. According to the experts, green tea is undoubtedly loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants, but it also contains caffeine. So, consuming green tea more than thrice a day can give you sleepless nights and can drain out essential nutrients from the body.
Morning is the best possible time to drink green tea to achieve maximum benefits. Since the body’s metabolism is high at that time, it needs a quick boost to kick start your day. If you want to prolong dipping metabolism at the end of the day, you can have green tea in the evening.
How green tea is good for your brain?
Most of us know the different health benefits of green tea, but probably only a handful of people truly know how green tea benefits our brain. Find a quick breakdown in the section below –
You can retrain your brain well:As per the research conducted in Neuroscience, practising mindfulness can train your brain to be creative, present, calm, productive, less stressed, and focused. All you need in this entire process is to give full attention without any judgment.
So, if you are an avid green tea drinker, morning tea can make things easy for you to introduce mindfulness into your daily routine. Before preparing the tea, look at the leaves and smell their aroma while pouring it into hot water. Close your eyes before each sip, hold it in your mouth and feel the taste of the hot and fresh beverage as you drink it.
Improves brain function:The combination of Caffeine and L-theanine improves brain function and mental focus. It increases the alpha waves in the brain which boosts wakefulness and improves moods. Since Caffeine works as a stimulant to the nervous system, it makes you feel calmer and alert. This is the reason why you feel less jittery after a cup of tea or coffee.
Reduce the risk of developing a cognitive disease:Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are two of the most common degenerative neuro disorders. Green tea contains the powerful antioxidant L-theanine that can give protective benefits to the brain to reduce the risk of these deadly diseases.
Should you use boiling water for green tea?
When green tea is prepared carefully, it gives a smooth and refreshing taste with no bitterness at all. Here is a quick breakdown of the secret to brewing a perfect cup of your low caffeine tea –
Choose the good quality leaves:There is an art of preparing loose-leaf green tea, which you will find in the section below. However, the price may vary according to the leaf quality and flavour. Look for the tea leaves that are available loose, to get the optimum taste and quality.
Right water temperature to steep the leaves:Since green tea leaves are not oxidized like black tea leaves, it’s a complete no-no to use boiling water. Always steep your tea leaves at a certain temperature level as suggested on the packaging by the green tea manufacturers. The right temperature always draws the best flavours from your leaves.
Know the brewing duration:Different green tea variants need different brewing times. However, it is a safe bet to steep any green tea no longer than 3 minutes to ensure the tea won’t taste bitter. For Chinese green tea, steep it for 3-4 minutes at 85°C and 1-2 minutes at 70°C for Japan green tea variant.
How to make green tea taste better?
Are you looking for a refreshing healthy beverage to work into your sugar and caffeine-addicted body? Well, with a little bit of diligence, you can make your cup of green tea tasty and healthy as well. Here are a few steps to ensure you can’t get enough of it –
Buy a better-quality green tea:Buying the right quality to match your desired taste profile is necessary. As a rule of thumb, buying high-quality tea makes a huge difference. According to the research, whenever people buy cheap quality tea leaves, they don’t drink for long and waste them anyway. Why not do yourself a favour and invest in your favourite blend of green tea? Contact your local green tea supplier and look for the tea blends they are dealing with.
Check the steep time:Green tea doesn’t need long sitting time in the water. Make sure you take it out a little before you think it’s the right time to strain. Why not experiment with the steep time and find how it tastes every time?
Use a little sweetener:Green tea is a little bitter. So, if you are someone with a sweet tooth, then drop some honey or a bit of your favourite juice to create a perfect taste.
Add some ginger:Was your day too stressful to take a look at your health? Take a pause and prepare green tea adding ginger in it. While giving your mood a boost, it can give a rejuvenating effect to your health.
Add some fresh spices and herbs:Adding fresh herbs enhances the flavour of green tea. Why not try a fresh mint or whole cinnamon stick in a hot tea? Moreover, you can pinch the mint leaves in cold tea to find the taste of another dimension.
Make your ice tea:In the grocery store, you might feel tempted to buy chilled green tea, but you can make your version at home. Triple or quadruple a batch of green tea, let it cool overnight, and enjoy the chilled beverage in the morning.
Squeeze a bit of lemon juice in tea:Adding lemon to green tea works well for your body. Either you can squeeze a few drops of lemon in the tea or you can let the lemon slice float on the cup.
Now you know how to make green tea taste better and its benefits for long-term health goals. However, if you think adding green tea to your diet is going to help your health, then you are highly mistaken. Especially, don’t expect the fat-burning qualities of green tea to work if you are on a high-calorie diet. Follow a healthy and balanced diet while adding green tea and regular exercise to boost the fat-burning process.