While all tea originates from the evergreen shrub camellia sinensis, an enormous variety of teas can be made using different processing techniques to create unique aromas, tastes, shades and health effects.
Most types of tea are fermented, but green tea is steamed and then dried, which allows it to retain more of its original properties. This means that green tea is lighter in flavour, colour and taste.
Here’s the best way to make a delicious mug of green tea.
- Green tea and other teas are brewed similarly, whether bagged or loose. Be careful to use the water just before it reaches boiling point, not later.
- For great-tasting green tea, brew for less than a minute and steep only briefly.
- However, for green tea’s medicinal effects, which are attributed to polyphenols, consider steeping for a longer time to increase the concentration of polyphenols. The effects of polyphenols come from the anti-oxidants they contain. The concentration of polyphenols is also proportional to the temperature at which the tea is brewed.
- Green tea leaves really demonstrate that great things come in small packages. Smaller, looser leaves infuse more quickly relative to larger, tighter leaves, so for time efficiency small leaves are better.
- Choose loose leaf tea over tea bags, as this leads to a higher yield of polyphenols without having to continuously dunk tea bags in the tea pot.
According to a paper in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenolic antioxidants in green tea are called catechins and are 100 times more powerful as antioxidants than Vitamin C. Many studies have found a likely link between green tea and lower incidence of cancer, although this is not certain. White tea actually has more polyphenolic antioxidants than green tea, which in turn has more than black tea due to the way it’s processed. In summary, accompanied by a generally healthy lifestyle, a regular cup of green tea has its benefits.