Green tea

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The most popular teas, whether it is to be prepared from the herbs or flowers, are made from leaves of an evergreen tree, the botanical name of camellia sinensis.

Despite the fact that it reaching a height of 9 meters in the wild, on tea plantations, the plant grows as a shrub, cut constantly and will not exceed a maximum of one meter, to encourage growth of new leaves and for the leaves to be easy to pick.


1. Overview
2. Sources of tea
3. Why is green tea so special?
4. Other benefits
5. How to choose the best type of green tea
6. How to prepare green tea

Sources of tea

Called tea plant, this plant grows only in warm climates, at altitudes ranging from sea level to 2000 meters. The best teas are those of plants grown at higher altitudes, where the leaves mature more slowly and the flavor is deeper.

Depending on the altitude, a tea plant may take between 2.5-5 years to be ready to harvest and market. Tea plants produce many leaves, a flower and a fruit similar to camellia.

However only small and young leaves are picked for tea – two leaves and bud at the top of each young shoot. Young new shoots will grow every week, but will take weeks before grow the leaves which will be used for tea. The new leaves are hand-picked.

All tea plants belong to the same species called camellia sinensis, but local growing conditions (altitude, climate, soil, etc.) varies, and the result is more distinctive locker. The way the leaves are processed, however it is very important for the development of individual characteristics of the three predominant types of green tea, black and brown.

Green tea is the least processed and provides more antioxidants called polyphenols, especially catechins, which are considered to offer the most health benefits of green tea.

Green tea is obtained by steam to pass easily through the leaves, only what they need to soften, avoiding fermentation and change their color.

After this process the leaves are spread and dried with hot air or fried in a pan larger) until they become crisp. The result is yellow-green leaves of green tea, slightly astringent flavor close to the taste of fresh leaves.

Why is green tea so special?

The secret is that green tea is rich in polyphenols called catechins, especially epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG). This is a powerful antioxidant that, besides inhibiting growth of cancer cells, it also destroy them without harming healthy tissue.

Green tea has proven effective in lowering bad cholesterol levels, while it inhibits abnormal formation of blood clots. This fact has a particular importance because thrombosis is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.

There is a strong link between the effects of green tea consumption and the French paradox. For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, while consuming a high- fat diet, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans.

Answer: French consume red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and high-fat diet. In one study, researchers found that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the number of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even if many of them are smokers.

However, why other Chinese teas don’t have the same properties as green tea? Green tea, black brown are all the same leaves from camellia sinensis plant. The secret is how green tea is processed.

Steam treatment of the green tea leaves prevents the oxidation of EGCG compounds. In contrast, black and brown tea leaves ferment, which leads to conversion of EGCG into other compounds that are not as effective in preventing and combating disease.

Other benefits

New evidence in ongoing research, stipulates that green tea is useful even for people who want to lose weight. The latest studies found that men who used a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those using caffeine.

Green tea may help treat and even prevent cavities. It can kill bacteria that cause plaque.

How to choose the best type of green tea

Some types of commercially available green tea are of poor quality. It would be advisable to avoid products that aren’t fresh and to choose known brands.

However, to know what type of green tea the best for you is enough to enjoy it. It is recommended to try a variety of teas to find the one you prefer. May you enjoy green tea plain or you discovered that you are pleasing a variety of green tea.

If you want to buy from an online tea seller or from a local store, start with a sample of green tea to convince yourself that this is the best for you. Do not be afraid to ask questions to find out which green teas on the market are best for you – most tea shops will gladly help you choose the product to meet your requirements.

How to prepare green tea

As mentioned above, people who do not like green tea have not tried even once a simple quality green tea that was prepared correctly. A common misconception is that the green tea is prepared using boiling water.

Although in general, boiled water is used for tea, in green tea’s case, this may damage property, and taste. The best green tea is obtained when the water in which it will be submerged is about 70-80 degrees Celsius.

It is important to avoid prolonged soaking in a cup of green tea, because it will become bitter taste. Some types of tea should be left in water for 20-30 seconds only while others even up to four minutes.

Because green tea brewing temperature and time vary, check the instructions printed on the package.



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