Last Updated: 14th November, 2018

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The Effects and Uses of Green Tea

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Recent studies have found that the antioxidants in green tea can prevent cancer, help fight heart disease, and even reduce your risk of developing type two diabetes. For some, this comes as no surprise, since cultures throughout Asia have been consuming green tea for thousands of years for its benefits of promoting good health throughout the body.

Health factors aren’t the only reasons for introducing green tea into your daily lifestyle. Consuming green tea can also add a therapeutic ritual into your everyday life. Even the process of steeping and enjoying green tea can be a relaxing touchstone for those looking to promote a more healthy lifestyle.

Chinese Origins of Green Tea
chinese origins of green tea
The origins of green tea date back to 2737 BC. By legend, the Emperor Shennong was resting from travel when leaves from a burning tea plant fell into his cup of hot water and steeped to delicious results. Green tea became a part of Chinese culture for its health benefits, where it is offered as a drink of respect, often carrying an interpersonal element with it to establish care between different people.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, green tea can relieve aches and pains throughout the body while also detoxing and aiding digestion. It is a staple in Chinese diets for its ability to enhance an individual’s quality of life.

>Biluochun ($5.50 per ounce): This variety has distinctive leaves that are curled up like snails when dry. This tea is known for being fruity and mellow.
  • Chun Mee (Precious Eyebrow): ($2.60 per ounce) This the among the most popular green teas outside of China. It is more sharp and full than many of the teas coming from China.
  • Gunpowder ($2.30 per ounce): This strong and slightly smoky green tea is rolled into small pellets to resemble gunpowder. This is a great affordable daily tea.
  • Huangshan Maofeng ($6.30 per ounce): This is a rare variety of wild tea that is harvested from the specific microclimate of Huangshan Mountain. It’s a sweet and mild brew that is popular among western tea drinkers.
  • Longjing (Dragonwell) ($4 per ounce): Dragonwell is considered one of China’s top teas, treasured for its sweet taste and calming properties. It is a pan-fried green tea that’s popular outside of China.
  • Xinyang Maojian ($5 per ounce): This variety has a fresh aroma and a slightly floral flavor. It has a stronger and more distinctive flavor than the average green tea, grassy, savory, and sweet all at once.
  • > oduction in Japan is more recent than its origins in China, it does still date back to the 12th century when the elite would drink the tea for its health reasons. To this day, green tea is the only tea variety commercially produced by Japan. Production of tea in Japan is heavily mechanized, using modern technology and processes. Most varieties are also produced by steaming, which is said to create a sweeter and more grassy flavor profile.

    Japanese Green Tea Varieties
    ($2.5 per ounce) Bancha is produced by roasting sencha leaves with high heat. This tea comes out brown and has a nutty flavor.
  • Sencha ($3 per ounce) Sencha is a standard Japanese green tea that brews yellowish in color and can range from mellow to very strong in flavor.
  • Kukicha ($4 per ounce) Kukicha is a blend of sencha leaves and stems. This allows for little waste in the tea harvest. Sencha and kukicha appeal to black tea drinkers, since they offer a woody, sometimes smoky flavor.
  • Hojicha ($4.60 per ounce) This variety is made with sencha and kukicha twigs. It is different from most steamed Japanese teas because it is roasted in porcelain over charcoal. It offers a toasty and nutty flavor that is more earthy than most Japanese green teas.
  • Genmaicha ($1.50 per ounce) Genmaicha is an interesting and toasty blend of grassy sencha and toasted rice puffs.
  • Kabusecha ($5.50) Kabusecha is a shaded mid-range tea, considered just a step below gyokuro in quality.
  • Gyokuro ($7.50 per ounce) This variety is at the highest grade of Japanese green tea. It is shaded before harvesting, giving it a sweet and rich flavor.
  • Tencha and Matcha ($8.60 per ounce) This variety is a high-grade shaded tea that is most often ground into a fine powder known as matcha. Matcha is the tea used in Japanese tea ceremonies, where it is whisked using a special bamboo tool with hot water in a bowl.
  • Culinary Grade Matcha ($2.60 per ounce) Culinary grade matcha often has a lower price point as it features a blend of teas from lower grade harvests. For faster production, it is often subject to high-temperature baking. It is meant for cooking or drinking with sweeteners.
  • Shincha (fluctuates with market price) This is a first flush, or in other words, a first round of harvest, young tea that is highly prized within Japan.
  • > tea range from helping individuals meet their weight loss goals to helping prevent cancer, heart disease, lowering blood pressure and diabetes. All of these studies have a correlation percentage, meaning that the green tea does not always help everybody fight these diseases. However, many people find green tea to have so few side effects that it is worth trying it out for the possible preventative and good health measures.

    Benefits of Drinking Green Tea