The focus of this week's challenge is to learn how to make green tea. I know from my last survey that many of you came to the conclusion that drinking a sufficient amount of water is one of your biggest struggles when it comes to eating clean. What if you could drink a beverage that is a jack of all trades?
Green tea can help you with proper hydration, balancing your mineral levels, assisting your body with fat burning, while at the same time providing tremendous health benefits.
What is green tea?
All six big tea types – green, white, yellow, Oolong, Pu-Erh, and black tea – derive botanically from the same plant: the famous Chinese tea plant Camellia Sinensis. The fermentation degree of the leaves is one of the biggest differentiation features.
Japan is known the world over for having especially high-quality teas. After harvest, the leaves are simply rolled, dried, and finally cut and packed.
Good quality leaves have a mild, slightly sweet taste. If you are a fan of black tea, then you will probably have to adapt gradually to the new taste.
White tea vs green tea facts
The fermenting process converts specific ingredients into flavors through oxidation or enzyme reaction. Green tea is unfermented to the greatest possible extent, white tea has a fermenting degree of just around 2% and is seen as the purest when it comes to the varying processing degrees; black tea is totally fermented.
Is green tea good for you?
A comprehensive study of Fujiki et al. from 1998 documented the ages of 384 people when they were diagnosed with cancer for the first time. Those in the study drank varying quantities per day. With people who drank more than 10 cups of green tea per day, the disease occurred 8.7 years later with women and 3 years later with men (on average), compared to patients who drank less than 3 cups of the healthy infusion per day.
This plant is the best food source for catechins – an important phytonutrient. In many studies, the disease-fighting properties of catechins have been clearly proven. They can halt oxidative damage to cells and can protect against stroke and cancer.
How does it affect weight loss?
This super food can optimize the fat burning process too. A green tea detox slightly increases your metabolism and ensures that your body melts specific fat zones, like belly fat, hips and more. Asian studies have already proven that four to five cups per day can help to prevent body fat from being gained. But finding the perfect type is not easy, and I will explain why in a moment.
Does green tea have caffeine?
Yes, it does – it can contain anywhere from 15 mg of caffeine to 75 mg of caffeine, and some types even more. Compared to coffee, it is still less – one cup of coffee contains 100 – 150 mg of caffeine.
Types of green tea
Like with any other type, there exists a multitude of green tea brands. They differ in taste, infusion color, and also in the content of catechins. In the context of cancer, the Japanese types Sencha, and Matcha green teas are especially effective.
How to buy green tea
But how do you know if tea from Japan is safe with the ongoing Fukushima disaster? Where in Japan do you get radiation-free tea from?
It is said that products from the Uji region, the Kumamoto, Yame, Kagoshima, and Miyazaki prefectures have not been found to have any radiation to date. But can you trust the Japanese government and their food monitoring?
On the other hand, in Chinese green tea, high levels of cadmium, lead, and other issues have been tested and found. When opting for Chinese types, can you trust what is claimed to be organic in China?
Green teas from Australia, Korea, New Zealand, Nepal, Thailand, and even Vietnam that are cultivated with meticulous attention, using Japan-trained processing staff. Japanese practices and equipment are a safe and satisfying alternative to Japanese green teas.
First of all, it is important to research the different growing regions and only then make an informed decision. The fact is: the buying process remains a question of trust. Before purchasing it at any specialty tea shop or online shop, be sure to pay attention to the following aspects:
- Where does the green tea come from?
- Which harvest is it from? (the First harvest is the best)
- Date of packaging?
- How long has it been sitting on the shelf?
A trustworthy shop should be very obliging about the origin of their products and other specific questions. In case they are not, I'd recommend finding a new source for your beverage or gift set.
6 Steps to brew green tea
Once you've bought your superfood of the best quality, follow the brewing instructions below:
- Use a tea or electric kettle and bring water to a boil.
- For an optimal taste experience, pre-heat your teapot or cup with hot water.
- Put the leaves into a strainer, infuser or add loose into a teapot. Begin with one heaped teaspoon per cup of tea.
- Once the water has been brought to a boil, remove from heat and wait about 60 seconds before pouring it over the leaves. The water should not boil when brewing. A perfect water temperature for green tea is (170-185°F or 76-85°C). When you brew the leaves with boiling water, it will taste bitter.
- Cover the pot with a towel or cozy and let steep for about two minutes. Don't be surprised by the very light color of your beverage; green tea lacks the ferments that give black types their dark color.
- Remove the strainer or infuser once the desired flavor has been achieved.
Don't get me wrong, I still believe pure water should make up the majority of your daily liquid intake… That's why as a welcome variation, I've also published my top 24 recipes for detox water.
But if you after over 40 weeks still have trouble drinking a sufficient amount of water, maybe this superfood can help you out. Follow the easy instructions above and increase your daily hydration levels while reaping all the other advantages of green tea.
Do you brew green tea regularly? Let me know in the comment section your personal experience.