Green Tea & Health Benefits
Processed Green Tea Leaves
Hot Beverage - Tea
Tea plant (Camellia Sinses) is classified as a herb, it is grown in many countries. The plant species from China and India (Assam) have been cultivated the most in order to yield wide variety of leaves. The plant has been exported to many other countries where it is being cultivated, according to demand.
Tea is the best known hot beverage obtained by brewing the leaves.
The popularity of tea as a commercial consumer product began around the 19th century. Before this, it's consumption was limited to areas where the plant grew naturally or was cultivated in small scale.
In ancient times the brew was consumed for its medicinal qualities, and it is still being used for that purpose. In fact, usage of tea, especially green variety, has become more widespread because of health benefits it accords.
The highest consumption is that of the black leaf for aroma and taste. The green leaf is being consumed in large quantities and the demand for it is growing day by day. The green variety is being consumed for its health benefits, many of which have come to light in the recent times.
Large quantities of processed tea is exported in packets and jars. For the bulk exports jute bags and cartons are used.
Green Tea - Hot Beverage
What is green tea?
Green leaf is the same as the black variety. Both are produced from herb Camillia sinensis. The difference arises at the processing stage. In simple words green leaf is less processed than the black leaf. The oxidation is reduced, hence beneficial chemicals and antioxidants are preserved and not destroyed.
The consumption is supposed to aid in abetting blood circulatory disease as well as cancer. Research is proving these properties to be true. Further research will bring out more facts into open, about disease fighting and prevention ability of this beverage.
Another variety that is fast gaining popularity is the organic leaf. This type is grown in the organic farms without the use of chemicals like fertilisers and pesticides. The organic variety though costly is considered more beneficial to health because of absence of harmful chemicals.
This hot beverage varies in taste, colour and aroma depending upon the place it is grown in, the soil type, climate and other micro factors. The flavor also depends upon the season it is grown in, and the process it is subjected to. One of the finest aromatic green tea comes from Darjeeling Hills situated in the Indian State of West Bengal. It is a premium variety with astounding aroma and flavor.
The health benefits of this leaf irrespective of origin are the same everywhere. Though processing may make a minor difference. Green tea is cultivated and processed in India, Japan, Korea and China besides some other Asian countries. In many countries tea ceremonies are ritualistic and are an interesting spectacle to watch. Greater quantity of green variety is consumed in Japan and China. Research has shown benefits many communities in these countries have derived from regular consumption.
Japan and China are leading exporters of this variety of the beverage. The reason being the cultivation of larger varieties and in greater quantities. Emphasis on quality production has created demands in non tea consuming countries as well.
Wagh Bakri Brand
Some of the popular green tea brands sold in many countries are as follows:
Organic India Tulsi Flavoured
- Wagh Bakri
- Chamong Premium Darjeeling
The products are available on order through the e-commerce sites as well as company sites dedicated for sale of their brands. This way the products are within the reach of people across the globe and wide variety of choice brews are available. Malls and retails stores are good source of purchase for the connoisseurs and health conscious.
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Images of Green Tea
Green Tea & Health
The beverage has become a super food thanks to what it has to offer. Health benefits of green tea includes reduction in fat or body weight. More research is going to yield better data. This will inform us as to how this beverage benefits health. It has many curative powers to fight crippling disease that afflict human body.
The brew contains antioxidants which prevent or fight cancer, heart disease, liver disease, obesity and stroke. There are many maladies that this beverage helps fight or cure which research will disclose further.
The beverage is consumed in variety of ways all over the world. It is also available as ice tea, ice cream, tablet and powdered extract. Tea tree oil is another useful product.
This is what many brand sold across the World promise about the medicinal powers of this wonder brew.
- Decreases risk of cancer
- Bad Breath Control
- Fights infections
- Weight Management
- Retards aging process
- Manages arthritis pain
- Manages cholesterol levels
- Retards onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Syndrome
- Boosts your immune system
- Reduces tooth decay
- Useful in multiple sclerosis
Beneficial Chemicals in The Leaf
The tea leaf besides delivering a wonderful hot brew also contains a large number of antioxidants. The content is ten times more than that found in many fruits and vegetables. The beneficial chemicals modify metabolism in humans such that detoxification takes place.
The green leaf is not fermented, it is steamed and withered, this preserves the good chemicals useful for human body. The poly phenols are the most useful antioxidants found in the leaf. The flavonoids belong to the positive group useful for us these are thearubigins, epicatechins, and catechins. The caffeine boosts the metabolic rate without aggravating the heart beat.
Green tea contains enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, sterols, carotenoids, tocopherols, vitamins, phytochemicals, and dietary minerals. The brew also contains caffeine which is said to boost our metabolism and hence burn more calories. This is the basis on which it is claimed to reduce weight.
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Green Tea Ice Cream Photo
Green tea contains relatively lesser amount of caffeine than coffee or black tea. In an eight ounce cup there can be about 20 mg caffeine. The amount also depends upon the variety of the leaf and the amount that is infused. Decaffeinated leaves are also available in the market.
Allergy to caffeine can result in many side effects hence vulnerable consumers should avoid this beverage even though it is one of the healthiest. The supplements contain high level of active ingredients which could not go down well with many drugs and chemicals. However such incidences are extremely rare.
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Products & Harvests of Green Tea
The green variety is grown under many conditions and processed in many ways.The first flush is plucked in February while the second flush is plucked during April. The second flush yields the best tea brew being more aromatic and of dense colour. The third runs during the monsoon while the fourth autumnal flush runs through winter months of October to December.
The partial oxidation renders the chemicals, vitamins, minerals, poly-phenol in a preserved state unlike the black variety which is completely oxidised.
The plant is grown under the Sun, or in the shade depending upon the qualities desired. Most popular gardens harvest three times a year. The bud and the upper two leaves are pruned by labourers in the gardens all over.
Common processing methods are sun drying, pan firing and charcoal firing. Oven drying, steaming and tumbling have been introduced recently.
The cured leaves are sorted according to size and then mixed by tasters to form a blend. The turning process follows to yield CTC leaves very much popular among one and all.
How is tea sold?
Tea is often sold as loose without any packing in India. But that contained in packets finds greatest consumption among large drinkers in the country. With the introduction of hygienic packaging, the convenience in handling and storage has increased.
The processed leaf is blended and sold in packets of various size and quantity. The beverage is packed in cartons made of paper and plastic pouches as well. The latter is known as poly pack and is very popular in India because of the cost factor.
All over India green tea is available in packets of 100 gm, 250 gm and 500 gm. The leaves are blended, and the cheaper blends contain a percentage of black leaf as well. The maximum quantity packed is up to one KG. The leaf is also sold in jars made of plastic for convenience it accords.
There are many companies in India that sell pure blends in these packing. The big companies also sell the blend in sophisticated hygienic bags. These are popular among the travellers and in some coffee houses.
With increase mobility and fast lifestyle among the working class, usage of leaf contained in hygienic bags is on the increase. The bags are made of special porous paper. They are dipped in hot water to make the brew. Sugar or milk is added as per the taste. One should buy the best green tea bags for that wonderful taste and added health benefits. The most popular variety is grown in Darjeeling District of West Bengal in India. Many companies blend the finest leaves of variety of green teas for dazzling aroma and taste.
- Few Pods Cardamom, Essential to masala teas imparts flavor
- Half a teaspoon powder Cinnamon, Imparts flavor and health benefits
- One Clove, Imparts flavor
- Half teaspoon Dry Ginger Powder, Imparts Flavor & Health Benefits
- Few Drops Lime Juice, Imparts Freshness & Health Benefits
- To Taste Sugar
- Spoonful Green Leaf
Green Tea Recipe
Though the green leaf is enjoyed simply steeped in mild water many prefer to add spices in the brew. The end result is a version akin to masala chai. Adding few drops of lime is said to impart flavor as well as create a synergistic effect which makes the brew healthier.
The brew is enjoyed in its simple form all over the globe. Some may prefer to add spices.
- Boil water in a pan. Add spoonful of green leaves and let the brew simmer.
- Strain the leaves.
- Add the ingredients and bring to boil again. Strain the mixture and then serve hot.
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© 2008 Uday Patel