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Understanding What Is Green Tea!

Updated on October 31, 2014

Green Tea History & Nutrition

Camellia sinensis plant with flowers
Camellia sinensis plant with flowers

By now the world is aware of the tremendous health benefits of green tea. Everyone knows that green tea is somewhat different from our regular tea in that it is less processed and so retains most of its vital ingredients which impart the health benefits. Major of the vital ingredients are antioxidants and even among the antioxidants the one known as EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate is the most important which is extremely health-giving to fight against numerous health problems like the day-to-day troubles like weight gain and more serious ones like cancer, atherosclerosis and arthritis. However, anyone rarely knows what exactly green tea is.

processing green tea
processing green tea

Well, green tea doesn’t come from any unique source. It comes from the same plant Camellia sinensis from which the usual black or brown tea comes. The difference lies in the processing. Green tea is made when the leaves of the said plant are just dried and not fermented. They are just steamed or heated, after which they are dried and then sold. On the contrary, the other types of teas are made when they undergo still more processing after this. After drying they are broken or rolled, and then they are again dried and fermented. This brings about their oxidization which in turn brings about removal of vital antioxidants.

It is because of the less processing that the green tea tastes grassy and not strongly tea-like. Any types of green tea you drink have one thing in common and it is this grassy taste. For getting most of its health benefits, green tea is not to be added with milk or sugar.

Different Varieties of Green Tea

One thing you have to remember when you go to the grocer or mall for purchasing green tea that the pack should mention its type. There are various types of green teas like Chinese green teas are of types, viz. Gunpowder, Long Jing, Pi Lo Chun, Snowy Mountain Jian, Hyson Lucky Dragon, etc. while Japanese green teas have types like Gykuro, Sencha, Bancha, Matcha, Houjicha, Kukicha, and Genmaicha. If the label on the pack has just mentioned that it is green tea, you can understand that it is of an inferior quality and therefore is to be avoided. You may get green tea in form of bags or loose tea. You will have to experiment with these different varieties and choose which satisfies your taste buds the most.

different varieties of green tea
different varieties of green tea
Brewing green tea
Brewing green tea

Regarding brewing green tea, you should remember that you should keep the water less than boiling. Green tea is a delicate matter and if you want to take its full advantage, you should not boil it. Preferably brew the tea when the water is about to boil.

To drink green tea is the best
To drink green tea is the best

Most of the studies on green tea state that it should be drunk rather than consumed in any other form. And the quantity of cups to be consumed should be preferably eight per day for an adult; but about this, you better consult your doctor and discuss with him or her.

However, it is almost unanimously agreed that green tea should be consumed for good health, whatever may be the quantity decided. Find out a variety which suits your taste and start consuming it after discussing with your doctor and live a healthy life.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Green Tea

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    • tsarnaudova profile image

      Tsvetana Kodjabasheva 5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Well, I never knew those details. Very informative hub, micko27, and I follow you now. Up and interesting.