I love green tea for its taste and health benefits, and look forward to the ritual of brewing and sipping a cuppa green tea every morning! It is my favorite was to begin my day. Last week I notice that I was nearly out of my favorite Green Tea by Mariage Freres! They are a wonderful tea company with beautiful shops, a tea drinkers heaven, in France and were founded in 1854. If you don’t happen to be going to France anytime soon, you can get it at Clementine’s Kitchen who will be happy to ship it to you. www.clementineskitchen.com
465 Canyon Del Rey Blvd Del Rey Oaks, CA 93940-5705
In the meantime, I really needed a day from out behind my computer and kitchen! So, I decided to galavant off to a local tea shop and had no idea the education and pampering I had in store! The very nice and knowledgable shop keeper invited me to sit at a table and she proceeded to teach me all about tea-from the leaves to the brewing and cultural influence-apparently, going out for tea in Asia is similar to going for cocktails or coffee in America; and most business is done over tea! I love the mental visual of Asian business men all sipping tea and negotiating!
For the next hour we had so much fun sipping several green teas and deciding which were my favorite-I liked the Green Oolong. I got to pull out the leaves and lay them flat on the wooden table–now that was so much fun-never aloud in my parent’s house!! That was worth the price of admission-which was free!
Prior to this little tea party, I thought I was so well versed in how to brew a proper cup of tea (cuppa as the English say), and I am half English! To my surprise, I was aware that I should rinse the leaves first. Ah, a new step to add to my morning ritual that will bring me back to the lovely memory created at this tea shop, Tea River located at 481 N. Santa Cruz Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030 I encourage you to go and have your own memorable experience!
Health Benefits/Story of Tea
Green Tea contains more than 300 nutrients and antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help prevent cancer, control internal bleeding, keep the heart healthy, reduce cholesterol, regulate body temperature and body sugar, help digestion, improve urinary problems, brain function, heal wounds/skin damage, and much more! Incidentally, for all you coffee lovers who must have your cup of “Joe”, coffee has the opposite effect on the body of most of the health benefits of green tea. So, try integrating some green tea into your life. You won’t feel the jolt experienced with coffee, but you will feel vibrant and energized while being relaxed-what a concept.
Growing tea leaves is closely linked to Chinese and Japanese culture. It started in the past more than 4,800 years ago, and still continues on today. Green tea is a kind of unfermented tea, whereas Green Oolong tea is a semi-fermented tea known for its reach taste and lingering pleasant aftertaste. Green Oolong tea not only has the faint scent of Green Tea, but also has the full-bodied flavor of Black tea. Green Oolong tea combines the best qualities of green tea and black tea. Match is the green tea leaves that have been pulverized/ground into a powder.
All teas (green, black, and oolong) are derived from the same plant,Camelliasinensis. The difference is in how the plucked leaves are prepared. The leaves of the tea plant are used both as a social and medicinal beverage. Green tea,
unlike black and oolong tea, is not fermented, so the active constituents remain unaltered in the herb.
Regarding caffeine: The amount of caffeine (in combination with its
naturally occurring theanine) in green tea yields no more than would be considered a
mellow alertness (not like the coffee buzz and crash!).
Organic is often grown high in the mountains surrounded with fog, a source of humidity. This height and fresh, crisp air enables the tea leaves to grow and enjoy the favorable conditions of the mountain environment. Look for USDA and OCIA International certifications on organic tea.
Green Tea (powdered extract from leaf)
Concentration: 98% polyphenols, „75% Catechins, „45% EGCG
Polyphenols are protective phytonutrients of which Catechins are one
type. Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG is one type of the numerous Catechins.
The function of these are:
EGCG (Polyphenol Catechin) is a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to
be significantly more potent than other standard antioxidants such as vitamins
C and E.
Helps promote antioxidant health by neutralizing the harmful effects of
oxidative stress caused by free radicals, encountered in the normal course of
metabolism and from the environment
Supports healthy cell & tissue growth
Protects cells and tissues from damage associated with aging
Supports healthy tissue growth and cardiovascular health by acting as an
anti-mutagen, and anti-inflammatory
Olong and Pu-erh need to be rinsed to wash off any dust etc..- Place the tea leaves into a pot with a strainer, pour boiling water over the leaves and drain, discard water. Follow the following times and tempuratures according to the type of tea. Use 1-2 Tablespoons of green tea to 16 ounces(2cups) of spring/filtered water. The longer the tea is brewed the stonger it gets, and if over brewed it will be bitter. Tea leaves may be used multiple times, just add 30 seconds more for each time you use them.
Japanese Green 170 degrees, steep 1-3 minutes
Chinese Green 160-190 degrees, steep 1-3 minutes
Oolong 205-212 degrees, steep 2-3 minutes
Pu-erh 212 degrees, steep 2-5 minutes
White 195 degrees, steep 2-3 minutes
Black 212 degrees, steep 2-4 minutes
Herbals and Rooiboos are not tea leaves, rather tesans, 212 degrees, steep 3-5 minutes
Heat water to proper temperature(very important). Pour over leaves. Do not add leaves to the top of the water because the leaves will not fully open. Steep according to times above and your own taste. Strain, save leaves for another cup! Sip, relax and ENJOY! Go out and try an array of green tea and find your own favorites. I love green tea infused with fruit, citrus and flowers too! Cheers!:)
Be Well, Lauren