Jan 10, 2018

Green Tea for You and Me !


The history of tea stretches back over 3,000 years. In the southwest of China, people have been consuming tea for thousands of years. People initially ate the tea leaves or simply chewed upon them for flavour and refreshment. The use of tea for drinking began soon enough, with people using tea leaves in their cooking or simply in hot water to add flavour.

Green tea on the other hand came much later. Around the 8th Century AD, tea leaves began to be steamed in order to retain their colour, reducing the oxidation process considerably. A few centuries later, the method of ‘fixing’ the colour of the tea leaves came around.

Today, there are literally countless varieties of green tea available. Although several hundred years have passed, the same method of fixing and steaming is still used to prevent the oxidation of tea leaves.




Varieties of Green Tea and their Origin

1.  Biluochun: This is a very popular tea in China and particularly loved by exporters. It gets its name from the shape of its leaves – Biluochun translates into ‘Green Snail Spring’. It was originally found in the Dongting mountain region of China near Lake Tai, lying in the Jiangsu region. This highly aromatic tea is known for its delicate appearance, fruity taste and floral aroma.

2.  Longjing: Another popular green tea flavour from China is the Longjing tea. Longjing, which literally translates as Dragon Well, is mostly grown near the Hangzhou in the Zhejiang province. It is a pan-fired tea and the best-known of its kind in China. This very gentle variety of green tea is very sweet to the taste. This variety of green tea can also be very expensive!

3.  Gyokuro: Japan is another ancient green tea producer and Gyokuro is considered to be their best green tea. The smooth, slightly aromatic tea is made with leaves that are flat and pointed. What makes it different from other teas is that it is grown in the shade rather than in the light. Gyokuro gets its name from the pale green colour of the tea infusion.

4.  Sencha: This is known as Japan’s favourite green tea and accounts for about 80% of Japan’s tea production. This tea is prepared by infusing actual tea leaves that have already been processed in the water, unlike matcha which is powdered tea. The taste of Sencha depends on the place and the climate in which it is grown. Shincha is the most popular Sencha.

5.  Maghrebi Mint Tea: Also known as the Moroccan Mint Tea, this is a type of green tea traditionally found in the Maghreb region, in the African northwest countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, etc. It is essentially a mint tea prepared with spearmint leaves and sugar. The spearmint used in the green tea has a mild aroma and gives a pungent taste and results in a clear concoction. It is an important part of the social life of Maghreb.




With the hundreds of varieties of green teas available on the market, identifying the best quality green tea becomes challenging. Knowing about the age of the leaf and the finished shape of the leaf helps to a great extent. On top of that, if you recognise the drying method, it can also help you recognise the kind of green tea you are looking for: pan-fried, steamed, roasted, semi-roasted, etc. However, there is a simpler way for green tea beginners to identify the best quality of tea quickly.




1.  Packaging: The quality of green tea can be easily determined by seeing if it is being sold in tea bags or loose. Leaves being sold loose or unpackaged are usually of higher quality than those in tea bags.

2.  Tea Company: The reputation of the place or the tea company which is selling the green tea also can be a factor in determining the quality of green tea. When a company has established a name over a course of time, it is usually smarter to go with them!

3.  Price: The price of the green tea can often hint to its quality. It’s not always true that the most expensive will be of the highest quality, but cheap, loose green tea leaves are almost always of poor quality. It is always a good idea to look around, have a general idea of the pricing and then go for the green tea that suits you best.




The main reason why green tea has become so universally and pervasively popular are its numerous health benefits. Although different varieties cater to different health needs, there are a few health benefits that are observed more than others. Green teas help with:

1.  Cancer: Green teas are loaded with antioxidants that have been shown to have a preventive effect on cancer. Multiple studies show that the risk of various types of cancers may be lowered in regular green tea drinkers.

2.  Infection: Green tea improves your general health by fighting against bacteria. This means that your body is better equipped against several types of infections, including those that cause tooth decay. This helps with improved dental health too.

3.  Mental Health: Green tea might also help in keeping your brain healthier for longer. Studies have shown that the multiple compounds found in green tea can have a protective effect on the neurons, thus helping in protection against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

4.  Obesity: Green tea helps in boosting the metabolic rate in humans and can help in burning the extra fat. Not only that, the caffeine helps improve physical health, providing further health benefits.

5.  Heart Health: Green tea might also improve your heart health by fighting against cardiovascular diseases. 




History, Health and Hype. Three very good reasons why the popularity of green tea has only been growing in the recent past!  So, why not start the New Year 2018 with a healthy cup of green tea!



Related Articles

Prev post

Next post