The word ‘green’ flashes feelings of energy, refreshment and rejuvenation – and so does our friend over here – Green tea!
When leaves harvested from the Camellia sinensis plant is made to go through very less oxidation, the process yields what is called green tea. Had the same leaves been allowed to ferment further – the result would have been the regular black tea.
Tea was initially taken ‘Green’ by the Chinese. Legend has it that Tea was first brewed in 2737 BC during the reign of Emperor Shennong. Along with aroma the brew had curative properties which eventually lead to the composing of ‘Tea Classic’ by Lu Yu 760-762 CE. Green tea thus transcended from a humble drink into ‘philosophy’ in liquid form.
When the west discovered it, Tea was still ‘green’. The drink was fantastic but had very little shelf life. The process of fermenting it further – yielding black tea was thus innovated to survive long distance- travel to far off corners of the world.
But what is in it that draws so much of world attention? Tea, when taken ‘green’ – i.e. less oxidized, preserves a lot of nature’s benefits along with an aroma of the refreshing mountain air from where it started its journey. Very mild in taste it is loaded with the Polyphenol – Epigallocatechin-3- gallate (EGCG) which works wonders as a powerful antioxidant.
Numerous researches throughout the world have reiterated their faith on Green tea. Journal published by University of Maryland Medical Centre mentions green tea to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Several studies based on demographic suggest that its intake helps reduce the incidence of cancer.
L-theanine, an amino acid analogue found substantially in Green Tea has been found to reduce stress and anxiety without tranquilizing side effects. An article published in the October/November 2002 issue of Natural Health states "This amino acid may calm you in 30 minutes or less without drowsiness." According to the article, L-theanine stimulates the brain's production of alpha waves that produce a state of relaxed alertness without drowsiness.
Sourced from the National Centre of Biotechnology Information, US, it is learned that long-term consumption of tea catechins could be beneficial against high-fat diet-induced obesity and type II diabetes and could reduce the risk of coronary disease.
However even with all its potentialities it needs to be kept in mind that drinking green tea can help when it is supplemented with exercise and a healthy diet regime. Too much of anything is bad and the rule applies for green tea as well. The recommended level is approximately 5-8 small cups a day; for beyond that one tends to feel an upset stomach coupled with constipation.
While preparing, it should be remembered that Green Tea is full of catechins which are bitter in taste. When made over high temperature water, catechin extraction may increase lending the final taste to get bitter. Cooler water (less than 90 degrees C) draws out less catechins thus making the tea less bitter, light, refreshing with grassy notes.
Besides one also needs to avoid non-organic green tea for when loaded with unwanted pesticides, fungicides and chemicals , such green tea is everything but what we were searching for in the name of green tea. Only certified and trusted Organic green tea will have the ability to deliver the benefits. Nowadays you can buy Darjeeling green tea from reputed online stores.
Sure the list of goodness is long and its disciplined intake yields innumerable advantages but on a simpler note there is nothing like it when you sip in this delightful bit of nature and it works wonders to make you feel light, energetic and refreshed – ah ha! – Your calm and composed confidant Green Tea.