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The drinking of green tea has now gained much popularity in the West, especially with an increased awareness of its claims to health and weight loss benefits.
But quite apart from those claims, for those of you who are into green tea because you enjoy drinking the beverage or are looking for a green tea that you like, you will be embarking on a journey of discovery – for each type has a character of its own be it in terms of its appearance, color, flavor, aroma or even the steeping time.
The 4 main types of tea
There are 4 main types of tea namely green, black, white and oolong tea but they all derive from the same tea plant botanically known as camellia sinensis. Where they differ is in their processing and their levels of antioxidant content. Both green and white tea contain the highest level of antioxidants but only a small quantity of white tea is produced each year.
These green tea antioxidants are known as polyphenols or more precisely the catechins – the most powerful of which is the epigallocatechin gallate (egcg). You will always come across ecgc many times when you read the scientific research done on the health benefits of drinking green tea.
When tea leaves are harvested, and in order to produce green tea, they are quickly processed by steaming or roasting them lightly to stop oxidation and thus preserving the high content of polyphenols.
Black and oolong tea are processed the same way but they are allowed more oxidation so as to bring out its distinctive flavor but which at the same time would reduce its antioxidant polyphenol content. The leaves are then rolled and dried to reduce its moisture content.
Although tea originated from China, it is now grown in many other countries in Asia such as Japan, India, Ceylon, Taiwan and Korea.
Wide Spectrum of green tea products
When it comes to drinking green tea, taste is a personal thing and you will find it reiterated many times on this site. Some may like it sweet while some others prefer the flavor to be more smokey. Yet, some drinkers simply delight in the delicious bitter flavor of their green tea.
Also, green tea products come in many forms and there is a wide spectrum to choose from. I always believe that there is a green tea to suite everyone’s taste and purpose.
Most connoisseurs would strictly stick to loose leaf green tea whilst others would prefer the ease and convenience of green tea bags. Some others may like the idea of consuming the green tea leaves as a whole, the nearest of which we can get are the powdered Japanese green teas namely the powdered Sencha and the Matcha green tea.
So versatile is green tea that it now goes beyond drinking: you can now find Matcha being used in the cooking of a wide variety of delicious dishes and desserts.
For those who have an issue with caffeine, there are always decaffeinated green tea. Or, if you also happen to go organic, there are also organic green teas.
Yet, there are people who don’t like the taste of green tea at all and indeed some even find it repulsive. The good news is that there is now flavored green tea. Ranging from the good old jasmine green tea which is a type of Chinese green tea scented with jasmine flowers to those flavored with orange or raspberry to the more exotic fruits like mango and papaya. On a hot summer’s day there are not many things as refreshing as drinking one of these flavored ones as iced green tea.
Indeed, the drinking of green tea has come a long way to reflect the modern trend of ‘fusion foods’ created by mixing different culinary styles and cuisines. You are now able to find all sorts of creative green tea blends. Green tea has been blended with herbs such as ginseng and echinacea. If you are not a purist, you now have an even wider selection to satisfy your taste buds. You can even get creative by experimenting and coming up with your own winning blends.
Where to buy green tea
Although you may find it convenient to buy your tea whenever you go shopping at the grocery store or supermarket, they are not of the same quality as those that you can purchase online from merchants who specialize in nothing else but tea. This way you are more assured of the best quality and freshness of your tea.
And, what better way to obtain them from Amazon.com which is able to showcase a wide selection of green teas from reputable merchants under one roof.
If you are drinking green tea regularly, you might also like to take a look at the teapots and accessories featured on this site and which you can purchase from Amazon.
Health benefits claims of drinking green tea
The benefits of drinking green tea has been known for centuries in Asian cultures as could be gleaned from ancient texts but it is only in recent times that western science has taken an immense interest in the beverage.
Clinical studies are already abound with reports suggesting the numerous health benefits of drinking green tea. Indeed, it seems that the health benefits of drinking green tea span almost every organ of the human body.
You might already have heard or read about green tea being an aid in the prevention of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and rheumatoid arthritis, fights Alzheimer’s disease, that it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, strengthens the immune system, combats tooth decay, helps in weight loss, prevents skin damage caused by the sun and even prolongs the life span of the drinker. But, more interesting are the claims made as to its prevention against many types of cancer.
It may be noted, however, that these claims, have not met with the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for they found “no credible evidence to support qualified claims of Green Tea.”
But whatever personal interest you may have in drinking green tea, it is hoped that you will be able to gain something of value from this site, be it in the form of a great tasting tea or some information that may help you to appreciate the beverage even more.