It seems like these days ‘going green’ is IN. I’m not talking about just saving on your energy costs, but about boosting your energy every day among many other things. Go Green with your tea, but DO IT CORRECTLY! You don’t have to ‘tolerate’ bad tea for the health benefits. FIRST; a few key benefits to green tea, then we will get into the ‘need to knows’ of making green tea properly:
1. Loaded with Antioxidants – Green tea is full of polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins… all fancy talk for stuff that helps get rid of the junk in your body!
2. Increased brain activity – Caffeine! if you see ‘decaf’ green tea – it isn’t natural. Caffeine in the dosage found in green tea increases brain function without the jitters of coffee or the crash. The caffeine along with many other nutrients are a perfect combination for lasting energy throughout the morning!
3. Reduced anxiety – Green tea has plenty of L-theanine which increases the activity of the ‘GABA’ part of the brain. The increased activity of the GABA helps to fight off unnecessary ‘overstimulation’ by slowing down the signal between the neurons in your brain. Caffeine and L-theanine combined is the perfect brain booster – it gives you energy and efficiency without the extremes of jitters, crashes, and anxiety.
4. Increased Fat Burning! – Green tea has been proven to boost your body’s metabolic rate by up to 17%, it also boosts physical performance by up to 11%. No wonder the supplement companies are using green tea for so many slim pills and such.
5. Reduced risks – Green tea reduces the risk of various things like: Type 2 Diabetes, Cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinson’s, Reduced risk of infection, and green tea reduces the risk of Heart Disease – which is the biggest killer in the United States.
There are three factors that must be addressed when making tea. Temperature, Time, Tea – The three T’s of tea.
Temperature – Green tea is supposed to be steeped at 180-185 degrees. This is much cooler than a boil. 32 degrees makes a huge difference in your day, it changes the season outside, it’s no different with your tea. Green tea – made at a boil is like a tropical plant in the midwest winter – it won’t make it! Green tea it delicate and will render the bitter oils when it’s ‘cooked’ at a boil. Bring your temperature down for the best results.
Suggestions for bringing the temp down – We have found 2 ounces of cold tap water mixed with 6 ounces of near boiling water will equate to about 180 degrees. Another way to do this is to dissolve one ice-cube in 7 ounces of boiled water and it will bring the temp down to about 180 as well. Lastly, if you have a Keurig, check the menu for it’s brewing temperature and select a temp as close to 185 as you can get.
Time – Green tea is a 3 minute steep – Simple right! Set a timer, 3 minutes is faster than you think. Quality tea can be re-steeped 2-3 times so take care of your tea and get the most out of it. Over-steeping your tea can result in similar losses of quality as overcooking it, or overcooking anything. Over-steeped tea is bitter, leaves a dry texture in your mouth and is far from refreshing. Most people don’t like green tea because the fatal flaw of too long of a steeping time, or too hot of water yield less than desirable results. Remember, making tea is a craft – it takes practice and attention to detail. The strength of your tea is based on how much tea you use, nothing else. Keep the foundation of temp and time the same.
Tea – If I went to an expensive coffee shop and they pulled out a can of pre-ground Folgers, I’d be out of there quicker than a toupee in a tornado! Quality makes all the difference. High quality green tea requires proper care and storage. UV lights slowly oxidize green tea, reducing its quality and eventually turning it into black tea believe it or not. Air flow is also detrimental to tea. This is why we store our teas in tea tins for quality assurance. If your experience with tea is a store bought bag – there’s your sign. It’s low grade, after all, it was low cost too.
Portion it correctly as well. Tea must be used in the right ratio – 1 teaspoon of green tea is good for an 8 ounce cup of tea. If you want to be really specific – weigh it. 3 grams is the perfect measurement for a cup of tea. If you want stronger or weaker tea; adjust your volume of tea, not your temp or steeping time.
There you have it. Green tea, when brewed correctly, is amazing! It’s good for you, it’ll make you feel good and you will feel like a true artist when you get it right. now GO GREEN and enjoy your life!