Green Tea: History, Production, Benefits and How to Prepare it
Updated: August 2nd, 2023
Green tea has been enjoyed for centuries for its abundant benefits and unique taste. Originating in China, green tea is now accessible worldwide and is consumed by millions of people every day. Let’s dive into the history, production, benefits, and preparation of green tea.
History of Green Tea
Green tea has a long and fascinating history that spans back thousands of years. The first records of green tea can be traced back to China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). However, it wasn't until the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) that the consumption of green tea became widespread. During this time, the Chinese started to cultivate tea plants in large quantities, and green tea became an essential part of Chinese culture.
The popularity of green tea continued to grow, and by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), the production and consumption of green tea had spread throughout Asia. During this time, Japanese monks introduced the cultivation of tea plants to Japan, and the Japanese began to develop their own unique green tea culture.
Green Tea: How it’s made
Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves are picked and then immediately heated to prevent oxidation. This heating process is what gives green tea its unique flavor and color.
There are two main methods of producing green tea: steaming and pan-frying. In the steaming method, the leaves are exposed to steam for a short period of time. This method is commonly used in Japan and produces a grassy, vegetal flavor.
In the pan-frying method, the leaves are heated in a pan over high heat. This method is commonly used in China and produces a nutty, toasty flavor.
Once the leaves are heated, they are then rolled, shaped, and dried. The leaves are then sorted and packaged for distribution.
Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is widely known for its numerous benefits. It contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which help to protect the body against free radicals that can cause damage to cells and DNA. Some of the other benefits of green tea include:
- Boosts brain function: Green tea contains caffeine and L-theanine, which can help to improve brain function and increase alertness.
- Promotes weight loss: Green tea has been shown to increase metabolism and promote fat burning, making it a popular choice for those looking to lose weight.
- Lowers the risk of cancer: Green tea contains catechins, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Studies have found that regular consumption of green tea can lower the risk of various types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease: Green tea has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Can improve dental hygiene: Green tea contains fluoride, which can help to prevent tooth decay and improve dental hygiene.
Preparation of Green Tea
To prepare green tea, start by heating water to around 175-180°F (80-82°C). Place one teaspoon of green tea leaves into a teapot or cup. Pour the hot water over the leaves and let steep for 1-2 minutes. For tea sachet preparation simply place sachet into your mug and pour the 175-180°F into the mug. If you only have access to boiling water, allow the water to cool for about two minutes before adding the tea or pour cold water onto the tea first then add the boiling water.
It's important not to over steep green tea, as this can cause it to become bitter. Once the tea has steeped for the desired amount of time, strain the leaves and serve.
Green tea can be enjoyed hot or cold and is often served with honey or lemon to add flavor. It can also be brewed with other herbs and spices, such as ginger or mint, to create unique and flavorful blends.
Green Tea, a beloved beverage with many health benefits
In conclusion, green tea is a beloved beverage with a rich history and numerous health benefits. Its production involves careful harvesting and preservation of the leaves, resulting in a drink rich in antioxidants. Green tea offers advantages such as improved brain function, weight loss support, reduced risk of cancer, and enhanced heart health. By preparing it correctly, you can enjoy its delicate flavors and reap its maximum benefits.
Incorporating green tea into your routine can be a simple yet impactful way to embrace tradition and prioritize wellness. So, raise your cup to the invigorating taste and remarkable benefits of green tea, and let it nourish your body and spirit.
For more on the science and health benefits of Green Tea please see the below Mount Sinai source: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/green-tea