What is Green Tea?
First, we need to know better about what green tea is.
Green tea, all from the plant Camellia sinensis, can be consumed in form of green, black, or Oolong tea. However, some researchers found that the consumption of green tea has the most significant effect on human health.
You can learn more about green tea’s health benefit here, in this article.
To make green tea, the freshly harvested leaves are immediately steamed in high temperature and dried. This steam allows the leaves to maintain its green color (which contains catechins) during the rolling and drying processes.
Unlike green tea, black tea is prepared using fermented leaves. While oolong tea is prepared using partially fermented leaves.
When the leaves are fermented or not steamed immediately, their natural polyphenols (catechins) will drops and their caffeine content rises. This makes green tea have plenty amount of polyphenol (45-90%), while its caffeine content is only 0.4-10%.
Green tea can be packed in the form of dried tea leaves, powder, and tea bags. You can choose according to your preference.
Dried tea leaves
In Kawashima The Japanstore, we have an organic green tea powder from Uji City.
You can check our recommended products for green tea here!
Green Tea Varieties
When someone mentions “tea” (お茶, “ocha” in Japanese) without specifying the tea type, they mostly refer to green tea (緑茶, “ryokucha” in Japanese).
This Ryokucha is divided into various grades for differing the harvest time, the processing method, and the amount of sunlight the leaves are exposed to.
The highest grade is called Gyokuro. It is picked during the first round of harvest, and the plant is shaded from sunlight around 20 days before it is harvested. Gyokuro is less astringent with a richer flavor because it is low in catechins.
There is also Tencha, that is harvested like grokuro. But, tencha is not rolled.
Sencha is the most common and well-known variety. It is harvested also in the first round, but with whose leaves are not protected from the sun. Sencha is steamed and rolled as soon as it is harvested.
The tea harvested from the second flush of Sencha is called Bancha. Because it is harvested with more firm leaves and stems, it has lower quality than other variety. So, of course, bancha is less expensive than the rest of the variety
Can green tea help you to lose weight?
Recently, a fat-burning supplement or weight loss beverage will list green tea as their ingredient. Is green tea really helps when it comes to lose weight?
Some small number of studies shown that green tea extract intake has the potential to induce more fat oxidation (source). Consuming green tea and green tea extract are linked to increased fat burning, and more effectively during exercise.
With an adequate amount of green tea consumption and well-balanced diet, green tea might help you for losing weight.
Why should choose pesticide-free Green Tea?
Most tea plantation in Japan uses pesticides. The reason behind that is because tea plant is actually very weak to insects. Also, mass production is needed because tea has a high demand.
Using a pesticide means a tea plantation will have to do spraying for 7 to 8 times a year. Spraying time will take some hours up to 2 full days. That is a terrifying procedure that could affect the worker’s health and people who eat the harvested tea.
We are consuming green tea for our health. But if we consume the tea cultivated with pesticide, it is not good for our health.
Cultivating organic tea plant is harder and require so much time and effort, such as a large amount of weeding.
Therefore, one of the tea plantation company in Japan — Harimaen Seicha, put so much effort in producing the organic cultivation and pesticide-free green tea. Harimaen Seicha is one of few company in Japan that produce a high quality tea products with JAS certification, NOP (Natural Organic Program) Certification, and EU Organic Certification. They are certainly maintaining their product quality to deliver a healthy and safe green tea for their customers.
How to Drink Green Tea?
How to prepare green tea?
We usually use a teapot to brew a nice, delicious green tea in every sip.
Why do we use teapot? Because when the remaining drop of the first pot (first serving of tea) remains, it will become astringent and ruin the second pot's taste.
Using the teapot will help to drain the tea well. That way, the next serving will always be delicious, too.
Preparing Green Tea (for 2-3 servings):
Tea leaves: 5-6 g (about 2 tablespoons)
If you are using powder: 2 tablespoons of green tea powder
Water temperature: 60-90˚C (lower temperatures for higher grade tea)
Hot water volume: 180 cc (60 cc x 3 people)
Infusion time: about 60 seconds
1. Pour the hot water (use the water that has been boiled once) in around 60-90˚C.
2. Put the tea leaves (or green tea powder) to the teapot. Let it sit for about 60 seconds.
3. Pour the tea into tea cups and enjoy it to the last drop.
For the second pot / second serving, the water temperature should slightly increase with shorter infusion time.
Source: Harimaen Seicha's Official Website
How much green tea should you drink?
2-3 cups of green tea per day (720 to 1,200 ml), which provides a total of 180 mg polyphenol and at least 60 mg of amino acid contents, is said to be the adequate amount for green tea consumption.
If green tea is excessively consumed, it may adversely cause several health complications.
Possible Green Tea Side Effects
Those with caffeine sensitivity and a pregnant woman may want to limit their green tea consumption, because of its caffeine content. High dose of caffeine in the body may cause headaches, insomnia, diarrhea, and irritability.
Due to different needs in every individual, please consult further with your doctor to make sure your appropriate amount for green tea consumption.