Here at Dorset Tea it’s not just our sunshine black tea blend that we are bonkers about. We love green tea and many of the team here have been converted ever since their very first sip of our Pure Green Tea.
What we find fascinating is that black tea and green tea come from the same plant – the Camellia Sinensis. The difference comes in the production and processing. For black tea, once cut, the leaves are exposed to air, allowing them to dry and oxidize. The oxidation causes the darker colour and gives the tea its intense, bold flavour. With green tea, the leaves are cut and then either pan-fired, steamed or oven-dried in order to prevent oxidation. The leaves remain green and the taste is light and delicate.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Having undergone very little in the way of processing, green tea is said to provide a wide range of health benefits and is sometimes even referred to as ‘liquid gold’! It’s frequently used in traditional medicine across China and India. Practitioners there use it as a stimulant, a diuretic and an astringent (to control bleeding and help heal wounds). In health shops here you’ll find green tea extract alongside the usual offering of vitamins and minerals. Let’s take a closer look at how sipping a humble cup of green tea may help to boost your health.
High in Antioxidants
Green tea is packed full of antioxidants and this is the reason it can lay claim to so many health benefits. Antioxidants help boost your immune system and proactively protect cells in your body from damage and illness caused by unstable molecules (free radicals). Your body produces antioxidants naturally, but they are also found in many fruits, vegetables and other unprocessed foods such as dark chocolate, blueberries and spinach. Although more research is needed, there is a lot to suggest the antioxidant properties of green tea can have some seriously beneficial impacts on your health:
- The type of antioxidant found in green tea is thought to make people feel calmer and improve memory and attention.
- Some studies have linked green tea with a reduction in the risk of cancer due to its antioxidant nature. Free radicals can damage cellular DNA in the body, which is thought to play a role in the development of cancer. Antioxidants help to neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals, helping to keep more of the body’s cells healthy.
- The catechins (an antioxidant) in green tea are said to help to protect your brain as you age, possibly lowering the risk of dementia.
- Some research suggests the catechins in green tea can help to lower cholesterol and in turn, heart disease.
- According to the charity ‘Parkinson’s Support and Care UK, drinking green tea has been associated with reducing the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. The illness is marked by the degeneration of neurones in the brain and polyphenols (the powerful antioxidant found in green tea) have been shown to protect against neuronal loss.
Boost Brain Function
It can often be a surprise to people when they learn that green tea contains naturally occurring caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that temporarily boosts alertness and fights fatigue, and for most people, is fine to consume in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Green tea is still considered a low-caffeine drink though – it contains a lot less than black tea (typically half) and about a quarter of the amount you’ll get in a cup of coffee!
As well as caffeine, green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which can have anti-anxiety effects and aide your ability to focus. In conjunction with the stimulant from the small amount of caffeine, it’s said that together they work in bit of a paradoxical way to help to improve brain function – the tea is calming but alerting at the same time!
From our research, there are many studies that suggest further health benefits associated with drinking green tea. From helping with weight loss, to protecting against osteoporosis, benefiting oral health and fighting inflammation, it’s clear that this simple drink could leave you feeling more than just refreshed!
How to Brew and Drink Green Tea
Although it might seem simple to pop a tea bag in a mug and let it brew, we do have a couple of good tips to enjoy green tea at it’s best.
To retain the delicate flavour of green tea, it’s important not to scold it with boiling water as it can leave a bitter taste. Use water that has recently been boiled (around 80° C) and allow it to infuse for 2-3 minutes. We’d also recommend giving milk a miss – not only will it mask the gentle flavour, it’s thought that adding milk to tea decreases its antioxidant capacities!
You may also like to try adding some extra ingredients to your green tea. A squeeze of fresh lemon will give it a refreshing lift and you’ll get a double health kick from the vitamin C in the lemon. If you want to indulge your sweet tooth then honey is a lovely addition, which avoids refined sugar. Or for a spicy bite, add a few slices of fresh ginger, which also brings it’s own medicinal properties to your cuppa!
Iced Green Tea
For a gorgeous iced green tea, try our Sunshine Spritz recipe – it will take just a few minutes to prepare but will quench your thirst on a hot day and leave you feeling refreshed!
- Pop four Green Tea with Sunshine Lemon teabags in a jug or pitcher
- Cover with freshly boiled water so that is just covers the tea bags
- Allow the tea to infuse for 1-2 minutes
- Top up with chilled lemonade
- Add ice cubes and dress with freshly sliced lemons
If you’d like to try our Pure Green Tea or Green Tea & Sunshine Lemon then head over to our tea shop now. At just £2.79 for twenty bags of green tea it’s a great way to start your green tea journey.
Note: We would encourage you to do your own research or consult with your GP if you’d like to use Green Tea for particular health reasons. Green tea is a great food to include in your diet and it may have some beneficial properties but currently studies are still inconclusive.