Tuesday, June 5, 2007

An Introduction To Green Tea

An Introduction To Green Tea
By Richard Romando

An ancient Chinese proverb says, ""Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one."" The Chinese have had tremendous faith in the healing properties of green tea for over 4000 years, something the world is discovering today. Green tea is made from the plant called Camellia sinensis, which is steamed to make tea.

Green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols, especially epigallocatechin gallate, which is a powerful antioxidant with DNA repairing properties. The tea helps in fighting cancer, especially cancer of the esophagus. It has been said to also cure rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, infections and even impaired immune function. New research is also proving it to lower high blood pressure by repressing angiotensin II. Rich in fluoride, it helps fight tooth decay. The action of the antioxidants in tea is more than that in over 21 fruits and vegetables, much more than garlic, spinach or even cabbage.

Many are turning to organic green teas to reduce the harmful side effects of pesticides and fertilizers. Many prefer green tea’s flavor and aroma.

When you buy tea claiming to be organic, ensure that it is certified from an internationally established institute, such as IMO. Some of these teas even have eco-friendly packaging, such as those made of natural jute fiber, handmade paper and recycled board.

To make green tea, put a kettle of water on to boil. Add one teaspoon of green tea just before it reaches the boiling point and turn off the stove. Just cover it and leave for a while. If you boil the water, the taste will be astringent. You could have it plain or add milk and sugar, or lime and milk. You could drink up to 8-10 cups of tea per day. This will help with good health and slowing the aging process. However, do be aware that for some, the caffeine in the tea could result in insomnia. Green tea can be enjoyed both hot and cold.
Tea provides detailed information on Tea, Green Tea, Herbal Tea, White Tea and more. Tea is affiliated with Benefits of Green Tea.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tea: Drinking Green Tea

Tea: Drinking Green Tea
By Jon Stout

The art of brewing and drinking green tea has been around for centuries. In fact, green tea has been used for many different tea ceremonies in China and Japan. In these countries, there are rituals that must be followed and tools that must be used in brewing tea to be served to guests.

The Japanese tea ceremony, for example, is steeped in tradition, and is still used to celebrate special occasions today. The tea traditionally used for a Japanese tea ceremony is called Macha, a powdered green tea. In Japan, emphasis is placed on the ceremony itself, rather than the taste of the tea. Today's Japanese tea ceremonies typically last about 45 minutes, but in years past a tea ceremony could last for as much as five hours. Tea masters study for years to master the flower arranging, clothing and tea making that is used in a ceremony.

During a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, guests enter, examine the tea utensils, flowers and art in the room. Then they kneel down and sit. They are served sweets, often soft cakes made of bean paste, while they watch the tea being made. The tea is made by a leaves practitioner, who has studied for years to ensure that the ritual is performed calmly and appropriately.

The utensils used for a Japanese ceremony are also very important. The utensils are passed down for generations. There are special iron kettles, bamboo water scoops, tea bowls and traditional Japanese tea cups.

In China, tea ceremonies are used to celebrate special occasions as well. However, in China, more attention is paid to the event being celebrated, along with the aroma and flavor of the tea than the ritual itself.

The most famous Chinese tea ceremony is the performed when couples are married. Early on the wedding day, the bride serves tea to her parents at their home before her groom arrives. After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds serve tea together to the groom's family.

The bride and groom kneel before the groom's family members and serve them tea as a sign of respect. During the course of the ceremony, the bride and groom receive red envelopes from the relatives containing money or jewelry as wedding gifts.

Certain symbols are extremely important in a Chinese wedding ceremony. These include the lotus seeds and dates, which symbolize children to be born early in the marriage and a sweet and happy life.

For the rest of us, however, green tea is consumed for enjoyment and health reasons. In fact, drinking green tea may be one of the simplest and best habits you can pick up to protect your health. Green tea's potent anti-oxidants have been shown to have many health benefits. Long term green tea drinking has been shown to prevent many forms of cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol. In addition, green tea has been shown to be an effective weight loss supplement and to regulate insulin naturally.

Green tea has even been shown to be an adjunct therapy for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Studies have shown chemotherapy to be more effective when patients consumed a green tea regimen along with their chemotherapy compared to patients who did not consume green tea.

To make your own green tea, you must first choose a green tea variety. This may be the most difficult task of all, because there are so many varieties of green tea available. In fact, there is a saying that in China alone there are as many varieties of green tea as there are towns.

Some of the most popular varieties of green tea include the following:

Gunpowder Tea - known for its smokiness, Gunpowder tea is a tightly rolled pearl that unfolds as it steeps to reveal a pale green brew and beautiful tea leaves.

Sencha - This is a traditional Japanese green tea that is a favorite of the Japanese people for serving to guests. It is grown in the shadow of Mt. Fuji.

If you'd like to try flavored green tea, it is often found combined with the flavors of vanilla, jasmine and mint.

To brew the perfect cup of green tea, fill your kettle with fresh cold water and place it on the stove to heat. While the water is heating, add warm tap water to your teapot and your cups, if you wish, to warm them.

When the water comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and remove the tap water from your teapot. Let the water sit for about 2 minutes to let the water cool down a little. Green tea should be brewed with water that is about 160°F, which is cooler than other teas. Add about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per cup to your teapot and pour the hot water over the leaves.

Most green tea should steep about 1-2 minutes before serving. The best green tea will give you 2-3 infusions.

Whether you choose green tea to use in a traditional ceremony, to protect your health or just because you love it, you've made a wise choice. There's certainly a reason that green tea is used in so many ceremonies and so highly revered in the Asian world. It's a natural way to celebrate an occasion that's healthy and delicious, too.
Jon Stout is Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. For more information about tea, green tea and wholesale tea go to goldenmoontea.com

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Green Tea Basics

Green Tea Basics
By Celia Namart

Green tea is becoming very popular today, although many people do not know anything about green tea it is considered to be something healthy and good, something that will improve the quality of life of the one drinking it, and it is very true.

For centuries people have been using tea as a special drink, sometimes as a ceremonial drink and sometimes used for medicinal propose, the benefits of green tea are not something that has been discovered lately but has been used and learned for many years. There are many home remedies that are associated with green tea, it is known that many people use green tea as a relief for nausea, for treating skin and teeth and many other conditions.

The advantages of green tea are mostly famous for their ability to help people on a diet, the green tea diet has had great popularity in the west, and many people know about green tea because of the marketing effort made to sell the green tea diet products, but it is much more than a diet product or any kind of medicine that is used to assist in one or another pain or condition, green tea is a gift that can be used in many ways and in fact it is still researched and examined to see if there is more it can do.

For many in the west green tea is a blessing, the few last years has seen a sharp rise in the quantity of caffeine intake in most of the western world countries, as people drink more and more caffeine their bodies are becoming more dependent on it, and they are also responding to the huge amounts of caffeine in unnatural ways, many of us know the feeling of having too much coffee, and this is exactly why the green tea is so successful in the west, to relief westerners from the ever growing need of coffee.

There is no harm in drinking green tea and you may occasionally find a person who is treating himself by a green tea diet that lasts a few weeks, it has been found that green tea contains antioxidants that help the body regenerate energy and regain its power, it is true that this does not happen overnight, but when you start drinking green tea on a regular basis you will feel healthier almost immediately, especially if you are using green tea to avoid other, less healthier beverages or even behaviors.

Green tea is something westerners are not completely used to yet, and many have not even tasted green tea in their life, but the healthy quality that the tea has together with its ever growing reputation of being good for diet and for relaxation make sure that many will discover it soon, and these people may even be surprised at this alternative to the coffee and other caffeine loaded drinks. Green tea is not the greatest drink in the world, but it can do only good, and a cup or two a day will only result in better life and wider smiles.
Celia Namart an avid traveler has collected her thoughts and ideas during her many travels around the world, back from a recent trip to Asia Celia writes about Green Tea and natural health remedies. Visit the tea site at http://greentea.advice-tips.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Green Tea vs Black Tea - Which Is Better?

Green Tea vs Black Tea - Which Is Better?
By Rose Antonio

Which tea is better - green tea or black tea? As we all know, green tea is a very powerful weapon against several illnesses. But how about black tea? Do we also get health benefits from it?

Black tea does have several health benefits but they are not nearly as wide-ranging and powerful as those of green tea.

But what makes green tea more beneficial than black tea?

The answer is "catechins"! Catechins are green tea's main ingredient containing eight times more than black tea. Catechins are, by the way, the one responsible for green tea's amazing health benefits.

Bottom line is that the more catechins a tea has, the better it is for your general health.

Unfortunately, these catechins are mostly oxidized into theaflavins and thearubigens during the manufacture of black tea.

Theaflavins and thearubigens do have some of their own health benefits, but they can’t compare with the wide-ranging effects of green tea’s catechins, particularly the powerful EGCG.

While a cup of black tea contains about 5- 10 mg of the powerful catechin EGCG, a cup of green tea contains more than eight times than amount, or 40-90 mg.

Although green and black teas came from the same plant - Camellia Sinensis, what makes them different from each other in terms of taste and health benefits is the processing method.

When making green tea, processors lightly steam or gently heat the leaves to stop the oxidation process. This processing is so minimal that green tea can be consumed the same leaves are picked.

On the other hand, tea leaves designed to become black tea are allowed to oxidize and undergo considerably more processing, including a fermentation process that produces the dark-brown and even reddish color of black tea.

But the process used to make a black tea destroys compounds called polyphenols. It is the polyphenols that are responsible for the long list of health benefits of green tea.

Despite its stronger color and flavor, black tea cannot come close to green tea as far as health benefits are concerned.

Because green tea’s processing is as little as possible, green tea retains its original polyphenols.
Rose Antonio has been a green tea drinker for many, many years. She has a special interest in alternative healing and natural remedies.

Though she has tried different types of tea from different countries, she always go back to Japanese Green Tea not only because of its taste but more so because of its amazing health benefits gathered from years and years of research and from talking to many health enthusiasts.

Rose has her own website, http://www.green-tea-secrets.com containing articles and information unleashing the power of green tea. You can also e-mail her @ info@green-tea-secrets.com

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tea: What is Green Tea?

Tea: What is Green Tea?
By Jon Stout

Green tea has been the most popular drink in Asian countries for centuries. But, in the Western world, black tea has been overwhelmingly more popular than green tea until recently. But, as we have learned more about green tea's unique taste and many health benefits, it has gained popularity all over the world.

Green tea, like black tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference between green and black tea comes from how the tea is processed. Black tea is fermented during processing; green tea is not. After the tea leaves are plucked, they are laid out to wither for about 8 to 24 hours.

This lets most of the water evaporate. Next, to prevent the oxidation (fermentation) process, the leaves are steamed or pan fried. Finally the leaves are rolled before a final drying takes place. After this final drying, the leaves, which still look green, can now be sorted, graded and packaged.

The lack of fermentation causes green tea to look, smell and taste different than black tea. It typically brews to a pale green color and has a bit of a grassy flavor and aroma. This lack of fermentation also causes green tea to have more health benefits than black tea.

The fermenting process used for black and oolong teas causes a compound called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) to be oxidized, and converts it into other compounds. EGCG is a very powerful anti-oxidant, but the compounds it converts to during fermenting are not as healthful.

This difference means that this powerful anti-oxidant is in its most natural state; the state in which it provides the most protection to the body.

EGCG, like other anti-oxidants are important to the body because they rid our bodies of free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen containing molecules that are created as a byproduct of our digestive processes. Unless they are eradicated from our bodies, free radicals damage our cells and DNA, causing aging and disease.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and other plant based foods like green tea and wine, help us get the anti-oxidants we need to stay healthy. And, EGCG is one of the best and most protective anti-oxidants found in any food.

For this reason, cultures who have traditionally consumed large amounts of green tea throughout their lives have been shown to have lower incidences of many serious illnesses including cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol. In recent years there has been much scientific research linking green tea with a longer, healthier life.

Green tea has also been shown to aid in weight loss by speeding up the metabolism and increasing the oxidation of fat cells in the body. For years it was assumed that green tea's caffeine was responsible for this ability to aid weight loss.

However, more recent research has shown that green tea is more effective at speeding weight loss than other beverages with higher caffeine contents. Researchers have concluded that it is the caffeine in green tea combined with green tea's anti-oxidants that make green tea a better weight loss supplement than other caffeinated beverages.

Green tea was first grown in China. Most of the green tea grown today is grown in China and Japan, which is also where most of the world's green tea is consumed. However, it has gained a great deal of popularity in other parts of the world, primarily because we now better understand its health benefits.

Today, nearly any tea purveyor will carry green tea in loose form. There are many green tea varieties with distinct tastes. In addition, there are many varieties of flavored green tea. These appeal to the many people who may not find plain green tea's somewhat grassy flavor to be appealing. When flavored with other fruits and herbs, green tea can take on many different flavors.

One of the most traditional green tea forms is matcha. This form of green tea is used in Japanese tea ceremonies and was the primary form of green tea in Japan for centuries. Matcha is simply green tea that has been crushed into powder form. It is then whisked into hot water to make traditional Japanese green tea. Most other parts of the world use loose tea to make green tea rather than matcha.

Today, there are many varieties of green tea. Different green teas will have slightly different tastes depending upon the region in which they are grown and how they are flavored. If you're new to drinking green tea, there are many places to buy green tea and many flavors with which to experiment.

To brew a cup of green tea, use fresh cold water. Fill your kettle and place it on the stove to heat. While the water is heating, add warm tap water to your teapot and your cups, if you wish, to warm them. When the water comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and remove the tap water from your teapot. Let the water sit for about 2 minutes.

Green tea should be brewed with water that is about 160°F, which is cooler than most other teas. Add the green tea to your teapot and pour water over the leaves. Use about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per cup. Most green tea should steep about 1-2 minutes before serving. The best green tea should give you 2-3 infusions.

There are many varieties and flavors of green tea for you to try. Buy a few different green teas in small quantities until you find the green tea that's perfect for you.
Jon Stout is Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. For more information about tea, green tea and wholesale tea go to goldenmoontea.com

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tea: How is Green Tea Different from Other Teas?

Tea: How is Green Tea Different from Other Teas?
By Jon Stout

For years, green tea was consumed almost exclusively in Asia. For centuries, green tea has been used by Chinese herbalists to treat many health maladies from menstrual difficulties to headaches. In China and Japan, most people drink green tea all day long. However, here in the Western world it has gained popularity only in the last few years. There are many ways to enjoy green tea, and many things to learn about it. There are several differences between green tea and other types of tea.

Processing - Green tea comes from the same plant as black tea, but it is processed differently. Green tea, however, is not fermented like black tea. Green tea leaves are laid out to wither for about 8 to 24 hours after plucking to allow most of the water to evaporate. Next, to prevent the oxidation (fermentation) process, the leaves are steamed or pan fried. Finally the leaves are rolled and then dried again, unlike black tea leaves, which are cut.

Flavor - Because green tea is in a very natural state, it tastes more plant like than black tea. Most people describe green tea as having a somewhat "grassy" taste. It is green and somewhat pale in color, and can become bitter if over brewed. Green tea can have subtleties and differences in aroma and flavor based on the variety of the tea plant and the region in which the tea is grown.

In addition, there are many flavored green teas. Green teas are blended with herbs or fruit to create a wide variety of flavors. Many people who don't enjoy the taste of plain green tea love the combination of green tea with other flavors.

Serving method - Green tea needs cooler water than any other tea for proper brewing. Water for green tea should be heated to about 160°F. It can be enjoyed with sweetener, milk or lemon if you prefer. Green tea can also be enjoyed cold. Keeping a pitcher of iced green tea in your refrigerator lets you enjoy its health benefits all day long.

Caffeine Content - Green tea contains only about half the amount of caffeine as black tea. Black tea contains about 40 mg of caffeine per serving, while green tea contains just 20. In addition, caffeine in tea has been shown to be less likely to cause jitters than other caffeinated beverages.

Health Benefits - Green tea has received a lot of attention in recent years because it has been shown in research to be very effective at preventing many diseases and even in treating some. The natural anti-oxidants in green tea make it one of the most powerful health protectors you can consume as part of your diet. Green tea may be effective in:

Reducing your risk of some forms of cancer - Many different studies have supported the finding that green tea can prevent and possibly even help treat some forms of cancer. The first interest in green tea's health benefits resulted from statistics showing that Asian cultures, where green tea is the most commonly consumed beverage, have the lowest incidences of cancer in the world.

Some studies have even shown that green tea compounds can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, slowing the progress of the disease. It appears that tea may be most effective at preventing bladder, colon, rectal, esophageal, bladder, liver, lung, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Lowering Cholesterol - Tea has been shown to be effective in lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). It appears that tea's anti-oxidants work with HDL cholesterol to help transport bad cholesterol to the liver, where it can be passed from the body. Tea also appears to inhibit the formation of abnormal blood clots, which are the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis -Tea's anti-oxidants may have the power to help prevent rheumatoid arthritis. In some studies, it has even been suggested that green tea may be able to ease symptoms of those already suffering with this disease.

Help Lose Weight - Tea's combination of catechins and caffeine appear to speed up the metabolism and may help with weight loss. In addition, it appears that using green tea as a diet supplement causes fewer instances of jitteriness and rapid heart rate than other diet supplements. It may also help regulate insulin in the body, which can be beneficial for diabetics. Many studies have shown that lifelong tea drinkers tend to weigh less and have less body fat than non tea drinkers.

Prevent Alzheimer's disease - Studies suggest that tea drinkers may also be less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Though the subject requires far more research, it has also been suggested that green tea's potent anti-oxidants may even have the power to slow down the progress of Alzheimer's disease in those already suffering.

Most people in the Western world still drink black tea over green tea. But, as you can see, there are many health reasons to make green tea a part of your regular diet. Green tea may be an important way to protect your health and prevent disease. And, it's delicious, too!
Jon Stout is Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. For more information about tea, green tea and wholesale tea go to goldenmoontea.com

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Green Tea - A Tea from the Far East

Green Tea - A Tea from the Far East
By John Gibb

Green tea is a kind of tea that has been very popular in China and Japan for centuries, and has recently seen a massive explosion in popularity in the West. Its rise is linked in many ways to that of the alternative health movement, which sees green tea as having a range of traditional healing properties and abilities to cure diseases. Although these claims have not been proven, there is documentation for belief in them that goes back over a thousand years.

Some green tea is produced outside China and Japan, but it is mostly considered to be cheap imitations of the ‘real thing’ and not worth paying attention to, with the possible exception of a few Indian teas. Most green tea drinkers still import their tea from the East, considering this to be the best tea, and some green teas have become especially famous, such as Japanese sencha, and the Chinese teas Longjing, Hou Kui, Piluochun, and many more besides. Although most supermarkets still only stock one form of generic ‘green tea’, which is usually of very poor quality, health food and herbal shops will generally have a whole range of high-quality, albeit expensive, green teas to choose from.

In Japan, green tea is used as part of a ‘tea ceremony’, a Buddhist tradition where tea is specially prepared and served to the people present. Participating in the ceremony at all requires intimate knowledge of how it works, meaning that few non-Japanese have ever done so. Tea holds an interesting place in Chinese culture, too, with making tea often being used as a means of non-verbal communication to express sentiments like “I’m sorry” or “thank you”. The mythos surrounding tea in Eastern cultures allows the Western green tea drinker to feel that they are taking part in something ancient, traditional and mysterious simply by drinking green tea, and to a certain extent they are.
John Gibb is the owner of green tea resources For more information on green tea please check out http://www.green-tea-guidance.info