The Tea is Always Greener on the Other Side
Our western diets can get the better of us as we consume processed foods in a bid to save time. But searching for products that are beneficial and inexpensive can also be a tedious exercise. Why not look to our eastern counterparts for inspiration in looking after your wellbeing and consider sitting back and relaxing with a lovely cup of green tea.
During the 1980s as China started to open its trade doors, many people were finally introduced to the beautiful, light-tasting, and pale-coloured brews of the East. Teas like the Dragonswell variety from the West Lake area of Hang Zhou soon became a favourite of many. As other tea growing regions become more accessible to foreign importers, green tea demand dramatically increased. Then with the plethora of commentary and articles on population-based clinical studies to support the health aspects of green teas, the western world began to fully embrace these traditional, Asian brews.
While China is the leader in tea production, other Asian countries that are well known for producing exceptional green teas include Japan, Taiwan (Formosa), and Vietnam. Today, green teas are being grown and processed all over the world, even in some of the traditionally black tea producing areas of India, Sri Lanka and Africa. The Tea Centre even stocks an Australian grown green tea — a Japanese inspired Australian Sencha. As different areas can produce very different tasting teas, it is worth trying a few variations to establish what regions may match your palate.
We often hear people say they don’t like green tea because of its bitter taste, but this is usually caused by one of two things. Using boiling water will scald the leaves and cause a slight unpleasant bitterness in the brew. Instead use fresh water which has reached around 75°-80°C or allow boiled water to cool slightly. If in your workplace you only have access to an instant boiling water system, then pour a little cold water on your leaves first to serve as some protection from being scalded.
The other reason green tea may be bitter, and possibly the most common, is the leaves have been allowed to sit in the hot water for too long. Try allowing the leaves to infuse for 1 minute. Dispense your tea and throw away any excess liquid. Re-infuse the same leaves with fresh hot water to create a whole new brew. This process can be done a few times, depending on the quality of the leaves.
As most of us are aware, there have been a number of studies regarding the health benefits of green tea. Just a small sample of the overall benefits of green tea includes:
- Containing naturally occurring fluoride, which will help prevent gum disease and help with oral hygiene.
- Being a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Containing far less caffeine than your average cup of coffee.
As a naturally light and refreshing drink, green tea also makes an ideal iced beverage as we move towards the warmer months. Adding slices of fresh seasonal fruits will turn an effective thirst-quencher into something a bit more special. Alternatively, The Tea Centre stocks quite a selection of green tea blends, so the only thing you’ll need to add is a straw.