The Chinese and Japanese have been enjoying the health benefits of green tea for thousands of years. Not only is it bright and refreshing but it’s also low in caffeine. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and high in vitamins C, E and fluoride. Research has shown that drinking green tea can boost the immune system, reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and also offer protection against tooth decay.
Although green tea is primarily produced in China, Japan and Taiwan, today green tea is now grown and produced in many other parts of the world, even some of the traditionally black tea producing countries. Although we have a great selection of traditional and flavoured green teas we are always looking for an Australian product where we can. Currently we source a lovely green tea from the country regions of Victoria which is processed in much the same way as a traditional Japanese Sencha. It has a lovely aroma and flavour and it’s great to be able to offer such a good quality locally produced product.
As with black teas green teas too vary in strength, flavour and aroma. Growing conditions and processing can really set them apart so you may need to try several different varieties to determine which region you prefer. Chinese green teas tend to be softer on the palate, whereas the Australian Sencha is more a mild to medium strength and our Japanese teas generally being the strongest, with the exception of Bancha.
Chinese green tea is often used as the base ingredient for flavoured green teas because it’s generally milder and complements the flavours added rather than overpowering them. The good news is that the health benefits are still the same in a flavoured tea as they are in a traditional green tea so both can be enjoyed for their health benefits equally.
Whether it be a traditional or flavoured green tea the trick is not to over-brew it. Brewing it for too long or using water that has just boiled will often result in a bitter tasting green tea that is not enjoyable. Many people make this mistake and are often turned off by the result. But when made properly green tea is truly a lovely and refreshing beverage which can be enjoyed any time of the day. Here are some tips on how to make the best cuppa!
- Brewing Filtered water is preferred but not essential.
- Water used should be below boiling point at about 80 degrees C. If you don’t have a temperature controlled kettle then turn your kettle off before it reaches boiling point and allow to sit for a minute before pouring. Alternatively, if your water has boiled then allow it to sit for about 2 minutes before pouring over your leaves and it also helps to pour some cold water over the leaves first as well. With some finer green teas, the water can be as low as 70 degrees C. If the water is too hot it actually burns the leaves and produces a bitter tasting brew.
- Generally Green tea should be infused for approximately 2-3 minutes. The finer leaf varieties infuse between 1-2 minutes and the larger leaf 2 -3 minutes.
- All green leaf teas can be used more than once and some very high grades can withstand a number of infusions if used in the same day.
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