Are you someone who is health-conscious and wants to try out green tea? Are you curious about green tea after seeing it in ads every day? Are people around you drinking green tea, so you decided to try it out? Whatever your reason may be, we are here to help you out.
We will be covering all the basics of green tea today. Beginning from making green tea the right way, its benefits, precautions to take while preparing/drinking it.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is a traditional Chinese beverage. It is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, also known as the tea plant. It is in popular demand by health-conscious people and weight loss industries alike. Today, supermarkets that don’t have at least one shelf of green tea hardly exist.
Green tea is healthy because its processing is kept to a minimum, which helps it retain the naturally present anti-oxidants.
Everyone knows that green tea is healthy but what are its benefits? What do anti-oxidants do? We answer all your questions below.
Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
Brain Function Improvement
Caffeine in green tea blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. Blocking adenosine leads to improved neuron firing in your brain and improves your brain function as a whole.
Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine. It increases the activity of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA. GABA works to calm you down and has anti-anxiety effects on your brain.
Though these effects look like they are doing opposite things, they are affecting different neurotransmitters. Surprisingly, the overall result is alertness similar to that of drinking coffee without the jitters and restlessness.
Increases Fat Burning
Studies with green tea have shown that individuals who regularly drink green tea burn more calories than average. However, this effect may vary depending on the individual.
Remember that your diet will also affect your weight loss. If you have an unhealthy diet, only drinking green tea won’t be of any help. If you have a healthy diet, green tea will help boost the benefits you get from it.
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes happens when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or develops a resistance to it.
Drinking green tea may improve insulin sensitivity in your body. Thus, your blood sugar level will decrease more than usual with the same amount of insulin produced.
There haven’t been many studies on the effects of green tea on diabetes. Many experts agree that it is a potential effect.
There are indications that green tea helps reduce the risk of cancer. Studies indicate that green tea drinkers are less likely to develop several forms of cancer. Still, extensive research is required to confirm these effects.
Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases
Popularly known as bad cholesterol, LDL is one of the biggest reasons for heart disease. Anti-oxidants present in green tea slow down the oxidation of LDL in your body. When your body burns lesser cholesterol, it reduces the risk of contacting cardiovascular diseases.
After reading about these effects, you might not be surprised when we tell you that people who drink green tea have up to a 31% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases.
Have the benefits impressed you enough to convince you to start drinking green tea? But isn’t green tea very bitter and terrible tasting? It isn’t. Bitter green tea is a poorly made cup of green tea. In our next section, we will tell you how to make it properly.
How To Make Green Tea
When you make green tea improperly, it turns out bitter and grassy. Sometimes people steep it too much or don’t steep it for long enough. Such mistakes not only take away the taste but also the anti-oxidants of your tea, negating its benefits. Keep reading to learn the trick to a flavorful cup of tea.
With Green Tea Leaves
Put your tea leaves in a strainer. If you are making 1 cup of green tea, take one teaspoon of tea leaves, two teaspoons for 2 cups, and so on.
Put your tea leaves in a strainer and keep the strainer aside.
Heat your water, but don’t boil it. Use a kitchen thermometer to measure the temperature. The ideal water temperature for making green tea is between 80 – 85°C.
If the water begins to boil, pour it into a cooler container. You can also add some room temperature water to reduce the temperature of boiled water.
Place your strainer over the cup and pour the water through it.
Let the tea steep for 2 – 3 minutes.
Not everyone likes their green tea strong. Taste the tea every 30 – 45 seconds to check if the taste is right for you.
Put the strainer away and enjoy your tea. You can also add some honey or citrus to improve the taste.
With Green Tea Bags
Heat your water until it has reached the ideal temperature of 80 – 85°C. If you overheat it, you can leave it to cool for some time.
Place your tea bag inside the cup.
Gently pour the heated water into your cup.
Cover your cup and let the tea steep for 2 – 3 minutes.
Again, remember to keep checking its taste after intervals of 30 – 45 seconds to find your preferred flavor.
When the tea tastes just right, take out the teabag.
Add a teaspoon of honey to enhance the taste and enjoy!
Precautions To Take With Green Tea
As we previously mentioned, mistakes in making your tea can ruin everything good about it. Here are a few pointers that you should keep in mind while making tea.
If green tea is steeped in water at more than 90°C, it becomes bitter.
The suggested green tea and water ratio is 3 grams of green tea, prepared in a little less than 150 ml or 5 ounces of water.
Use filtered water when you prepare your green tea. You can also use tap water if it is good in quality. Do not use distilled water as it becomes more acidic as time passes and on boiling. Making tea in this water would leave you with a metallic aftertaste, not something you want.
Try to use strainers that are finer than standard ones. As green tea is finer than black tea, there are chances a few tea leaves could escape through a regular filter.
Green tea shouldn’t be consumed by caffeine intolerant people as it contains a small amount of caffeine.
Avoid drinking green tea on an empty stomach or immediately after a meal.
Don’t drink more than 3 cups of green tea a day.
Now we know that green tea is not just hype. It has wide-ranging benefits that help prevent many diseases. And now you know that green tea isn’t bitter! So go try out green tea and let us know about your experience.