Green tea boasts several health benefits. It has been widely used around the world for its benefits and is enjoyed as a post-dinner treat. It is delicious and generally sweet, but also crisp and refreshing. Drinking green tea can be invigorating and be a healthy pick-me-up. It’s important that you’re aware of a few important points before you go out and buy this special tea so that you’re getting the flavor and benefits that you need.
The description can be a good indicator of how the tea will taste. There’s a wide variety of green tea brands and they differ in taste and potency. A loose tea that uses the word “delicate” or “mild” as their description generally needs to be prepared in a careful and attentive way. This type will need to be prepared gently in order to extract the subtle flavor. Preparing green tea can often be taken as an art form in itself. If you are not a tea-drinker or you don’t typically drink green tea, you may be unaware of the ritual and ceremony that surround its consumption.
Japanese tea ceremonies involve matcha, which is a powdered form. These ceremonies are considered an art, developed and influenced by Zen Buddhism, with the purpose to encourage meditation and presence. You do not have to have a tea ceremony though to gain the benefits. If a tea ceremony intrigues you, you can take a leaf out of their book, and use the preparation ritual and drinking as a time to relax and stay present. You may want to purchase the loose leaf option and a teapot in order to prepare it well.
2. Keep It Fresh
Green tea does not stay fresh for very long. Typically, it can last around 6 months before it begins to oxidize. Ensure that it is stored in an air-tight container and does not remain in your cupboard for months on end.
Fresh green tea will be potent and provide you with its beneficial properties. When shopping for the perfect blend or option, ensure that you don’t buy a large quantity so you can be sure to use up the tea in a short amount of time. Some brands are manufactured in large quantities, that’s why in most green tea brands, you can find a seal of “best before” dates. Green tea is still drinkable after its recommended shelf life but it won’t taste as good and be as beneficial. If you do want to extend the tea’s shelf life, you can place it in the refrigerator. Avoid storing opened tea packages in the freezer.
Many suggest opting for the organic option. An organic tea will help you avoid any contamination with toxic chemicals or pesticides. Go for the pure strain without added sugars. Added sugars can add unnecessary calories and negate the health benefits of tea.
3. Choose The Best Type
Green tea encompasses a lot of different types of tea, and each type has different amounts of antioxidants. Some of the types you can purchase are Sencha, originating in Japan. Sencha is high in antioxidants and has a grassy flavor. It also has hints of melon and pine, balanced with a little taste of bitterness. Matcha, which was mentioned earlier, has become increasingly popular. It is made of powdered green tea leaves and can appear similar to a latte in texture when prepared. Another type is Gyokuro, which is made by removing leaves from the sunlight prior to harvest. This way of harvesting gives Gyokuro a fuller taste, as there has been less photosynthesis.
4. Leaf Processing Methods
Depending on your preference, you can opt for loose-leaf or whole-leaf tea to receive its full benefits and taste. The loose or whole leaf is a more natural form of green tea compared to commercialized tea bags. The loose-leaf type is prepared from young tea leaves, which provide the full spectrum of benefits. Loose leaf tea is generally cheaper, as there is less packaging. It may require some more prep time compared to a tea bag so it depends if you have the time and resources to prepare loose tea regularly.
Hailing from East Asia, green tea is very much enjoyed globally. Due to its beneficial properties, it has become a favorite beverage, and for this reason, it can be hard to determine what is a good green tea and what is not. Its oversaturation in the market has meant that you might be a tad confused as to what green tea to purchase. The four pointers above should help guide you and clarify what kind of green tea is best to purchase for yourself