Living in a coffee culture means many people miss out on the benefits of green tea, not to mention the many delicious varieties, which is understandable, if you’ve limited yourself to insipid tea inside a bag, attached to string.
America is practically a tea desert. Restaurants and cafes almost never offer freshly brewed loose tea. Grocers sell only a few varieties of green tea that’s invariably packaged as tea bags.
The point is that loose tea, green or otherwise, tastes better than the swill of tea bags; exceptions to this rule are rare. Maybe it’s stale, inferior tea, but a typical tea bag doesn’t deliver the same rich aromatic rich flavors as loose tea. The difference between tea bags and loose tea is comparable to the difference between instant and freshly brewed coffee.
Green tea has long been a staple in Ayurveda, mainly due to its ability to energize the mind without leaving behind the jitters of coffee. Green tea is all about balance, which is a main proponent of Ayurveda.
Scientific studies have shown that green tea likely decreases the risk of many kinds of cancer, can improve cholesterol levels, reduces inflammation in the body to lessen pain from conditions such as arthritis and may lessen the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers agree that compounds in green tea acting as antioxidants are beneficial for maintaining health, but there is no consensus concerning precisely how green tea promotes good health. Numerous studies say evidence of health benefits exist but include caveats that more research is needed.
Some of the newest research from Kyoto University in Japan indicates green tea can help prevent abdominal aortic aneurysms, a condition when this main artery becomes stretched and ruptures and leads to death 50% of the time. This study suggests green tea may help the body regenerate elastin, a protein that makes arteries more flexible.
Another recent study from Texas Tech University reports that bioactive components in green tea may benefit bone health by mitigating bone loss due to aging and osteoporosis.
My personal biases with green tea lead me to recommend my three favorite green teas – loose tea of course! Feel free to comment about your favorite green teas.
Drink jasmine tea in the morning to wake up with energy and clarity or anytime you need a gentle energy boost. More intensely aromatic and flavorful jasmine pearl tea is more suitable for when there’s time to linger with a pot of tea, while watching and enjoying the slow unfurling of the tea pearls or otherwise connecting with your inner self.
Dragonwell tea has a smooth and velvety feel on the tongue and has a slightly sweet taste, unlike many green teas, which are slightly bitter. It goes nicely with desserts.
Gunpowder tea is, like its name suggests, very harsh and strong with an acrid aroma; it’s the tea equivalent of drinking a shot of espresso. It looks like tiny pellets that burst open. It’s not recommended for drinking late in the day.