Steep, Sip, and Soothe Your Soul with Cured Leaves Tea Co Green Tea!
Last month, we published our guide to black tea, one of the most popular and consumed types of tea in the world. This month, we’re turning our attention to green tea, the second most popular tea in the world. In the U.S. alone, green tea makes up about 15 percent of all tea consumed, second only to black tea. Originating in China about 4,000 years ago, this healthy beverage delivers a grassy, vegetal flavor along with a powerful antioxidant boost.
Let’s take a closer look at all the different types of green tea, its health benefits, and a few ways you can prepare it for a delicious, refreshing, and rejuvenating beverage.
What Is Green Tea?
Like black tea, green tea comes from the C. sinensis var. sinensis. The key difference is how it is processed after harvesting. Unlike black tea, which is left to oxidize after harvesting, green tea leaves are quickly steamed, fired, or pan-fried. This prevents oxidation and allows the leaves to retain their fresh green color and delicate flavor. The best green teas are made using only unopened tea buds and younger leaves, while lower grades often include older leaves.
Where Does Green Tea Come From?
Green tea originated in China in approximately 2737 BCE when the Chinese emperor Shen Nung discovered the beverage after leaves from a wild tea plant accidentally blew into a pot of boiling water he was drinking. It was first introduced in Japan during the Nara period (8th century AD) by Buddhist monks who traveled to China. Matcha green tea, where the leaves are dehydrated and pulverized into a powder, was eventually adopted in the Japanese tea ceremony tradition. And although green tea was introduced to the West during colonial times, green tea was not widely popular there until the early 20th century.
Green tea production in Africa dates back to the late 19th century when British settlers introduced it. In the 1980s, green tea gained global popularity as a healthier choice. Today, Africa is renowned for exceptional green teas, celebrated for their unique flavors and eco-friendly cultivation practices.
What Are the Different Types of Green Tea?
Just like black tea, there are many delicious varieties of green tea to explore. Sencha is the most popular and common type, with its grassy, slightly bitter taste. Matcha (not to be confused with the South American tea Mate) is a high-quality green tea powder that is whisked into hot water instead of steeped, yielding a frothy green drink (matcha latte anyone?).
The popular jasmine green tea is scented with jasmine blossoms, giving it a perfumed floral aroma and sweet flavor. Other versions of scented green teas like moringa and mint are also quite common.
If fresh is your preference, gunpowder green tea is made of leaves that have been hand-rolled into tiny pellets that unfold in water, releasing a smoother, more balanced flavor. And finally, Genmaicha combines green tea with toasted rice for a delightful nutty taste.
What Are Green Tea’s Health Benefits?
When it comes to healthy drinks, green tea is a real powerhouse. Those antioxidants we mentioned? Because of the way it’s prepared, green tea has the most antioxidants of any tea. As such, studies have found that green provides a wide variety of health perks, including fighting inflammation, improving brain function, and lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer. Green tea also contains small amounts of minerals (usually trace amounts) like manganese, zinc, and selenium. While there is not enough in one cup to have an impact, research suggests consuming green tea regularly may help regulate blood sugar, aid digestion, strengthen bones, and even promote fat loss and weight management.
Lastly, the amount of caffeine in green tea is about 30-50 mg per cup, making it a milder stimulant than both black tea and coffee. While too much caffeine can be bad for you, smaller amounts often boost awareness and brain functioning.
Of course, like anything related to your health, be sure to check with your doctor about how green tea fits into your diet and lifestyle.
Ready to Try Green Tea?
It’s almost mind-blowing how many types of green tea are out there. If your curiosity is piqued, we suggest trying our variety pack that offers three distinct flavors: Green Mint Magic, Velvet Greens, and Earl Grey Green.
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