Over the past few decades, green tea has emerged as one of the most popular beverages consumed by the masses, especially in the western parts of the globe. However, this light hot drink has been around in most Asian countries, especially China and Japan for thousands of years. The tea, which is known for its smooth taste and numerous health benefits, can in fact be enjoyed in different flavors without diminishing the benefits it offers in any manner.
Sadly, a majority of people start consuming green tea without fully understanding the various health benefits it offers. Many green-tea lovers are actually unaware of the fact that this light and refreshing beverage can help to keep some serious ailments at bay and has been used as an effective medicine in several Asian cultures for generations. Discussed below are some lesser known aspects about green tea that will help the lovers of this beverage appreciate its benefits in a better manner.
One of the major reasons that make green tea so healthy is because of the way it is processed. In fact the green tea leaves are obtained from the same plants that produce black tea, but unlike the latter, green tea is not fermented. Rather these tea leaves are laid out to dry and wither after having been plucked to ensure evaporation of maximum moisture within the leaves. The leaves are then steamed or pan fried to prevent their oxidation and in the final stages they are dried again after being rolled.
Green tea has a more natural grassy flavor unlike the black tea mainly because it is in a more natural form. It can be blended with herbs and fruits to create different flavors for people to enjoy. In addition, the taste and aroma of plain green tea might also vary based on the type of plant from which it is extracted and the region of its cultivation. It is best enjoyed after only being brewed slightly to generate a pale golden color, as excessive brewing tends to turn the taste bitter.
Green tea can be enjoyed both as a hot beverage or a refreshing cold drink. For people who like hot green tea, adding a bit of a sweetner, milk or even lemon can enhance the taste of the beverage. On the other hand, a pitcher of iced green tea can provide great relief from heat and also serve as a perfect poolside drink. The caffeine content in green tea is almost half as compared to the amount present in black tea, which is also not as good a source of antioxidants as the lighter beverage.
While the health benefits offered by green tea are quite well known, there is a considerable debate going on about the right amount of beverage that should be consumed by an average individual. Some people think that having a maximum of two cups a day is just right while others feel that the maximum limit can go up to five cups per day. Still others say that pregnant women and people sensitive to caffeine should not drink more than one cup per day.