Green, black, white, red – the vast array of tea varieties can be dizzying. With the sudden upsurge of interest in high-quality loose-leaf teas, where does a newcomer begin? How about starting with the one plant that produces every tea in the world?
The Camellia sinensis is an evergreen native of China. It takes a variety of forms, growing 15 to 20 meters tall, with leaves ranging from smooth and shiny to fuzzy and white-haired. The plant gives rise to more than 3,000 varieties of tea worldwide, which can be roughly classified into six basic categories: white, green, oolong, black (the Chinese call these red teas), pu-erh, and flavored. Some specialists would add another category, blends. And then there are countless herbal infusions, informally referred to as “tea” but entirely unrelated to “real” tea made from Camellia sinensis leaves.
White tea is the rarest of all tea types. A specialty of Fujian province on China’s east coast, it was relatively hard to come by outside of China until recently. The name comes from the almost colorless liquor, and from the silvery hairs found on the buds of the plant. Delicate in flavor as well as color, the tea has a subtle, slightly sweet flavor and a mellow creamy or nutty quality. White tea consists of the whitish buds of the tea plant; lower quality varieties contain some leaves as well. The buds (and leaves) are naturally dried using either sun drying or steaming methods. This is the final step in the production process, as white tea is unfermented.
Green tea makes up approximately ten percent of the world’s tea. The production process, like that of white tea, starts with withering, followed by pan-frying or steaming to prevent fermentation. (The two types differ in that white tea has a higher proportion of buds to leaves.) After steaming and before drying, green tea leaves are rolled to give them the desired shape. In China, this consists of eyebrow-shaped or twisted pieces, tight balls, flat needles, or curled whole leaves. Japanese green tea leaves are shiny green blades with reddish stalks and stems. Green tea is greenish-yellow in color, with a grassy, astringent quality reminiscent of the fresh leaves. Scientific studies have shown that both green and black teas prevent cavities and gum disease, and increase the body’s antioxidant activity.
Often referred to as “the champagne of teas,” oolongs are considered to be among the finest – and therefore most expensive – teas in the world. Most oolongs hail from Taiwan; in China they are also referred to aspouchongs. Oolong tea is “semi-fermented,” meaning that it goes through a short period of oxidation (fermentation) that turns the leaves from green to red-brown. The liquor is pale yellow, with a floral, fruity quality – reminiscent of peaches – and a hint of smoke. Due to the delicacy of the flavor, connoisseurs generally prefer drinking it without milk, sugar or lemon.
Though known to most of the world as “black tea,” the Chinese call it “red tea” due to its characteristic reddish-brown color. Black tea is the most common type of tea worldwide. It has a broad range of flavors, but is typically heartier and more assertive than green or oolong teas. It is made by fully fermenting the harvested leaves (for several hours) before the heating or drying processes occur. This oxidation imparts a dark coloring and triples the caffeine.
Pu-erh (or Puer) tea is in a category all its own. Though it could simply be classified as a type of Chinese black tea, it is differentiated from other black teas by the fact that it is fermented not once, but twice. The double oxidation process is followed by a period of maturation, which is often used to develop a thin layer of mold on the leaves. The mold imparts a distinctive soil-like flavor that many people find off-putting. For this reason, pu-erh tea is often consumed for medicinal purposes rather than for pleasure – aside from being known for its strong earthy quality, it is recognized as a powerful digestive aid.
Tea easily absorbs other aromas and tastes. Thus tea drinkers the world over have long enhanced their tea with additional flavors, from flowers and oils to herbs and spices. Flavoring tea is a well-established tradition in China, where, for centuries, people have brewed tea with onions, orange peel, peach leaves, and berries. The Chinese are also known for their flower teas – popular varieties include jasmine, orchid, rose, and magnolia.
In many Arabic nations, mint (plus a generous amount of sugar) is the flavoring of choice. In India, the spicy “masala tea” is a popular beverage. It is made by boiling black tea with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black or white pepper; milk and sugar are usually added as well. Beyond herbs and spices, the flavor craze has more recently spurred manufacturers to produce tea with just about every flavor imaginable, from banana to toffee pudding.
Blends are the mutts of the tea world, possessing mixed heritages, so to speak, rather than a single lineage. Tea producers make blends by combining different types of teas, often in order to achieve flavor consistency from one season to the next. Common blends include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, and Caravan.
Herbal Infusions & Tisanes
The word “tea” is often loosely used to describe any beverage made with the leaves of a plant. But technically speaking, true “tea” is made from the Camellia sinensis – and everything else isn’t “tea” at all. Connoisseurs and tea professionals will tell you that all leaf-derived drinks other than true “tea” should be referred to as tisanes or herbal infusions.
Tisane (tee-ZAHN) is what many people think of as “herbal tea,” that is, a drink made by steeping various herbs, spices, flowers, etc. in boiling water. The term “herbal infusion” is pretty much the same thing: a drink made by steeping an herb in hot water. These herbal drinks are commonly associated with physical and mental health, and are consumed for their soothing or rejuvenating qualities. They also suit the needs of those who wish to avoid caffeine. Common herbal beverages are chamomile, peppermint, fennel, rose hip, and lemon verbena.
Article courtesy of http://www.starchefs.com/features/tea/html/types.shtml.
Pictures courtesy of http://www.teapalace.co.uk/Different-Types-of-Tea-Adifferent/
It’s already well known that the polyphenols found in fresh, green tea leaves may offer protective effects against certain cancers and play a positive role in weight management.
But did you know that drinking ample amounts of green tea might also improve your mood?
New research suggests that drinking five or more cups of green tea daily may reduce the incidence of psychological distress by 20 percent!
According to the results of the study, a significant inverse association between green tea consumption and psychological distress was observed for people who drank at least five cups of green tea per day, compared to those who drank less than one cup per day.
Why Is Combating Stress Important?
The rising incidence of stress in out modern lives is a global phenomenon. According to one poll, stress is felt by 75% of people in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany and South Korea.
Be weary of too much stress! It can negatively impact your immunity and make you more susceptible to illness, especially during cold and flu season.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control estimate that stress contributes to 80% of illnesses!
In addition to physical pain and sickness, far too many of us suffer from mental and emotional pain, as well.
That’s where the magic of green tea can help!
This delicious drink has been enjoyed for thousands of years, and you can easily incorporate green tea into your daily diet.
The morning is a wonderful time to enjoy a mug of warm green tea and practice deep breathing before beginning your day. Click here to purchase NE Hut’s Organic Green Tea and make it part of your daily routine.
What To Do When Stress Becomes Overwhelming
If you’re feeling especially stressed out and wracked by anxiety, you may find yourself more and more exhausted and struggling to loose weight.
Don’t assume it’s lack of willpower or an underactive thyroid! It could very well be adrenal fatigue.
Your adrenals – two walnut-sized organs that sit on top of your kidneys – are your “life saving” organs because they control your body’s hormones and help you survive in stressful situations.
But when the stress hormone, cortisol, becomes too high and your adrenals are constantly stressed, it sets off an autoimmune, inflammatory response in your entire body.
This can lead to a whole host of troubles, from weight gain and difficulty sleeping to foggy thinking, anxiety and low libido.
Is stress sapping your energy and burning out your adrenals? Learn how to boost your energy, nourish your adrenals and feel good again!
Here are some great resources:
- Adrenal Fatigue: Symptoms & Solutions for this Under-Reported Condition Even Your Doctor Doesn’t Know
- Want to Sleep Better? First, Reduce Your Cortisol Levels then Follow These Six Key Tips
And of course, if things get really busy, there’s always time to sip delicious green tea.
Green Tea and Caffeine
The main active ingredient of green tea in terms of both relieving and causing headaches is caffeine. Green tea contains a moderate dose of caffeine, about 8 to 36 milligrams of caffeine per 5-ounce cup. This is significantly lower than the caffeine found in a 5-ounce cup of black tea, which contains 25 to 110 milligrams. For comparison, the same size cup of drip coffee contains 106 to 164 milligrams of caffeine.
Caffeine and Analgesics
Caffeine is often paired with analgesics, such as aspirin and acetaminophen, because its presence increases their effectiveness. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a dose of caffeine helps make pain relievers 40 percent more effective. The clinic also notes that this allows patients to take less medication per dose, reducing the risk of side effects, rebound symptoms and addiction. Caffeine also helps the body absorb medications more quickly, allowing the patient to feel relief sooner. By adding caffeine and, in turn, taking less medication, the patient reduces the risk for potential side effects and reduces the risk of habitual or addictive usage. The amount of caffeine found in a 5-ounce cup of green tea is comparable to that found in commercial over-the-counter brands of aspirin-plus-caffeine pills.
Another method by which the caffeine in green tea relieves headache pain is through vasoconstriction. Just before the onset of a migraine, blood vessels in the head begin to dilate. Caffeine, on the other hand, causes blood vessels to constrict. Thus, a cup of green tea, with its moderate caffeine dosage, can stop a headache in its tracks.
Do Green Tea Extract Supplements Work, Too?
If you really don’t like green tea or if you don’t have time to brew it, you can actually get the same weight loss benefits from green tea extract supplements. A 2010 study by Oklahoma State University researchers found that both freshly brewed green tea and extract supplements provided the same body weight and BMI (body mass index) reductions.
However, the researchers also found that some other green tea health benefits came only from the freshly brewed tea and not from the supplements.
Which is why NE Hut’s Organic Green Tea uses nothing but the freshest top 2 – 3 leaves from each plant; unlike a lot of commercially available green tea products even from mega companies which use green tea dust, extracts and flavors. Purchase NE Hut’s Organic Green Tea today and drink the wholesome goodness!
Research Studies Show It Really Works
The Chinese have been drinking green tea for thousands of years. In recent years, it’s become popular all around the world and both eastern and western scientists have done a great deal of research on the health benefits of green tea, including numerous studies confirming that green tea really can help you lose weight.
For example, the 2010 Oklahoma State study mentioned above looked at obese test subjects and concluded that drinking four cups of green tea or taking two extract supplements per day for 8 weeks resulted in “significantly decreased body weight and BMI,” averaging about 5.5 pounds per person.
Looking at obese patients trying to lose weight with exercise, researchers in a 2009 Indiana study found that test subjects who took green tea catechins combined with caffeine (about equivalent to 4 cups of green tea per day) lost more weight than those who took only caffeine. And, the green tea subjects had larger reductions in their stomach fat.
In one of the most cited studies, published in a 2005 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Japanese researchers studied 38 healthy men with varying weights and BMI’s, giving half of them regular oolong tea and half of them oolong tea with added green tea catechins. After 12 weeks, all the men experienced some weight loss, but the subjects who got the green tea catechins had about double the weight loss and double the decrease in BMI and waist circumference. The green tea extracts made a big difference.
Finally, researchers working on the previously mentioned 2010 University of Connecticut study looked at fifteen prior studies that included 1,243 test subjects, and they saw “statistically significant reductions” in body weight, BMI, and waist circumference for subjects that either drank green tea or took supplements with the equivalent amount of green tea catechins and caffeine. Those researchers saw a reduction of about one pound per month.
It should be noted that the UConn researchers thought that the weight loss results were not “clinically relevant” when compared to “pharmacologic weight-loss products on the market.” But we disagree.
As we’ve said, you won’t get dramatic results from green tea. But it can be a very helpful part of any weight-loss plan. And considering the many other health benefits of green tea, losing one pound a month seems like a very nice bonus.
Green Tea: Drink Up!
So, add green tea to your daily routine. If weight loss is your primary goal, you can go with green tea extract supplements. But since freshly brewed green tea also provides a long list of additional health benefits, we’d suggest skipping the pills and brewing yours fresh. Switching to zero-calorie green tea from other calorie-rich drinks is a double bonus — you eliminate calories in your diet while boosting your metabolism. And you’ll get all the other green tea health benefits, too!
How Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
So, how does green tea work?
It turns out that green tea contains high levels of naturally occurring compounds called antioxidant polyphenols. Scientists have focused on a particular polyphenol found in green tea: a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG.
The EGCG combined with the caffeine in green tea produces what scientists call diet-induced thermogenesis. This effect boosts your body temperature and your metabolism, forcing your body to work harder and burn calories to cool you down. The green tea ingredients trigger your body to release stored fat into your blood stream where it is converted to energy by your liver and muscles.
Green tea essentially triggers your body to boost your metabolism, melt fat, and burn it. Awesome!
EGCG does much more for you than just burn fat. It will lower your cholesterol, boost your memory, prevent the flu, and much more.
Boost the Fat Burn: Combine Green Tea With Exercise!
It’s important that you don’t view green tea as a magic bullet that will make you skinny overnight. As we said, on its own, green tea will only help you lose about one pound per month. You also need to make sure that you are eating sensibly and exercising regularly.
As a bonus, you’ll get even more fat burning results from green tea when you combine it with regular exercise. Studies have shown that drinking three to four cups of green tea per day will boost your exercise endurance by causing your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates during your workouts.
Burning the carbs stored in your muscles causes the buildup of lactic acid which leads to fatigue and sore muscles. But green tea causes your muscles to burn more fat instead of carbs, which delays your fatigue and increases your endurance. And, of course, you are burning and eliminating more fat with every workout!
Is Green Tea Better than Black Tea or Coffee?
Drinking green tea can help you lose 10 or more pounds each year. That’s much better than gaining a few pounds each year!
If you don’t like green tea, can you get the same benefit from other teas or coffee?
All non-herbal tea comes from the same plant. But unlike oolong or black tea, green tea leaves are not fermented before they are dried. As a result, green tea has much higher concentrations of the catechins that provide weight loss and other benefits. So other teas aren’t nearly as beneficial as green tea.
And coffee also doesn’t work. While some of the fat burning effects are caused by the caffeine in green tea, researchers found that its the combination of the catechins and the caffeine together that cause the weight loss effects. Swiss researchers looking at this issue concluded that “green tea has thermogenic properties… beyond that explained by its caffeine content.” Green tea extracts without caffeine did not work, and neither did caffeine alone.
So why wait? Purchase NE Hut’s Organic Green Tea today and drink your way to health!
Want to lose weight? Research shows that green tea can help by boosting your metabolism to burn more fat. We’ll show you how you can use green tea for weight loss.
Green tea has been a popular weight loss solution ever since Dr. Nicholas Perricone told viewers of the Oprah Winfrey Show that you could lose 10 pounds in six weeks simply by substituting the coffee you drink with green tea. Is that true?
Here is a partial transcript of the discussion between Oprah and Dr. Perricone:
“Oprah: Now I’ve read in your book that you said if I just replaced coffee with green tea instead, that I could lose 10 pounds in six weeks.
Dr. Perricone: Absolutely.
Oprah: Now really. How could that — what is the big deal about this?
Dr Perricone: Coffee has organic acids that raise your blood sugar, raise insulin. Insulin puts a lock on body fat. When you switch over to green tea, you get your caffeine, you’re all set, but you will drop your insulin levels and body fat will fall very rapidly. So 10 pounds in six weeks, I will guarantee it.
Oprah: I’m gonna do that. OK. That is so good! Whoo! That is great.”
It’s mostly true. Medical research shows that green tea can actually help you lose weight! It just works a little more slowly than Dr. Perricone suggested.
How Much Weight Can You Really Expect To Lose?
If Dr. Perricone was exaggerating, what’s the real truth about green tea and weight loss?
For starters, green tea has zero calories, which makes it a smart beverage choice. It’s much better than soft drinks or coffee with cream and sugar.
But more importantly, drinking green tea gives your metabolism a boost that causes your body to burn more fat. You can think of it as melting fat and converting it to energy.
So, how many pounds can you lose by simply drinking green tea for weight loss?
The metabolism boost is only a temporary effect, and it’s not huge. While some studies have shown more dramatic results, a 2010 report by researchers at the University of Connecticut looked at fifteen previous studies and concluded that the average person’s green tea weight loss was about 3 pounds over a 12 week period. Each pound is 3,500 calories, so that’s about 1 pound a month, or a little more than 100 calories per day.
That may not sound like much, but it adds up to about 12 pounds each year. Since the average person gains a few pounds per year after age 20, losing 12 pounds a year is actually pretty great!
How Much Green Tea Should You Drink?
The amount of beneficial compounds in green tea can vary, depending on the tea. But most studies suggest that drinking 3 -4 cups of green tea per day is the right amount — that’s the typical amount that people drink in Asia.
You shouldn’t go overboard and drink much more than 4 cups per day. Some research has suggested that too much green tea might increase liver toxicity, although a 2009 study by German researchers found no danger to your liver. But until more studies are done, stick to 4 cups a day or less.
You should also note that green tea contains caffeine — about half the amount of black tea and one quarter the amount of coffee.
So if you have trouble sleeping, you should avoid green tea in the afternoon and evening.
Want to start off on the route toward good health? Purchase NE Hut’s Organic Green Tea.
Green tea has long been touted as a supreme health drink, full of beneficial properties. Thanks to its hyped popularity, green tea is now available in a million variations, from loose, single-estate leaves to bottled varieties in dozens of flavors. To understand whether flavored green tea is as healthy as regular green tea, it is important to understand what makes the tea healthy in the first place.
Green tea comes from the mature leaf of the camellia sinensis plant, which also produces white and black tea. The tea is beneficial thanks to a high natural content of compounds called flavonoids, which have been shown in numerous studies to act as powerful antioxidants and reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, and hypertension. It is also believed to stimulate metabolism, and plays a part in many natural weight loss diets. Generally, the more flavonoids, the more effective the tea.
Flavored green teas may have diminished benefits not always due to the fact that they are flavored, but instead that they are so far away from the original flavor-packed leaf. Bottled green tea has likely gone through a variety of processes that greatly reduce the flavonoid content. In studies on green tea products, bottled, decaffeinated, teabag, and instant varieties of green tea have been found to retain far lower levels of flavonoids than fresh green tea made from loose leaves.
Another reason that flavored green tea may be less healthy than regular green tea is that it is often heavily sweetened. Covering up the natural taste of green tea with artificial flavors and tons of sugar or no-calorie sweetener can quickly tip the balance from healthy to unhealthy. In addition to lower flavonoid levels, some bottled or canned flavored green tea drinks have as much sugar as soda. Artificial coloring and flavoring agents may also counteract any benefits, and some health professionals even believe that an excess of such compounds can increase risk for some cancers.
This is why NE Hut’s Organic Green Tea is pure, unflavored, unsweetened – to retain all the natural goodness and taste of the premium tea leaf, as it uncurls in your cup when hot water is poured on top of it. Click here to purchase NE Hut’s Organic Green Tea.