How to Add Flavor to Homemade Green Tea

Green tea just might be one of the healthiest drinks you can sip with its high concentration of polyphenols which may have the ability to ward off a variety of chronic diseases. While plain green tea tastes delicious particularly when it’s fresh brewed, it’s nice to add some additional flavoring to your homemade green tea on occasion. There are a variety of ways to flavor green tea at home without paying extra for commercially flavored green teas. Here are some ideas for adding flavor to homemade green tea right in your own kitchen:

Fruit juice

While lemon juice, orange juice and lime juice are obvious choices, don’t stop there. Be creative and try adding a little cranberry, blueberry, cherry, or blackberry juice to your next cup of green tea. If you want to be even more creative, try lychee, pineapple, acai berry, or pomegranate juice in your green tea. Not only will you enhance the taste, you’ll be adding to the health value of your green tea with these super fruits that are filled with healthy antioxidants. To make your homemade green tea look more appealing, garnish it with fresh fruit slices.

Herbs

Herbs are another great way to flavor homemade green tea. The most popular herb used to flavor tea of all kinds is mint. If you want to try something a bit different, add small amounts of ginger, lavender, or pineapple sage to your cup of green tea. Some people even enjoy the taste of rosemary or basil mixed with tea. You can make a Chai green tea by adding cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper, and allspice. Milk is characteristically added to Chai tea, but cow’s milk can inactivate the polyphenols. Substitute soy, almond, or rice milk instead.

Fresh fruit

When you serve your homemade green tea iced, add slices of fresh apple, orange, lemon, pineapple, cantaloupe, mango, papaya, or honey dew to the glass. Pour green tea over the cold fruit in a freshly chilled glass with ice. Add the sweetener of your choice and you’ll have a healthy, but delicious summertime drink to sip. Another alternative is to use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes. The frozen fruit makes the tea look even more appealing.

Flavored syrups

There are a multitude of syrups available to flavor coffees, both sweetened and sugar-free. Small amounts of these syrups can also be used to flavor homemade green tea. Visit your local coffee store and explore the many flavors made by companies such as DaVinci and Monin. These coffee syrups give you a quick and easy way to add a splash of flavor to your green tea.

With the many options available to flavor homemade green tea, it’s unlikely you’ll become tired of this versatile drink. So drink it for good taste and for good health!

http://voices.yahoo.com/how-add-flavor-homemade-green-tea-1665007.html

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April 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Protective Properties of Green Tea Uncovered

Science Daily (Jan. 5, 2011) — Regularly drinking green tea could protect the brain against developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, according to latest research by scientists at Newcastle University.

Regularly drinking green tea could protect the brain against developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, according to latest research by scientists at Newcastle University. (Credit: iStockphoto/Katarzyna Krawiec)

The study, published in the academic journal Phytomedicine, also suggests this ancient Chinese remedy could play a vital role in protecting the body against cancer.

Led by Dr Ed Okello, the Newcastle team wanted to know if the protective properties of green tea — which have previously been shown to be present in the undigested, freshly brewed form of the drink — were still active once the tea had been digested.

Digestion is a vital process which provides our bodies with the nutrients we need to survive. But, says Dr Okello, it also means that just because the food we put into our mouths is generally accepted to contain health-boosting properties, we can’t assume these compounds will ever be absorbed by the body.

“What was really exciting about this study was that we found when green tea is digested by enzymes in the gut, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer’s development than the undigested form of the tea,” explains Dr Okello, based in the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University.

“In addition to this, we also found the digested compounds had anti-cancer properties, significantly slowing down the growth of the tumour cells which we were using in our experiments.”

As part of the research, the Newcastle team worked in collaboration with Dr Gordon McDougall of the Plant Products and Food Quality Group at the Scottish Crop Research Institute in Dundee, who developed technology which simulates the human digestive system.

It is this which made it possible for the team to analyse the protective properties of the products of digestion.

Two compounds are known to play a significant role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease — hydrogen peroxide and a protein known as beta-amyloid.

Previous studies have shown that compounds known as polyphenols, present in black and green tea, possess neuroprotective properties, binding with the toxic compounds and protecting the brain cells.

When ingested, the polyphenols are broken down to produce a mix of compounds and it was these the Newcastle team tested in their latest research.

“It’s one of the reasons why we have to be so careful when we make claims about the health benefits of various foods and supplements,” explains Dr Okello.

“There are certain chemicals we know to be beneficial and we can identify foods which are rich in them but what happens during the digestion process is crucial to whether these foods are actually doing us any good.”

Carrying out the experiments in the lab using a tumour cell model, they exposed the cells to varying concentrations of the different toxins and the digested green tea compounds.

Dr Okello explained: “The digested chemicals protected the cells, preventing the toxins from destroying the cells.

“We also saw them affecting the cancer cells, significantly slowing down their growth.

“Green tea has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and what we have here provides the scientific evidence why it may be effective against some of the key diseases we face today.”

The next step is to discover whether the beneficial compounds are produced during digestion after healthy human volunteers consume tea polyphenols. The team has already received funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to take this forward.

Dr Okello adds: “There are obviously many factors which together have an influence on diseases such as cancer and dementia — a good diet, plenty of exercise and a healthy lifestyle are all important.”

source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105194844.htm

July 15, 2012 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

How To Make Mint Flavored Green Tea

Drinking green tea daily is very healthy. However, if you drink the same green tea taste every day, you might get tired of it. We found out a way to make green tea taste more exciting without the sugar and calories in it. So without adding sugar, we can enjoy a new and delicious green tea taste. How about a mint flavored green tea drink? This is also very easy to make. Just 3 quick steps and you can begin enjoying your very own mint flavored green tea.

We can actually find lots of variations and flavors of green tea. But most of them are just full of sweeteners and sugar that are high in calories. This is not good for our health. What we need is a delicious yet healthy green tea drink that is also easy to make. The mint flavored green tea drink is the one we are looking for. With this, we can now enjoy a new taste from our ordinary green tea habit into a more flavorful and aromatic one.

3 Steps in Making Mint Flavored Green Tea

For this drink recipe, we will need:

  • 1 tsp. NE Hut organic green tea leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried peppermint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried spearmint leaves
  • Fresh peppermint or spearmint sprigs to garnish
  • Honey, sugar, lemon and/or cream to taste (if desired)

This recipe will make two cups of green tea. You can add more of the ingredients if you need more cups.

Steps:

  1. Mix in the green tea leaves together with the spearmint and the peppermint into a small bowl. Store them in an airtight container until the tea is ready to steep.
  2. Once they are ready to drink, add in 1 tsp of the blend into the strainer. It should fit over one mug. Pour in the cup of boiling water over the mug. You can add cream or sweeteners to it if desired. Garnish the green tea drink with a sprig of mint.
  3. If you want to make it into larger bathes if you want.

Added Tips:

  • You can make the green tea either hot or cold. If you like it cold, you will need a giant pitcher to make room for the ice.

This mint flavored green tea recipe can be prepared in any occasions. It can also be served together with any other refreshments. You may also want to add in other citrus fruit flavors into it if you think mint flavor is not for you. Drinking this green tea drink daily will make our body a lot healthier and our metabolism rate better.

source: http://teazone.org/green-tea/mint-flavored-green-tea-3-quick-steps.html

May 18, 2011 at 4:34 am Leave a comment

Green Tea Preparation

There are three methods for you to obtain the Camellia sinensis treatment: infusion, combined infusion and powder:

Infusion of green tea. Though it’s the most known practice to obtain the tea, the infusion is less used in therapeutic system, because the higher the quality of the tea, the lower the water temperature. To obtain 250 ml of tea, steep 1-2 tea bags in hot water and let it there 7-8 minutes, for a light perfume and good taste and, for concentrated green tea, 15-25 minutes. Preferably, the mug should be warmed beforehand so that the tea does not immediately cool down. The specialists advice you to consume more than 5 mugs of green tea/ day.

Combined infusion. You’ll obtain it following the next procedure. Put one teaspoon in a mug of water (200 ml) and let it to macerate at moderate temperature since evening till morning, when filter it. The acquired juice is put apart and the green extract is scaled with another 250 ml of hot water then let it infuse for 20 minutes and finally filter. The both juices are combined, obtaining approximate 500 ml of green tea combined infusion. It is a better way to prepare the green tea and with more intensive therapeutic effects.
green tea powder

Green Tea powder. It’s especially recommended to those persons who are not allowed to drink liquids and it’s obtained by grinding the leaves of Camellia sinensis.

Advices for you to get well:

Drink at least one mug of green tea every day for health, good energy and longevity.
Drink 4-5 mugs of hot tea /day if you want to loose weight, because the green tea has antiadipose and diuretic effects. This treatment is used to come down the cholesterol level.
For curing the cancer, take one green tea powder spoon twice in a day, for 90 days, then take a 2 weeks break and repeat the treatment.
If you have a migraine sufferance, drink a cup of concentrated green tea made by infusion adding the juice from the half of a lemon.
The green tea combined with the black tea is good for the diabetes treatment. We recommend you to take a spoon of green and black tea powder three times in a day, for minimum three months.
Rinse your mouth with green tea to prevent the dental caries.
Make yourselves a natural lukewarm mask with green tea and 2 spoon of honey and lemon juice.
Don’t consume green tea after 5 pm, because it may produce sleeplessness.
Tips for Preparing

Green tea should be handled tenderly, just as you would fresh green leafy vegetables.

Spring water is the ideal choice for brewing tea, followed by filtered water. Distilled water should never be used; the brew it produces will be flat since the minerals removed from it are essential to bringing out tea’s flavor.

To prepare the best loose tea, we recommend using a small food scale. Use three grams of tea to five ounces of water if brewing tea in a small teapot; four grams of tea to eight ounces of water for other methods.

As the size and shape of tea pots and cups varies considerably, it’s a good idea to fill a measuring cup with 8 ounces of water and pour it into your tea pot or cup to determine how much water it really holds.

In making loose tea, remember that a teaspoon of small, dense leaves will weigh substantially more than a teaspoon of larger leaves, and the resulting tea will reflect this. A teaspoon of small dense leaves may be sufficient to produce a satisfying strong cup, while several teaspoons of larger leaves would be needed for a comparable brew.

Although heartily boiling water is used to brew black and oolong teas, green tea needs much lower temperatures (160-170 degrees F; 79-85 degrees C) and should be brewed for less time.

Let the water barely reach the boiling point to liberate its oxygen, then allow it to cool slightly before pouring over your tea. Until you are familiar with your tea kettle and the time it takes and sounds it makes when the correct temperature (170-185 degrees) has been reached, it’s a good idea to check using a simple, inexpensive candy thermometer, available at any grocery store.

Brewing for 30 seconds to one minute is usually ideal; however, Chinese Dragonwell teas are often best after 6-7 minutes of infusion.

Although good quality tea leaves will sink to the bottom after they have infused, it’s a good idea to pour the tea over a small strainer if one is not built in to your teapot.

Source: http://www.greenteabenefits.info/preparation_method.php

March 23, 2011 at 4:23 am Leave a comment

Tea and North East India

The Organic Green Tea from NE Hut is as good as it gets from the Barak Valley region. Here’s why:

Tea requires a moderately hot and humid climate. Climate influences yield, crop distribution and quality. Therefore, before cultivating tea in a new area, the suitability of the climate is the first point to be considered. Tea grows best on well-drained fertile acid soil on high lands.

Climatic factors

Rainfall: The average annual rainfall in North East India ranges from 2000-4000 mm. However, more than the total amount, the distribution of rainfall matters a lot for sustained high yield of tea throughout the season. In the North East India, the rainfall distribution is not even. The excess rainfall in the monsoon months of June-September causes drainage problems. The average monthly rainfall during November to March is less than the evapotranspiration loss and the resulting soil moisture deficit affects tea bushes. If this dry spell persists for a longer period, tea plants suffer heavily and crop goes down in spite of having sufficient rainfall in the monsoons. Thus, adequate rainfall during winter and early spring is crucial for high yield. Seasonal variation of rainfall (long-term average) is given in the following table:

Average rainfall distribution in the North East India’s tea growing regions in mm

Season
UA
CA
NB
BV
Dooars
Terai
Darjeeling
Winter (Dec-Feb)
4
3
3
3
1
1
2
Pre-monsoon (Mar-May)
24
27
19
28
14
13
15
Monsoon (June-Sep)
66
63
72
62
79
82
77
Post-monsoon (Oct-Nov)
6
7
6
7
6
4
6
Total
2720
2065
2185
3000
3990
2965
2345

(UA: Upper Assam, CA : Central Assam, NB : North Bank, BV : Barak valley)

Temperature and RH : Temperature affects tea yield by influencing rate of photosynthesis and controlling growth and dormancy. In general, the ambient temperature within 13°C and 28-32°C is conducive for growth of tea. Maximum ambient temperature above 32°C is unfavourable for optimum photosynthesis more so if it is accompanied by low humidity. In the tea belts of this region, the average winter minimum temperature (Dec-Feb) remains below 12°C and there is hardly any growth during this period. Flushing commences from March with the rise in temperature. Winter dormancy however is the result of interaction of short day length and low temperature. Low temperature causes slower growth and low yield in the hill district of Darjeeling in comparison to the plains of Dooars and Assam. A humid climate and high RH favours growth of tea.

Day length: Day length influences growth and dormancy in tea bushes. When days of less than 11hr 15 min duration last for at least six weeks tea bushes become dormant. Hence the length of growing season decreases with increasing distance from the equator. Seasonal dormancy appears from around 18° North and South latitudes. In the Northeast India (25°-27°N latitude), the teabushes remain dormant during the winter season for about 3 months on account of the combined effects of short days and low temperature.

Soil

Tea grows well on high land well drained soils having a good depth, acidic pH in the range 4.5 to 5.5 and more than 2% organic matter. Shallow and compacted sub-soils limit root growth. Tea plants growinn on such soils are liable to suffer from draught during dry period and water logging during the rainy months. There should not be any hard pan or concretions in the subsoil within 2m depths. The depth of ground water table should not be less than 90 cm for good growth of tea. Catchment planning is required for improved soil and water management practices in a tea estate for which land survey designed to identify all major and minor topographical features needs to be carried out.

Article Courtesy: http://www.tocklai.net/Cultivation/index.aspx

February 2, 2011 at 5:15 am Leave a comment

History of Green Tea

Tea consumption has its legendary origins in China of more than 4,000 years ago.[20] Green tea has been used as both a beverage and a method of traditional medicine in most of Asia, including China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea and Thailand, to help everything from controlling bleeding and helping heal wounds to regulating body temperature, blood sugar and promoting digestion.

The Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea), written by Zen priest Eisai in 1191, describes how drinking green tea can have a positive effect on the five vital organs, especially the heart. The book discusses tea’s medicinal qualities, which include easing the effects of alcohol, acting as a stimulant, curing blotchiness, quenching thirst, eliminating indigestion, curing beriberi disease, preventing fatigue, and improving urinary and brain function. Part One also explains the shapes of tea plants, tea flowers, and tea leaves, and covers how to grow tea plants and process tea leaves. In Part Two, the book discusses the specific dosage and method required for individual physical ailments.

Article Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_tea

February 2, 2011 at 4:51 am Leave a comment

Health Benefits of Organic Green Tea

Green tea contains salubrious polyphenols, particularly catechins, the most abundant of which is epigallocatechin gallate. Green tea also contains carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), minerals such as chromium, manganese, selenium or zinc, and certain phytochemical compounds. It is a more potent antioxidant than black tea,[12] although black tea has substances which green tea does not such as theaflavin.

In vitro, animal, preliminary observational, and clinical human studies suggest that green tea can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, dental cavities, kidney stones, and cancer, while improving bone density and cognitive function. However, the human studies are inconsistent.[12]

Green tea consumption is associated with reduced heart disease in epidemiological studies. Animal studies have found that it can reduce cholesterol. However, several small, brief human trials found that tea consumption did not reduce cholesterol in humans. In 2003 a randomized clinical trial found that a green tea extract with added theaflavin from black tea reduced cholesterol.[13]

A study performed at Birmingham (UK) University, showed that average fat oxidation rates were 17% higher after ingestion of green tea extract than after ingestion of a placebo.[14]Similarly the contribution of fat oxidation to total energy expenditure was also significantly higher by a similar percentage following ingestion of green tea extract. This implies that ingestion of green tea extract can not only increase fat oxidation during moderately intensive exercise but also improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in healthy young men.

A study performed at the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh looked at the effects of short term green tea consumption on a group of students between the ages of 19–37.[15]Participants were asked not to alter their diet and to drink 4 cups of green tea per day for 14 days. The results showed that short term consumption of commercial green tea reduces systolic and diastolic Blood Pressure, fasting total cholesterol, body fat and body weight. These results suggest a role for green tea in decreasing established potential cardiovascular risk factors. This study also suggests that reductions may be more pronounced in the overweight population where a significant proportion are obese and have a high risk of cardiovascular disease.

In a study performed at the Israel Institute of Technology, it was shown that the main antioxidant polyphenol of green tea extract, EGCG, when fed to mice induced with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, helped to protect brain cells from dying, as well as ‘rescuing’ already damaged neurons in the brain, a phenomenon called neurorescue or neurorestoration. The findings of the study, led by Dr. Silvia Mandell, were presented at the Fourth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health in Washington D.C., in 2007. Resulting tests underway in China, under the auspices of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, are being held on early Parkinson’s patients.[16]

A study [17] performed at the National institute of Chemistry in LjubljanaSlovenia, demonstrated that EGCG from green tea inhibits an essential bacterial enzyme gyrase by binding to the ATP binding site of the B subunit. This activity probably contributes to the antimicrobial activity of green tea extract and may be responsible for the effectiveness of green tea in oral hygiene.

In a recent case-control study of the eating habits of 2,018 women, consumption of mushrooms and green tea was linked to a 90% lower occurrence of breast cancer.[18]

A recent study on rats at the University of Hong Kong, published in the February issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that the catechins in green tea were absorbed by the lensretina and other parts of the eye.[19] The absorbed catechins reduced oxidative stress in the eye for up to 20 hours, suggesting that green tea may be effective in preventingglaucoma and other diseases of the eye.

Article Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_tea

February 2, 2011 at 4:42 am Leave a comment

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