Posts tagged ‘green tea’

Know your Tea Better – Types of Teas

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: whitegreenoolongblack (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

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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

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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.

Oolong tea 

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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.

Black tea

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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 tea

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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.

Flavored tea

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

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/

July 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm Leave a comment

Can Green Tea Reduce Anxiety and Stress?

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?

Stressed with life?

Stressed with life?

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:

And of course, if things get really busy, there’s always time to sip delicious green tea.

http://bodyecology.com/articles/can-green-tea-reduce-anxiety-stress.php

May 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm Leave a comment

Can Green Tea Get Rid Of A Headache?

Cups of Organic Green Tea

Cups of Organic Green Tea

Green tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, as black tea, but it is cured in a different fashion. It is popular in China and Japan and increasingly in other countries as well. Green tea is often recommended as a health-promoting drink and as a natural treatment for such conditions as high cholesterol. Green tea may also be helpful in treating certain kinds of headaches including migraines. Unfortunately, green tea can also be a headache trigger.

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.

Vasoconstriction

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.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/556420-can-green-tea-get-rid-of-a-headache/

April 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

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