Green Tea


Green tea is one of the oldest beverages in the world and its origins and history are somewhat interesting. For centuries, green tea or black tea remained the preferred drink in almost all the Asian countries. It was not until the sixteenth century that European explorers and traders popularized tea in the West. So it was very expensive. Russia became an important transit country for transporting tea. It is currently the second most consumed beverage after water worldwide.

Green tea is consumed mostly in Asian countries (China, Japan and India). In these countries, tea means prosperity, harmony, beauty, serenity and becomes a ritual. China is the largest producer of green tea.

Green tea has been used for years as a medicine and as a beverage. The difference between green tea and black tea is that the latter is produced by oxidizing the young leaves of the plant, while green tea leaves are produced by passing steam at high temperature. This procedure inactivates enzymes and oxidants and the polyphenols (tea beneficial compound) are intact.


Green tea comes from the same plant as black tea (Camellia sinensis), and is obtained by drying the leaves with the help of vapors (Japanese system) or by heating them (Chinese system). These processes hardly alter its chemical composition. The leaves of green tea are fermented after harvest and before the drying process, to retain the active ingredients of the plant (polyphenols). Polyphenols are essential to the physiology of plants, for pigmentation, growth, reproduction and protection against pests. Some of its polyphenols depend on the sunlight, therefore, are found in greater concentration in leaves and outer parts of the plant. Many of them have been studied in cancer prevention by its antioxidant capacity. Among them are: flavones, isoflavones, flavonoids, catechins and tannins. The polyphenol content varies in different plants. Green tea contains four polyphenols, commonly called catechins.

Varieties of Green Tea

There are numerous varieties of green tea, all very popular in China and Japan. The best known are:
-The Lung Ching: It is the most famous and means Dragon Well. Sweet and gold, is a common drink for monks, who have been using it for hundreds of years to clear the mind and calm the nerves.
-The Bancha: It is extracted from the stem of the plant of the same name.
-The Gunpowder: Boil sugar and mint and is popular in Morocco, where it is rolled into balls, and open with the hot water. It’s bittersweet.
-The Sencha: It is very popular in Japan, is yellow and tastes like vegetables.
-The Matcha: Its refreshing power is highly appreciated by the Japanese, who served the sparkling tea during their ceremonies.
-The Gyokuro: With its taste of freshly cut grass has become very popular in Japan.
-The Pi Lo Chun: Has a curious fruit aroma borrowed from the fruit trees that grow around it. Served in small coils of rolled leaves by hand, that also give its name, which means green snail.

Nutritional value

Among its components, one of the most important is the fluorine, so the green tea has verifiable benefits on dental plaque. Additional to fluoride, between minerals, we can find calcium, potassium and magnesium, and its vitamin components, especially the B vitamins (with an important role in the functioning of the nervous system) and the provitamin A.

How to prepare the best cup of green tea

The infusion is important. Green tea catechins are soluble in water, and the degree of extraction of these depends on the contact time of the sheets in the water. Therefore, to maximize the effects and properties of any tea it is best to make a long infusion of five or ten minutes. This achieves a tea less aromatic and rougher, just the opposite of what tea lovers want to taste, but not always health and taste go together. Water is the factor that determines the flavor and taste of tea. Mineral water is often the most appropriate to be used for tea. Chlorinated water does not leave a good tea taste; it must boil 2 to 3 minutes for the chlorine to be removed. Soft water is preferable, as calcium “thick” tannic acid content in the tea.

The green tea was not prepared with boiling water, as would be too bitter. Therefore, it should be poured into the teapot with the leaves just before boiling, or if you have reached the boiling point, it has to cool a moment before pouring it into the teapot.
A good teapot must have the patina that gives frequent use, it improves the flavor. The kettle has to be reserved only for tea. There is no need to wash, rinse should be enough, because soap or detergent can dissolve the patina and spoil the tea. The kettle is heated with a little amount of boiling water, which is rotated within, are pulled and allowed to dry before adding it to the infusion water. Then you enter a teaspoon (2 grams) per cup, pour hot water and cover the pot. Green tea leaves are allowed to stand in water between 1 and 3 minutes for the deployment of the aromas, but infusion may be left up to 4-5 minutes maximum. The longer you let it sit, the more pronounced will be the bitter taste. You can take it plain or sweetened. Sugar increases somewhat the aroma and honey detracts it instead. Some people add lemon or a cloud of milk. Enjoy!

This tea is one of my favorite teas.

Green Tea

Teapots and kettles types

1. How to prepare the tea

When you are preparing a tea is important to choose the right pot. Some tea masters use only one type of kettle for tea. Thus, in time, tea oils get imprinted in its walls giving it a special quality. For certain types of tea, there are special types of teapots so that you get a special aroma and a unique taste. In China they use very often teapots from the Yixing region, which are made ​​of a very specific type of clay. This clay in particular makes the teapots have special properties. Yixing teapots are used in the tea ceremony. For these kettles is recommended to use Puerh or Oolong tea. You can use it for infusing tea, a number of methods, from simple to brew into a glass to the use of special kettles.

Before starting to prepare your tea, it is best to be informed about how to brew it and the recommended teapot for it. In general you can use a spongy ceramic teapot, glaze kettle, glass, or metal. Discover the differences that arise depending on kettle and choose the option that you like the most.


– Choose a teapot according to your needs and personal tastes.

– Pots meet both a practical function and an aesthetic one, so it is recommended to choose a teapot that you like in favor of just a basic one.

– Do not boil the tea leaves into the pot, heat the water separately and then pour into the pot (respecting the indicated temperature).

– Always choose a quality tea.

– After each brew wash the kettle.

– Keep teapots airy and in bright places.

– Don’t mix strong flavored teas with fine teas in the same pot, while infusing.


2. How to prepare tea – preheating teapots

The art of tea making consists in each and very important detail because a detail, even seemingly insignificant, can be instrumental in influencing the taste, aroma and color of the tea.

Preheating the teapot means that, before the actual infusion, you pour hot water into the pot or in some cases (when using Yixing ceramic teapots) right over it. In this way we obtain many benefits: we have a greater control over the brewing temperature, allowing the walls to take the water’s heat, also cleaning the smallest dust particles. Another major benefit is that we prepare the pot so that the leaves aren’t aggressively brewed. It is recommended to keep the leaves in the preheated pot for about a minute.

Preheating the teapot is very easy: just pour hot water over and inside the pot and leave it like this for a minute. You can see in the spongy ceramic teapots that you’ve been using for a long time, that the resulting water has a slightly yellowish color and a delicate flavor of tea. This quality makes some teapots to be highly appreciated.


3. Iwachu Tetsubin – the metal teapot

Even if the internal filter is present it can be used as a teapot, it can also be used as a vessel for hot water. One can notice a slight difference in flavor and taste of tea when using this method.

Metal teapots have a “something” special; perhaps because of its weight and density, perhaps because of the way the rustic look… anyway, they are special.

This tetsubin is produced by Iwachu in the province of Morioka, Japan. If you want to obtain it, on the leaflet that comes along with the teapot, you will find all the needed details about the quality, provenance and how to maintain or use it.


4. Porcelain Teapots

The german Johann Böttger discovered the porcelain teapots around 1710. His discovery was influenced by Yixing teapots’ shape and the china ones. “Porcelain” is derived from the Italian word “Porcella”, a name given on behalf of the glossy shell some type of snails have. Porcelain has the same luster, brittle and is as white as the shells, which is why it got this name.


5. Glass Teapots

Glass teapots lately gained a good reputation because they can be used, to infuse different types of teas, without leaving any flavored trace. This property makes them very useful, especially those that serve different varieties of tea. Also, because glass is transparent, you can enjoy a wide variation of colors of different types of teas. Glass teapots are safe to use in the microwave or the dishwasher, making them ideal for today’s consumers.


6. The Brown Betty

This type of tea takes its name from the color that it has. It is made out of red terracotta, with a very simple design, but still very nice. The Brown Betty teapots were manufactured initially in the Bradell Woods area in Stoke-on-Trent, England. With a rich history behind, these kettles began to symbolize the importance of tea in the UK. The unique shape of these kettles let the tea leaves to twist inside it when the water is poured for brewing, this giving it a more intense flavor to the tea. Many Britons believe brown betty is the best type of teapot because of the shape and also the very special clay it’s made of.


7.  Silver Teapots

Silver teapots are extremely durable and are able to retain heat very well. Silver teapots became popular in the 1700’s but are very popular nowadays also, even if they are quite expensive.

Oolong tea

Oolong tea, which translated in chinese means „black dragon tea” is a rather complex tea, thing which fully justifies its name. This is a traditional chinese tea, which goes through a unique process, starting from withering under strong sunwaves and oxidation. There is a wide variety of aromas and flavours available for this tea, as its oxidation values range from 8% to a staggering 85%. Flavours of oolong tea can go from sweet and fruity to green and fresh to woody and thick.

In the family tree of chinese teas, oolong tea sists somwhere between unfermented green tea and the fermented black tea. A mention must be made regarding the black tea, as it is called black only in Europe and America, while in Asia it is called red tea. As any other asian element, oolong tea has a long history behind; according to historical data, there are 4 regions, each producing a different variety of Oolong tea: Northern Fujian Province, Southern Fujian Province, Guangdong Province and Taiwan. Taiwan provice produce the High Mountain Oolong Tea, which is the most famous variety of tea in the western world.

Producing Oolong tea is not as easy as on other teas you might know or tried out; in fact, it takes 7 full steps before you can enjoy brewing the complexity of an Oolong tea, no matter its flavour. The first step is to spread out the picked leaves, letting the sun soften the cell walls of the plant. This is how the moisture is drawn to the surface of the leaves and then evaporated, also reducing the grassy taste of the final product.

The second step consists in shaking the leaves in a wicker basket, as the old chinese used to do, or, by modern means, breaking down the leaves using machines, this way improving oxidation and ensuring that chemical elements are mixing from the stems with the leaves. This removes the bitterness of the tea and balances its flavour.

The third step in producing Oolong tea is the oxidation. This step is used to continue the natural fermentation process, letting the leaves to rest after the previous step of withering or tossing. Depending on the allowed time for this step, the ammount of fermentation of the leaves is controled. Leaves tend at this point to get a darker green, or to get even red.

The fourth step known as Kill-Green or Fixing stops the natural fermentation of the leaves, but without damaging them. This is done by steaming the leaves, and pressing them in a hot pan, all done manually.

The fifth step requires the leaves to pass through cold and hot rollers, this slitghtly breaking down the leaves. On this step, the flavour of the tea is intesified, and the shape of the leaves is established.

Before firing, which is the last step of the process, the Oolong leaves pass through drying. This procedure establishes the final moisture level of the tea leaves, completely stops fermentation and removes any trace of grassy taste. The leaves are either dried in the sun or with hot air.

Finally, leaves are roasted in a pan or a basket, either with a charcoal or electrically generated heat. This final step is used in order to obtain a fruity flavour.

Nonetheless, chinese tea is worldwide know for its health benefits, sometimes almost magical cures. Most modern consumers of Oolong tea drink it because it helps on loosing weight and it prevents cancer, thanks to its anti-oxidant properties. Among these, Oolong tea is know to prevent tooth decay, relax muscles, supply vitamin C, help onr educing colesterol, and many others.

An important thing to know about Oolong tea, no matter its flavour, is that it contains quite an amount of cafeine, thus it is important to consume low quantities (less than 2 cups per day) if pregnant or if being under administration of treatment with some medicines.

Rooibos Tea

Red tea, also known as rooibos tea is often prescribed in cases of heart tension, hepatic insufficiency or anxiety. This plant can be used even by people with kidney affections, as it does not contain any oxalic acid.

Rooibos plant has its origins in Africa; it got green, shiny leaves, resembling to needles. Once you process the leaves they become red; this why it is called rooibos, which means “red bush”. Although it is not related in any way with the classic tea plant, known as Camellia sinensis, it can be used to obtain a golden colored ea with a light taste of oranges and caramel.Rooibos

Rooibos Tea Recipe:

Making a great cup of rooibos tea is not difficult, and the result really worth the try. Although it is available in tea bags, many tea lovers still prefer using rooibos leaves to brew their tea. Furthermore, you will find lots of devices on the market that help when brewing rooibos leaves tea, but for the most part, are useless, so it is not recommended to throw money on them. Either way you choose to brew tea, remember to keep the leaves unrestrained, and in a sealed container, that does not allow light to pass; this way rooibos will keep its freshness.

Start the brewing of red rooibos tea by heating water until it begins to boil. You should heat up a mug by placing hot water inside it, while you are heating up water for the tea. Remember, do not let the water for the tea to boil; instead take it out from the heat source just as it is about to boil. Next, empty the mug and place rooibos leaves inside. Pour the near boiling water over the leaves, and then let it brew according to your preferences in terms of strength. Usually, letting the tea brew for 4 to 6 minutes is enough to make an enjoyable tea mug.Rooibos Tea

In order to keep the tea hot while its brewing, cover the top of the mug with a towel or a lid. In Africa, rooibos tea is usually drank with milk or sugar, but generally it is served as it is. It is not strictly necessary to drink rooibos tea while it’s hot. It can be preserved in the refrigerator and served with ice.

According to each individual’s lifestyle, rooibos tea might just be the relaxer you need. It is suitable for adults with a tight and stressful schedule, that need away to take all that away. Also, it is a great choice for hyperactive children or who present sleep problems, as it contains calcium and magnesium, helping on a good growth of bones and teeth.

Rooibos tea is a great natural medicine for many affections. It fortifies body’s own defense system, minimizing the risks of cardiac attacks or brain attacks. It stops bacteria from developing inside the mouth, reducing the risks of tooth problems; it is also a great source of fluorides. Moreover, rooibos tea does not contain any form of colorants, additives or preservatives; it is a fully natural tea, without caffeine. It is also removing heart burns and constipation.

Ginseng Tea

Ginseng, scientifically known as Panax (meaning „heals everything” in Greek) is a plant with a succulent root. From this root, you can obtain a natural tea with lots of benefits. It is believed that ginseng tea not only has lots of healing properties, but it also replenishes body’s energy reserves. It seems that ginseng rhizomes contain ginsenosides, medical compounds that act against inflammatory affections, and also cancer prevention. What you need to know is that ginseng tea is not used to cure a certain organ, but rather the entire body.

In order to obtain ginseng tea, you can follow one of the available options. One is to use the ginseng rhizome itself to make tea. Buy a firm rhizome without any discolorations or soft spots; you can also look after pre-cut ginseng rhizomes, to ease your job. Place 3 to 5 thin slices of ginseng in a cup and pour boiling water over them. Choose the amount of ginseng slices according to how you wish the tea to be: less slices for a weaker tea, and more slices for a stronger tea.

Another option in making ginseng tea is to boil 3 cups of water and then add 10 ginseng slices. After adding the slices, simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Once you finish simmering, strain and let the tea cool down. Now the tea can be served either warm or cold. You can store the remaining tea in the refrigerator for a later use.

Ginseng extract powder is another source for ginseng tea. Buy some ginseng extract, and mix one cup of extract with one coup of boiling water. If you are using powder, use a teaspoon of ginseng powder for one cup of boiling water.

Although studies failed to prove any toxicity in this herb, it is very important to avoid excessive or prolonged use of ginseng. Specialists recommend using 0.5 to a maximum of 2 grams of ginseng rhizome per day; that is around 1 to 5 thin slices. Also, it is advised to not use ginseng, under any form, for more than 3 months in a row. In order to continue using ginseng tea after three consecutive months, first take a two week pause.

It is also very important to consult your doctor before starting to use ginseng tea. Otherwise, you may suffer from adverse effects like insomnia, headaches, diarrhea or even uterine bleeding. However, such side effects should only appear if ginseng is consumed along with other medication. Try to avoid using caffeine or energy drinks while drinking ginseng tea, as ginseng is also considered to be a stimulant.

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