Green Tea: Everything you (probably) didn't know
Most people who pick Green Tea off the shelves don’t think of its significance, its history and the Benefits of Green Tea. Most people know of this, but in the West, many haven’t tried it. But the importants, is unique, is remarkable. It has been present for the rise and fall of Empires; it has become embedded in countless cultures; it has stood the test of time and is now a pillar of society. Green Tea has so much potential.
And today, its potential is being uncovered piece by piece, leaf by leaf. Science has discovered a multitude of Green Tea benefits when it is consumed as part of a healthy and active lifestyle. View our selection of Green Tea's on our website.
As we continue to learn more, we already know that Green Tea can improve heart health, provide weight loss properties, reduce the risks of Diabetes and offer relief to those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Some have even suggested, although studies are preliminary, that Green Tea can help in the fight against some cancers. The possibilities are nearly endless.
But what is it; where does it come from; how is it made; and why is it so special? We have compiled the facts, the stories, the studies, and the testimonies relating to Green Tea. Join us on a journey that started over 5,000 years ago and continues to be moulded in the 21st Century and beyond.
What is Green Tea
A type of tea from the Camellia sinensis plant. There are many subspecies of the Camellia sinensis plant including Camellia sinensis var sinensis (a Chinese variety) and Camellia sinensis var assamica (an Indian variety). Both are a species of the evergreen shrub and both are used in the making of loose leaf Green Tea as well as Black Tea, White Tea and Oolong Tea.
Rather than a different plant for each type, the same plant is used in the making of all “real” teas. The main difference comes in the processing of the leaf, which is when the likes of Green Tea and Black go their separate ways to become the wonderful and distinct brews they are.
The making of Green Tea, in particular, involves many steps beginning with the picking of the leaf, after which the its pan-fired or steamed, then rolled, then dried. The finished product is what we know and love today, Green Tea at its finest (and tastiest!).
- Pan-Firing/Steaming Process: The second-least processed after White Tea, so when it gets to the factory it is quickly pan-fired or steamed to prevent too much oxidation. Oxidation occurs promptly after the harvesting and transportation of the leaves and is what turns the leaves from green to brown or black. The taste of Green Tea is determined by whether the leaves are either pan-fired or steamed. Pan-fired leaves produce a grassy and sometimes toasted flavour while steamed leaves, as favoured in Japan, produce a vegetal, sweet, or seaweed-like taste.
- Rolling Process: Once the leaves have been allowed to cool for some time, factory workers, often experts with years if not decades of experience under their belt, begin to break up the structure of the leaves and roll them into the desired shape and size.Sometimes the leaves are twisted, sometimes the leaves are rolled into balls, sometimes the leaves are rolled very little. It all depends on the type of Green Tea being made. And there are many.
- Drying Process: The tea leaves might be of the desired shape but they are not yet dry. The average moisture content of leaves following the “rolling” process is 10-13%, which is then reduced further to 5% after hot-air drying.
The drying of the produced tea is partly responsible for the many flavour compounds in Green Tea.
The growing, harvesting and processing is not limited to Asia. In fact, there are Green Tea Industries in New Zealand, Hawaii, and some areas of the mainland of the United States of America. Even in the United Kingdom, there are ongoing experiments.
And the result is superb. This aromatic and wholesome beverage has adorned teacups around the world for thousands of years. It is the second most consumed globally accounting for 20% of total consumption beaten only by Black Tea, which accounts for 78% of total consumption. The extra 2% is teas such as White and Oolong.
History of Green Tea
“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life”. ― Lin Yutang, Writer and Philosopher.
Tea was an accident, or so the legend goes. According to tales of old, it was discovered by an ancient Chinese Emperor named Shennong who one day came to rest underneath a tree and fell asleep in the midday sun, a cup of boiling water by his side.
When he awoke, he found that leaves from the tree above had fallen into his drink. Shennong, an avid herbalist, decided to try the infusion and to his surprise, it tasted great. The infusion was tea.
No one knows if there is any truth to the tale but it certainly makes a wonderful story. One way or another, it opened the eyes to hundreds, then thousands, then millions of people.
The first written record of tea was published in the eighth century CE and was entitled “Ch’a Ching”, meaning “Tea Classic” or “The Classic of Tea”. It was written by Lu Yu, a Chinese Sage, during the Tang Dynasty. His words were read by millions, his references to the health benefits of tea inspired millions more.
Tea spread, it reached the ears of men and women in faraway lands. It became the bedrock of many countries and in one particular case, helped to establish one.
Britain’s love for tea is famous. More famous still, however, is its legacy. The British Empire once had dominion over a quarter of the world’s landmass including the Americas. In 1773, colonists who were then British subjects had grown tired of extortionate taxes on tea importation to the American colonies and in protest, boarded three vessels in the Boston Harbor and dumped 342 chests of Green Tea into the water below.
The event was one of the sparks that led to the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) and America’s Declaration of Independence in 1776. Green Tea had marked its place in history. And it hadn’t been the first time, either.
Today we take all teas for granted but its history stretches across countless countries over millennia. At times its history has been vague, elusive, uncertain and at other times even turbulent and explosive. It's more than just a brew; to many, it defines their lives and the lives of their ancestors.
Chinese Green Tea
Around the same time that Lu Yu penned his book on tea during the eighth century CE, revolutionary methods of making new and fascinating Types of Tea were being discovered. Although the specifics cannot be agreed by historians, it is believed that Green Tea was one of the products of the time.
But even then, even with some often ambiguous records to refer to, we can never know for sure when and how it was first made nor when and how it first became popular in China.
Nevertheless, Chinese Green Tea is arguably the most famous and is enjoyed by people of all backgrounds. But in its early days in China it was reserved only for Royalty and those of “higher” class.
Green Tea was given to Emperors and the Royal Court as a Tribute. These were called “Tribute Teas”.
This changed in the latter years of the Tang Dynasty and during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE) when drinking Green Tea became ingrained as a fundamental part of all Chinese society. The Song Dynasty also saw development, allowing the production of better-tasting, less-bitter.
The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) saw its first Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang, formally abolish the tradition of tribute teas and the nation opened its eyes to a new everyday beverage. Green Tea was here to stay, and it was going to get bigger and better with each passing year.
It is important to note, however, that much of the history of in China (and Green Tea everywhere for that matter) is often speculation over fact. It is most likely that we never know 100% how it came to be.
Japanese Green Tea
Japan’s introduction to tea also coincided with Lu Yu’s Tea Classic Book. It has been suggested that two Buddhist monks, Saicho and Kukai, brought young trees from China to Japan during this time.
But the sun did not really rise upon the world of Japanese Green Tea until 1191 CE, when another Buddhist monk named Eisai popularised the idea of drinking Green Tea for good health. Years later, Eisai wrote his own book, his own “Tea Classic” if you will, entitled “Kissa Yojoki - How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea”.
The two-volume book was published in 1211 CE and highlighted many of the health benefits of drinking Green Tea. In one extract it read:
“Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete”.
In 1214 Eisai’s escapades continued by him introducing tea to the Samurai. Soon after, not only the Samurai but also the Shogun were enjoying Green Tea. From there it spread to the rest of Japan.
The 13th Century was an important time for Japanese Tea but not quite as important as the 17th and 18th Centuries when Japan, like China, began experimenting with the process of making Green Tea.
Although disputed by the Chinese, some historians believe that Sencha Green was created in Japan by a tea farmer named Nagatani Soen (1681 - 1778) who lived in the Uji region near Kyoto. This coincided with the creation of Matcha Tea, another popular Green Tea from Japan.
And with the creation of Matcha Green Tea came a new tradition, the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Japan, in some ways, “adopted” it as their own. It reinvented the brew, expanded its horizons, and built upon its foundations. If China is the “father” of Green Tea, then Japan is the “Godfather”.
Indian Green Tea
Arriving in India at the same time as Japan; it may have been before. Again, like much of the history of Green Tea in its entirety, little is known for certain. What is known, however, is that it wasn’t as popular, not at first at least.
India was at first more interested in Ayurvedic Teas used to promote a form of holistic healing called Ayurveda, which used a variety of herbs and spices to balance the body and the mind.
For centuries, despite being sparsely present, it had little impact on India’s society. In fact, it was not until the British colonised India in the 18th and 19th Centuries that things began to change.
Two deciding factors brought about Indian Green Tea and the entire Indian Tea Industry: first, the unrest in the American colonies and Britain eventually losing the American War of Independence. America had been one of Great Britain’s greatest source of income which, following the 1776 Declaration of Independence, dried up.
The second factor came straight from the source of Britain’s tea, China. Tensions between the two countries saw Britain not only lose its biggest buyer but also its biggest seller. Britain was heading towards economic disaster.
An answer to the tea shortage and in 1774, Warren Hastings, an English statesman and Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal), sent seedlings from a Chinese Camellia sinensis var sinensis plant to India for planting. The project failed as the plant struggled in the Indian heat.
Again, the British tried in 1780 and again, they were met with failure.
It was not until 1823, some 40 years later, that a Scottish merchant and explorer named Robert Bruce discovered the native Camellia sinensis var assamica plant growing in Assam. He went on to clarify his findings with his brother, Charles Alexander Bruce, who in turn sent specimens to Calcutta Botanical Gardens. It was confirmed soon after: tea grew in India.
While Black Teas such as Assam Tea are most famous in India, there are many examples also of Indian Green Tea. In recent years, it has experienced a surge in popularity alongside Ceylon and Kenya Tea.
Types of Green Tea
There are hundreds if not thousands of Green Tea types. Each is different from the last. There are Loose Leaf and Green Tea Bags. There are powdered like Matcha and some that snap, crackle, and pop like Gunpowder. There are flavoured like Peppermint Green Tea and Jasmine Green Tea. And there are also decaffeinated using only organic methods, and even some said to bring good luck and long life.
They can be added with others such as White Tea to make blends even herbs, to spices, to oils, to a multitude of other ingredients.
Green Tea is versatile. It can be added to nearly anything or made almost unrecognisably different by changing an element of its processing. We love it in all of its shapes and forms.
Matcha Green Tea
In order to make Matcha Tea, the leaves used from the Camellia sinensis plant must be shade grown for at least two weeks before harvesting. The shading of the leaves produces larger quantities of amino acids and chlorophyll, vital compounds found in Matcha Tea.
Unlike other Green Teas, Matcha uses the whole leaf of the plant which is picked, dried, and ground into a fine powder, the antioxidant strength of which is said to be 137 times more than a regular cup of Green Tea.
In Japan, Matcha is a staple of society. In the 17th Century, a Matcha Tea Ceremony was developed for spiritual purposes capable of cleansing the mind, body and soul. It is still practised today:
- To begin a Matcha Tea ceremony, all objects including ceremonial utensils as well as the room itself, called a “Machiai”, must be cleaned.
- When formalities begin, guests are greeted with a single bow from the host and are then asked to advance. Oftentimes the ground is covered in dew as part of a cleansing ritual symbolising the removal of dust from the world.
- Both the host and the guests must then wash their hands and face in a stone basis for the art of purification. Extra care is taken when cleaning the mouth.
- Ensuring all the utensils are clean and ready for use, the host finally adds one to three scoops of Matcha Green Tea Powder per guest into a group bowl.
Hot but not boiling, water is added to the bowl.
- The host then stirs the Matcha Powder with a Matcha Bamboo Whisk until the bright green liquor is almost (but not quite) ready to drink.
- When the powder reaches the right consistency, additional hot water is added and the infusion is whisked again, producing a rich, thick Matcha Tea.
Then, and only then, both the host and the guest may enjoy their beverages.
Matcha is noted for being astringent in taste, its profile complex.
Gunpowder Tea can be made from any type of tea be it Green, Black, White, or Oolong; however, Gunpowder is by far the most popular when made with Green Tea Leaves. Like any, the oxidation period of Gunpowder is halted soon after it reaches the factory, but unlike regular Green Tea, it is rolled into small, round pellets.
Supposedly, Gunpowder Tea gets its name from the shape of the tea leaves, which are said to resemble the lead shots used in muskets. But this is just one theory. Again, no one knows for sure.
Another theory is that the name stems from the Mandarin Chinese term “freshly brewed”. Spoken in its correct dialect, the phrase “freshly brewed” sounds like the English word “gunpowder”.
And there is still another theory, one that suggests that it was named after the sound it makes when it is brewed. To some, Gunpowder Tea makes a “crackling sound” when hot water is poured over it, the same cracking sound made by a musket.
Historians believe that Gunpowder Tea was “invented” near the same time as regular Green Tea and originated from the Zhejiang province of China. Today, it is also produced in the Guangdong, Anhui, Hunan, and Fujian provinces.
There is also Taiwanese Gunpowder Green Tea, better known as Formosa Gunpowder.
Up until 1900, Chinese Gunpowder Teas accounted for 60% of America’s total tea imports. The chances are, then, that a lot was in those 342 chests dumped into the Boston Harbor in 1773.
The taste is bold and occasionally smoky. Like regular Green Tea, it consists of distinct grassy notes as well as a rich, refreshing aftertaste.
Peppermint Green Tea is one example of a flavoured Green Tea. It is one of our most popular but it is likewise one of the hundreds if not thousands of flavoured available today.
This wholesome brew is made with natural peppermint extract and is noted for being particularly aromatic when brewed (just like Peppermint Herbal Tea!).
But then there is Mango, Banana, Gingerbread Flavoured, and Cucumber and Melon.
There is Red Ginseng, Cinnamon and Plum, and even Papaya Guava and Mango. Ultimately, there is a flavoured Green Tea for every personal taste.
And that’s not all. Many of the flavoured Green Teas have added health benefits owing to their ingredients. For example, the peppermint in Peppermint Tea contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants such as Vitamins A, B, C and E, Alpha-carotene, Beta-carotene, Calcium, Copper, Inositol, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Silicon, Sulphur, and Zinc.
Combined, these compounds can work with Green Tea to improve digestion, boost the immune system, prevent halitosis, and help you to lose weight.
Tea leaves naturally contain caffeine, as does every other tea type. The Camellia sinensis plant is, in fact, one of 60 other plants to contain caffeine including nuts from the Kola tree, often used in the making of soft drink products, the Theobroma cacao tree, which produces the bean used for chocolate, and of course the coffee plant which is harvested for coffee.
Caffeine was first discovered by a German scientist called Friedrich Ferdinand Runge in the 1820’s. Since then, however, the world has endeavoured to find new and innovative ways of decaffeinating teas and coffees.
Contrary to popular belief, no tea to contain leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant is 100% decaffeinated. But Decaffeinated Green Tea is the next best thing and has around 98% of its caffeine content removed. There are four different methods of decaffeination when decaffeinating the leaves.
- CO2 Method: Often considered the safest of all the processing methods, pressurised liquid Carbon Dioxide is used to attract the small caffeine molecules found in the teas or coffees. Flavour molecules, meanwhile, are much larger and remain intact.
- Methylene chloride Method: This method is as controversial as it sounds. It uses Methylene chloride as a solvent to extract between 96% and 97% of the caffeine from the tea leaves or coffee beans. Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we never use this process; not now, not ever.
- Ethyl Acetate Method: A little less controversial than the Methylene chloride method but still not ideal, this process sees ethyl acetate, a natural chemical found in many fruits, used to extract between 96% and 97% of the caffeine content.
- Swiss Water Method: While we use only the CO2 method, the Swiss Water method is considered by many to be the second best choice; however, it is seldom used for tea leaves and is instead used predominantly for the decaffeination of coffee. The Swiss Water method uses hot water to extract between 94% and 96% of the caffeine content, along with the flavours molecules. Yet while the flavour molecules are returned with the use of a carbon filter, the caffeine molecules are retained.
On average, only 5 to 10 milligrams of caffeine is left in Decaffeinated Green Tea, making it an excellent choice for those looking to cut down on their caffeine intake. Caffeine can cause side effects such as jitteriness and sleeplessness, so when choosing Decaffeinated, you are choosing to avoid the risks of waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
Jasmine Tea is arguably the most famous flavoured Green Tea in the world. It is made using the beautiful Jasmine Flower (Jasminum), which is both fragrant and flavoursome.
In the early afternoons of June, July and August experienced and dutiful workers hand-pick jasmine buds when the sun is out and the dew has long evaporated. But only when the buds are ready to bloom that same evening are chosen.
The thousands of jasmine buds are then stored in a dry place until they open in the cool night air, releasing their signature scent around the factory floor.
Now ready for the next and most crucial stage, the jasmine flowers are placed into basket trays and layered over Green Tea leaves and after some hours, the leaves underneath absorb the fragrance and distinct flavour of jasmine.
All Jasmine scented teas, including Jasmine with Flowers and Jasmine Pearl Superior, are easily recognised by their delightfully floral notes and grassy undertones.
And if you want to enjoy Jasmine without Green Tea, we also have Jasmine Flower Tea, a herbal tea.
Sencha Green Tea
Around 78% of tea consumed in Japan is Sencha Green Tea. In fact, some of the finest, the most delicious, and the most nourishing Sencha Teas come from Japan.
Some historians believe that they came from Japan, others believe it came instead from China. Again, little to the surprise of most, we will probably never know.
Nevertheless, Japan has a legend that Sencha Green, or at least an early version of it, was first created by a tea farmer named Nagatani Soen from Uji, near Kyoto, in 1738.
According to the tale, Soen was fond of experimenting with different processing techniques and as a result, created a beverage resembling that of the modern-day Sencha Green Tea.
At the age of 58, Nagatani was a very experienced farmer who had a great understanding of how the Japanese tea industry worked. He knew that his new tea wouldn’t sell in Kyoto, its residents conservative and traditional, so instead he travelled to Edo (present-day Tokyo).
There, Nagatani visited a local tea shop, its owner captivated by his creation. The owner asked Nagatani to return the following year with more of the tea, dubbing it “tenka ichi” (‘天下一’), meaning “first under the heavens”.
Regardless of whether there is any truth to this story, Sencha Green Tea today is one of the most popular Green Teas, period. It consists of a bitter-sweet balance of flavour with, like most Green Teas, grassy undertones.
Mao Feng Green Tea
With its long, curly, dark green leaf and its exceptional sweetness upon brewing, China Mao Feng is a heavenly beverage grown in the mountain region of the Zhejiang Province.
It is a Flowery Orange Pekoe (FOP), which denotes tea made from the top bud and the first two leaves of each new shoot. FOP teas contain young, tender leaves with a balanced amount of “tip” or “bud”.
Perhaps more importantly, though, Mao Feng Green Tea is grown in some of the best conditions of all of China, some 600 metres above sea level, and is harvested in April Spring, the very start of the season.
The plantation responsible for this heavenly creation is found close to the Jiu Long Shan Mountain, meaning “the Mountain of the Nine Dragons”.
Yet there is nothing “dragon-like” about this. Instead, it offers a soft, crisp aroma and a bright, cleansing, buttery taste with notes of apricot and none of the usual bitterness of “regular” Green Tea.
If Mao Feng Green Tea was a dragon, it would be a very friendly one!
Moroccan Mint Tea
Rather than a “type” of tea, Moroccan Mint Tea is made with Gunpowder Green Tea leaves, infused with peppermint. The name derives from its immense popularity in Morocco. In fact, it is their National Drink!
Gunpowder Tea was first introduced to Morocco over the course of the late 17th Century and the early 18th Century. It is often called “Maghrebi Mint Tea”, Sahrawi Mint Tea”, or “Touareg” and has become a staple of Moroccan culture.
Traditionally, drinking Moroccan Mint Tea is associated with hospitality. If you are fortunate enough to be invited into the home of a Moroccan, then you will most likely be offered a glass (or three) of this very popular drink.
First, however, an almost ritualistic tea-preparation “ceremony” takes place in the kitchen, adhering to the saying “Insha’Allah”, which means “with God willing, all good things come with time”.
While upholding tradition, the host must first rinse a teapot made from either tin, brass, or aluminium with boiling water before adding Gunpowder leaves, mint, and sometimes sugar.
More water is then added, which is left to steep for a few minutes before being stirred.
Once a guest has been made to feel comfortable, the host returns from the kitchen carrying a tray adorned with the long-spouted teapot and several drinking glasses.
The next step takes impeccable precision as the host pours into the empty glasses from a height of at least 12 inches, which is an indication of experience in the art of tea-pouring and creates a thin layer of foam on the surface. And if no foam is present, the host will make a second attempt with a fresh batch..
Finally, the tea is ready to be enjoyed in the company of new friends.
Therein lies the magic of Moroccan Mint Tea: it brings people together, helps those around to develop new friendships, and is one thing that everyone has in common.
Organic Green Tea
Sometimes in this world, it is the little things that make a big difference. Such is the way of Organic Green Teas, “organic” referring to the way it is grown and processed without the use of pesticides or insecticides, bio-engineered genes or petroleum/sewage-based fertilisers.
Going with Organic Green Tea and do “your bit” for the environment. It not only sustains the environmental state of the land used by, and surrounding estates but also ensures the safety of those working in and around the area. It also helps to protect local wildlife and allows for a sustainable and progressive future in tea-growing.
Presently, man-made pesticides and fertilisers, which often contain nitrogen, are slowly but surely damaging the arable land where tea grows. And whatever is not absorbed by the plants and the soil is often found in waterways, which in turn creates massive nitrogen-fed “algal blooms” capable of starving bodies of water of vital oxygen while also suffocating fish and other aquatic life.
98% of sprayed insecticides reach a destination other than their target, often travelling by wind and heavy rain. Ultimately, the radius of damage it not just limited to the immediate area of production; it can spread much further.
Organic Teas are certified by the regulatory body within the producing country and checked and certified again as they enter the European Union.
The EU regulations on organic products are very robust and uniform across Europe. Each container is checked and sampled, and if a tea fails inspection, the container is resealed and returned to its country of origin.
Better still, we as a company likewise inspect every tea deemed “organic” to ensure it too meets our expectations.
Green Tea Benefits
We as a society are becoming increasingly health conscious. Still, in a world of “fake news” it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s false. Green Tea has long had the spotlight when it comes to improving your everyday way of life but where is the evidence? Right here.
The science of Green Tea exists. It is not a fairy tale nor a lie. For centuries people have consumed Green Tea for its health-promoting properties not fully understanding the “hows” or the “whys”, but no longer.
Now, the facts and the figures are falling into place and the general consensus is that Green Tea, no matter the type, can support a healthy and active lifestyle in some of the most remarkable ways.
The natural process of human oxidation, which is when our body metabolises the oxygen we breathe and our cells produce energy from it, can cause many issues when left unchecked. Oxygen molecules can create stress on our organs and tissues by introducing unpaired electrons called free radicals to the body. An abundance of free radicals in the body can, in turn, lead to complications such as heart disease and even cancer.
Yet all is not lost as the antioxidants in Green Tea can afford protection from free radicals and can, in some cases, neutralise them, albeit temporarily. In particular, its rich in antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, specifically polyphenolic catechins.
These catechins in Green Tea can be further subcategorised, with the most vital being Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound responsible for most of the health benefits of Green Tea.
We know already that it can reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular disease and its frequent consumption can, in all, improve cardiovascular health. When it comes to its ability to combat cancer, meanwhile, things aren’t so clear-cut.
There is some preliminary evidence to support the consumption of Green Tea for a reduced risk of developing cancer, none we as a company are prepared to endorse at this present moment, however.
In 2015, a meta-analysis found that drinking a cup each day (no matter the type) reduced the risks of developing cancer by 2%. Those who drank the most tea, on the other hand, had a 21% lower cancer risk than those who drank none. Nevertheless, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company must stress again that we strictly do not endorse the consumption of Green Tea, or any tea, for the reduced risks of developing cancer. Instead, we support the mounting evidence that suggests correlations in the field.
But the benefits of Green Tea do not end there. Far from it.
What we lack in information with Green Tea and cancer, we make up for in other areas. Can it help you to lose weight? Yes. Can it help you to fight depression? Yes.
Don’t just take our word for it, though. Read the facts!
High diets in saturated fats coupled with low physical activity are two of the main contributors to Cardiovascular Disease and other similar conditions.
But Green Tea might be the answer to the concerns of many. A recent meta-analysis of 13 Green Tea-related observational studies found that volunteers who drank the most Green Tea had a 28% lower risk of a coronary artery disease than those who drank the least.
And that is just one example.
Another common cardiovascular disease known as atherosclerosis is often caused by reduced levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the endothelium lining of blood vessels; however, studies have indicated that the flavonoids in Green Tea can improve endothelial function and flow-mediated dilation (FMD).
One study, in particular, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, stated that Green Tea improved bioactivity of the endothelium-derived vasodilator, nitric oxide, by enhancing its synthesis. In other words, choosing this type of tea can improve cardiovascular health.
There is no easy way to lose weight. There is no magic “fix-all” solution. There is no use believing internet searches besieging you with luring titles such as “follow these six steps and drop 7 pounds in a week”.
Green Tea, meanwhile, is a weight-loss tool to believe in as it doesn’t pretend to be anything than what it is: an accompaniment to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Green Tea doesn’t try to sell you the false pretence of being a “miracle brew”, mostly because there is no real miracle to science. Instead, there is method.
Providing one eats healthily and exercises frequently, it can, help boost the metabolism, helping your body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently.
But the former is needed for the latter to work. It means eating apples and bananas, having evening walks in the park and getting out of bed to go on a morning jog the next day.
After all, you know what they say: with great tea comes great responsibility.
Calories in Green Tea
Green Tea can help you to reach your weight loss goal in more than one way. So, put down that can of fizzy drink, throw away that sugary fruit juice, and instead have only two calories per 200 ml of Green Tea.
Consider it as a “guilt-free” pleasure, one that contains fewer calories than wine (160 kcals), beer (180 kcals), and cider (220 kcals). It also contains fewer calories than bananas (105 calories), kiwis (93 calories), plums (91 calories), and even a small apple (52 calories).
Of course, you shouldn’t be considered an alternative to food. But should you have a craving for something you shouldn’t, something unhealthy, something that would put the pounds on, then why not brew up a nice, nourishing, low-calorie cup of Green Tea instead?
Have you ever walked into a beauty shop, stared at a pot of £50 skin cream, and wondered if there is a better way? It turns out there is, and it is Green Tea.
According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of Dermatology in 2000, the antioxidants in Green Tea can afford protection against a variety of skin disorders. In particular, EGCG, the same antioxidant that can afford protection against cardiovascular health, can keep your skin in its prime.
Furthermore, the same tannins found in Green Tea that make this beverage taste pleasantly astringent can also keep your skin “pleasantly” beautiful by shrinking pores as well as by reducing sebum (natural skin oil) production. And that is why many choose Green Tea for treating acne.
Green Tea also has anti-inflammatory properties capable of reducing skin swelling. It can also reduce the signs of ageing, protect against sun damage and even, when used topically, gently exfoliates the skin, eliminating dead, rough skin cells from the face as well as any excess oil and pollutants.
Increase Brain Function
Britain has a health problem. And no, we’re not talking about obesity no oral hygiene. We are talking about an estimated 750,000 people who suffer from either Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, conditions that, statistically, are set to double in prevalence in the next 40 years as the UK’s population ages.
Early evidence suggests that the EGCG content found in Green Tea can improve brain function and can, potentially, reduce the risks of developing Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
In one new study conducted at the University of Basel, Switzerland, Prof. Stefan Borgwardt from the Psychiatric University Clinics found that extracts of Green Tea increase the brain’s effective connectivity, meaning the causal influence that one brain area exerts over another.
The effect of this connectivity led also to the improvement of cognitive improvement as proven by the volunteers who, after consuming the extract, tested significantly better for memory tasks.
However, like Green Tea and cancer, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company do not endorse the consumption of Green Tea, or any other, for the enhancement of cognitive function at least until we know more. Again, we support the mounting evidence and await further news.
Who else is bored of the stereotype that British people have bad teeth because they drink too much tea? Not only do we, on the contrary, have exceptionally excellent oral health but we also should be drinking much more tea as, according to studies, it is one of the main reasons we have such glistening smiles.
One particular study conducted at the University of Fukuoka, Japan, and led by Dr Yoshihiro Shimazaki saw male participants aged between 49 and 59 examined on three indicators of periodontal disease: periodontal pocket depth (PD), clinical attachment loss (CAL) of gum tissue, and bleeding on probing (BOP) of the gum tissue.
Researchers, including Dr Shimazaki, noted that for every one cup of Green Tea consumed per day, there was a decrease in all three indicators, therefore signifying a lower instance of periodontal disease in those subjects who drank Green Tea on a regular basis.
The reason for this dramatic improvement in oral health is credited to EGCG which, according to previous research, can reduce inflammation in the body, and the indicators of periodontal disease measured in Dr Shimazaki’s study, PD, CAL, and BOP, suggested the existence of an inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria in the mouth.
By interfering with the body's inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, Green Tea may actually help promote periodontal health and ward off further disease.
If that doesn’t put a smile on your face then what will?
During the Second World War, when Axis Forces had occupied mainland Europe and Britain stood alone, Prime Minister Winston Churchill believed that a good, hearty cup of tea was vital for the country’s morale. He worried about what would happen if the supply was cut off. But thankfully, tea was near the top of the list of priorities.
In fact, the largest government purchases in 1942 were bullets, then tea, then artillery shells, bombs, and explosives. One might say that tea was our secret weapon. It certainly didn’t eradicate stress among the British people of World War II but it helped in small ways.
Today, statistics suggest that 75% of people in Britain, France, Germany, Canada, America, Australia, and South Korea feel stressed on a regular basis.
There is no easy way to overcome the perils of a fast-paced 21st Century society but there is one way to at least make things a little better, a way that has been used to great success for thousands of years, the same way adopted by the British people just 75 years ago, brew up a cup of tea.
It sounds simplistic but, according to research, people who drink tea four times a day for six weeks have lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
Furthermore, reducing your stress levels might be the key to losing a couple of extra pounds!
Another recent study has discovered that chronic stress disrupts sleep and blood sugar levels, which then leads to increased hunger and comfort eating. With comfort eating comes further disrupted sleep, even higher levels of stress and even more disrupted blood sugars.
This not only leads to unhealthy levels of body fat but also, very potentially, Type II Diabetes.
So, could sitting on the sofa with a nice cup of Green Tea help? It’s a possibility.
Green Tea Pregnancy
Most famously, drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea in Pregnancy is said to be an excellent choice at 32 weeks into a pregnancy; however, it is not the only one. Green Tea is another choice to consider for different reasons.
While Raspberry Leaf Tea is a caffeine-free herbal tea, Green Tea is not. For that reason, caution must be exercised as it is recommended by NHS Choices that pregnant women consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine daily, around the same amount as 2 cups of coffee.
It is true that it contains caffeine. But very little. The average cup of Green Tea contains between 30 mg and 45 mg of caffeine so, compared with the estimated 100 mg of caffeine per cup of coffee, it is a great alternative.
Nevertheless, be sure to monitor your caffeine intake, even with Green Tea. Also take note of any other caffeinated drinks you consume alongside, including coffee and soft drinks.
Aside from caffeine, Green Tea also contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants. It is nutritious to the last, which is exactly what you need when you are pregnant.
But if you have any uncertainties regarding the caffeine content of Green Tea or any other element of its consumption, then The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company will always recommend a medical consultation before consuming, or any other, while pregnant.
Green Tea Side Effects
There are very few side effects to consuming Green Tea. In fact, the vast majority of people will have no problem drinking 3 or sometimes 4 cups of Green Tea a day.
But naturally, this does not apply to everyone. Those who are particularly sensitive to caffeine should instead consider a Decaffeinated as excessive caffeine intake might lead to nervousness, shakiness and even on the rarest of occasions anxiety.
Excessive caffeine intake has also exasperated stomach-related issues in some individuals as well as led to headaches and migraines, insomnia, and heart palpitations. If you have, in the past, suffered from any of these issues, then again recommend a medical consultation prior, or any other tea.
However, the most common side effect of frequent Green Tea consumption, the one we hear the most about when our quality Green Teas are chosen, is wanting to brew up another cup!
Where to Buy Green Tea
We have more than 35 years’ experience with Green Tea and now stock over 100 different types. If you are not a fan of regular Green Tea, Matcha, Gunpowder, Peppermint, just to name a few, then we have many more for you to choose from.
We have our Lucky Dragon Hyson Organic Green Tea as just one possibility, a fine quality beverage from China produced using only traditional (and organic!) methods. We also have Sakura Cherry Sencha for those looking to embrace Japanese tradition.
Alternatively, there is Jasmine and Vanilla White and Green Tea if you love White Tea as much as Green Tea and can’t choose between the two. Still not whetted your appetite? Why not feel festive, then, with Christmas Green Tea, made with the finest quality leaves complemented with exotic and spicy surprises?
If perhaps you would like to try a variety around the same time, then consider our Samples Selection and pick your favourite! The selection includes 5 different Green teas, all can be found on our website.
From 2737 BCE to the present day, Green Tea has captivated the world. Is it time you became a part of this special journey? There has never been a better time to enjoy Green Tea, so buy today with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company and put the kettle on.