Green tea is produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. The biggest influence on the taste of green tea apart from the climate, altitude and soil has the processing procedure. The most famous manufacturer of green tea is China, followed by Taiwan and Japan. According to the legend, green tea was found by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung around 2750 BC. Green tea was brought to Europe in the 1560 through Portugal. Since then, this beverage wins Europe, as well as the whole world. Today, green tea is more and more wanted in the market, which is quite justified because of its exceptional healing properties about which many people unfortunately do not know.
Healing properties – of green tea
Among teas the green tea is best known for its beneficial effects on health. It is quite justified and its healing properties have been scientifically proven. Numerous studies have been conducted since the 17th century and are still in progress. Green tea finds ever rising application in various fields particularly in cosmetics. It is interesting that in Japan and China, where green tea is most prevalent, the rate of cancers is the lowest, and the life expectancy is longest. Also, scientists at Yale University conducted a study in Asia, and lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer is observed although Asians are characterized as heavy smokers.
Other healing properties proven by scientific research:
- The ingredients this tea contains repress the function of malignant cells, i.e. help stopping the occurrence of nitrosamines, prevents the function of enzyme urokinase that feeds cancer cells in the body
- It reduces the risk of esophagus cancer by 50%,
- It helps in prevention of lung cancer,
- It helps with headaches,
- It helps prevent heart and blood vessels disease,
- It has an effect on atherosclerosis, high cholesterol,
- It helps with Crohn’s disease,
- For high triglycerides,
- It increases the activity of enzymes and detoxification processes in the small intestine, liver and lungs,
- It reduces the occurrence of teeth tartar, bleeding gums and bacteria that cause tooth decay,
- It contains the amino acid L – theanine, which increases the ability to learn, lowers blood pressure, relieves PMS symptoms, improves concentration, calms the nerves,
- It destroys undesirable bacteria that affect the intestinal microflora,
- It helps reduce inflammatory processes in the body,
- It has an antiviral and refreshing effects, boosts activity and improves mood,
- It eliminates fatigue and drowsiness,
- Because of the richness in antioxidants such as EGCG it is highly successful in eliminating the harmful effects of smoking, fighting cancer and hepatitis,
- It assists in the maintenance of body weight, i.e. with weight loss,
- It strengthens the immune system of the whole organism,
- It is known in folk medicine as a remedy for sore throats,
- It improves physical activity which makes it especially popular among athletes,
- Intake of green tea reduces the level of free radicals after training by 64%, increases the level of polyphenols in the blood by 27%
- It increases concentration, motivation and stamina,
- It prevents acne.
Here are just the most important healing properties of green tea, and certainly there are many others.
Acne and green tea
It is recommended to consume it if there are problems with acne.
Preparation – of green tea
- Heat the water to temperature of between 70 and 80°C, certainly not more than that (it is a rule that boiling water should never be poured over green tea).
- Leave the water for 1 minute.
- Put 1 bag in one cup. If tea is not in bags, then put two teaspoons.
- Pour the water in the cup.
- Leave the cup for about 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes you can start enjoying drinking this tasty and above all healthy beverage.
Additives to the prepared – green tea
A true taste of green tea is best felt if taken without additives.It is not recommended to drink sweetened tea because it does not have such a curative effect. Dilution of tea with milk reduces the effect of tannins. Therefore, true connoisseurs of tea drink green tea without additives.
If you do not like the taste of green tea you can prepare it with slices of ginger and lemon or mint leaves with honey.
Packaging – of green tea
In sales it is found in the form of tea, in filter bags, in leaves, while the concentrate can be found in the form of tablets and various capsules, as an extract for food additives, as a spice and tea without caffeine for those who consume it in large quantities daily or those who are sensitive to even small amounts of it.
Classification by packaging
Classification is done according to size of the crushed and whole tea leaves.
Crushed leaves are classified as Fannings, orange and dust (used for filter bags). Whole leaves are classified as Flowery Orange Pekoe, Orange Pekoe and Pekoe.
It is best to use green tea in its true leafy form as a whole leaf. By packing leaves into bags for commercial sale, the leaves are crushed thus losing very healthy macronutrients and degrading the flavor.
Preservation – of green tea
The quality of green tea is recognized by how the tea is preserved. Pay attention to this when buying green tea. Buy tea in aluminum bags filled with nitrogen, not vacuumed, and also avoid buying tea in paper bags and other containers that leak air thus allowing contact with air. Even the best and the most expensive tea in the world does not have good quality if poorly preserved.There are containers for preserving tea which are hermetically closed, made of glass, porcelain or tin boxes. It is recommended that green tea be stored in such containers while the tea should not be in contact with plastic or filter bags.
It is very important that green tea is kept in smaller containers since less air gets in and there is less oxidation (it significantly reduces the quality of green tea).
Most important of all is to keep the tea in a cool, dry and dark place and away from strong odors such as moisture. Thus kitchen is not a suitable place for storing green tea.
Use the tea until the date printed on the packaging.
Breeding and picking – of green tea
The most famous producers of green tea are China, Japan and India.Green tea is produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. This is an evergreen tropical shrub. Although it can reach a height of 9 meters in the wild, this plant is cut at a height of 1 meter because of a larger number of outgrowths and leaves and easier picking.
The plant grows only in warm climates, at altitudes up to 2100 meters. The higher the altitude, the greater the quality and taste of tea, i.e. the better taste. At lower altitudes the leaves grow in about one week, and at higher altitudes they grow up to several weeks.
Processing and classification – of green tea
The processing of green tea consists of the following: leaves are picked, after the picked leaves withered a little, they are rolled, immediately after rolling they are rapidly dried (so-called frying). Drying (frying) is very important because this way the active enzymes in the leaves are lost and they can no longer ferment. Preventing fermentation is important because the longer fermentation increases the level of caffeine. Also, the longer fermentation destroys many substances that are beneficial for our body. Finished leaves are olive green in color.Classification of green tea is made taking into consideration picking, method of processing and forming leaves.
English classification of green teas:
- gunpowder (representatives: FORMOSA GUNPOWDER, GUNPOWDER TEMPLE OF HEAVEN),
- CHUN MEE are representatives of the group of finest teas of the smallest top leaves,
- natural leaf ( representatives: LUNG CHING (China) and in Japan as Sencha),
- matcha specific form of whipped tea turned into powder, still in use today, primarily in Japan for tea ceremony CHA NO YU.
Origin and history – of green tea
The origin of green tea is unknown, i.e. it is lost in ancient history. The first green tea was, according to legend, discovered by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung 2750 years BC. Legend says that the emperor put a little river water to boil, in one of the many hunting trips after he got tired of hunting. Because of the wind a few leaves accidentally fell into boiling water and blurred it. Emperor Shen-Nung was a scientist and he could not resist tasting this fluid with a good and to him unknown smell. The emperor was delighted with this refreshing beverage, and was especially impressed by the disappearance of the fatigue from hunting. Thus the green tea was made which wins the market and the world today.The first description of preservation of green tea and plant was made by the Chinese poet Lu Yii in the year 780. He also developed a method of preserving the tea so that the leaves of the tea plant were chopped to fine powder which made a refreshing drink.
Green tea and black tea originate from the same plant. This is an evergreen tropical shrub with Latin name Camellia sinensis. Camellia sinensis is a plant with tough, leathery and elliptical leaves and white flowers.
Composition of green tea: tannin, catechins, flavonoids, theanine.
Tannins (polyphenols) are substances of vegetable origin, i.e. green fruits which give a bitter taste. The longer the plant ripens the amount of tannin is reduced, thus decreasing the healing powers of tea plant.
Some of the healing properties of tannin in green tea are:
- They narrow blood vessels.
- They act against the poisoning by various substances.
- They have antifungal and antibacterial properties.
- And many other properties.
Catechins belong to the group of polyphenols. They have a phenolic structure. In green tea there are 5-27% of them. They are useful because of the excellent antioxidant activity. In green tea there are the mostly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) catechin, and epigallocatechin (EGC) catechin and epicatechin (EC) and epicatechin (ECG) catechins.
Good properties of theanine catechins in green tea are:
- They prevent the occurrence of tumors.
- Stimulation of tumor cell death.
- Stopping tumor growth.
- And many other good qualities.
It is important to note that many studies are carried out on the catechins in order to find the cure for tumor. One cup of green tea contains 10-40 mg of polyphenols with extremely antioxidant content.
Flavonoids are a group of heterocyclic compounds with oxygen, and they are color pigments such as blue, green, yellow, orange and red. These are substances of vegetable origin only. Flavonoids can be found in large quantities in: Ginkgo, green and white tea, dark chocolate, red wine, fruits, vegetables, etc.
Good properties of flavonoids theanine in green tea are:
- It has been proven that they reduce the occurrence of cancer,
- Heart diseases,
- “Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine” published that a high intake reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,
- They reduce cholesterol,
- They lower blood pressure,
- They protect and help during infection,
- And many other good properties.
Theanine (known as the hormone of happiness) is an amino acid that is found in the leaves of green tea. It is known as a substance that improves the quality of sleep, which is scientifically proven. In fact it increases the production of α-waves and blocks the release of hormones.
Good properties of theanine in green tea:
- It has a calming effect and acts as antidepressant.
- It reduces fatigue.
- It improves mental abilities.