Green Tea has become a very popular health drink nowadays, not only in the western countries, but also in India. Green tea has even started replacing black tea in many Indian families as well as in the offices.
Green tea is indeed a refreshing drink apart from being much healthier than any other drink available today. Green tea keeps you young and healthy since it contains high concentrations of antioxidants known as polyphenols.
However, the con is that a good quality green tea is also expensive. On the other hand, to get the full benefits you have to choose only the best quality green tea and drink enough every day. Read our blog on how to buy the best green tea for maximum health benefits and taste.
Keeping in view of the higher cost of green tea, many of us would like to know how to reduce the money spent on green tea every month while still buying the finest green tea in the market to get the full health benefits.
Why Good Quality Green Tea is Expensive?
Good quality green tea is expensive. There are multiple factors which makes a good quality green tea expensive than black teas or an average quality green tea.
- The first factor that contributes to the high cost of a good green tea is the delicacy of the processing method. As many of us knows, green tea is the least oxidized type of tea out of all other types of teas. Green tea producers have to make special arrangements to make sure there is very less time from when the raw tea leaves are plucked till when it is processed. Also, unlike regular CTC black tea processing, green tea processing typically involves more manual labour, eventually increasing the cost of the final output.
- The finest quality of green tea is loose leaf green tea handcrafted by artisan tea makers in small quantities. These green teas are made with great care by small tea farmers and are made from the most tender tea leaves . The quality of the tea bushes and the tea season also plays an important role in the final quality the green tea. On the other hand, the tea bushes that produce the finest tea leaves have comparatively lesser yield. So, there is always a tradeoff here between quality and quantity.
- The best quality green tea is organically grown in small family farms through sustainable farming techniques. Studies have found that organic tea leaves contain 50 to 60% more antioxidants than the conventional chemically grown tea leaves. Moreover, the chemical residues present in conventional green teas can actually do more harm than providing you the enormous health benefits that these conventional green teas claim to offer.
How to Reduce Cost of Your Green Tea?
Use Loose Leaf Green Tea for Multiple Infusions
The most affordable green tea in the market is loose leaf green tea. Also, it is going to give you the best taste if you know how to brew the perfect cup of green tea. Good quality loose leaf teas can be brewed for multiple times. Depending on the quality and type of the tea, loose leaf tea can be brewed anywhere between 2 to 4 times. Repeated infusions of the loose leaf green tea will bring out different, evolving tastes each time, enhancing the complexity and value of the green tea. Using the same tea leaves repeatedly will also reduce your cost per cup of green tea.
Brewing Loose Green Tea Leaves Away from Home
If you normally drink green tea away from home, for example in your office, then the most obvious choice seems to be to go for regular green tea bags available in the nearest convenient store. Buying green tea bags will however increase your cost because tea bagged teas are normally expensive than loose teas since you are not only paying for the tea but also for the extra packaging. So, if you buy green tea in tea bags then it will become really expensive if you have to drink enough every day to get the full health benefits of green tea. Moreover, you will most likely end up drinking a sub standard green tea since most tea bag manufacturers will blend lower quality green teas in their tea bags to maximise profit.
Below are some suggestions which will help you to brew the most delicious whole leaf green teas when you are away from home.
Use a Tea Infuser to Brew Loose Green Tea Leaves
A tea ball. The tea leaves go in the ball, and then it is put into the tea pot to brew. Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tea_ball.jpg
There are several other means as well to brew loose leaf green tea, for example: tea bowls, tea mesh etc. Many of these utensils are also nowadays available on online stores in India.
Buy Full Leaf Green Tea Bags
Another alternative to the normal green tea bag is to buy full leaf green tea bags. Full leaf tea bags, also called as the whole leaf tea bags, combine the benefits of loose leaf teas with the convenience of tea bags. These are specially designed spacious tea bags providing enough space for the full tea leaves to unfold. Since these tea bags contain full leaf teas, you can use them for multiple infusions reducing the cost per cup of your green tea.
Various vendors are offering full leaf tea bags in India nowadays. Most of them are made of Nylon and some people also call them with the fancy name Pyramid Tea bags. However, Nylon is actually a plastic and plastic tea bags may not be safe for your health. The best full leaf tea bags are made of 100% cotton or muslin cloths to make it safe for your health as well as the environment.
Full Leaf Green Tea in Cotton Tea Bags
Don’t Throw Away the Green Tea Leaves after Brewing
Once you have brewed your fresh cup of green tea from loose leaf green tea, you would normally throw it away. But, you will be surprised to know that there are a variety of ways you can use them around the house ranging from culinary creations to household uses. This will ensure that you don’t waste a single bit of that green tea goodness. Read more on how to use green tea leaves after you've brewed your cup