The New Craze in India is GREEN TEA
WHY? Is it because it is so delicious? Is it because it has less caffeine than coffee and most black teas? Or is it because organic green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.
Green Tea is More Than Just Green Liquid
Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that undergo minimal oxidation during processing. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.
- Many of the bioactive compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, so important nutrients are still active. It is loaded with polyphenols like catechins and flavonoids which function as powerful antioxidants .
- These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases.
- Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function.
- Green tea has been shown to boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning in the short term, although not all studies agree.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF GREEN TEA
Green Tea is nearly 5,000 years old. The legend is that in 2737 BC, the Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung, also known as the “Divine Healer,” discovered it.
"The story goes that Emperor Shen Nung was sitting in his gardens enjoying a beautiful day while tending his cauldron of water. (The emperor discovered that allowing water to come to a full boil before drinking prevented disease). The leaves of the tea plant drifted into his cauldron and boiled, infusing the water with the first tea ever. When Shen Nong tried the drink, he was immediately invigorated. He shared the drink with all of his court officials, and suddenly, everyone at court was enjoying a jubilant buzz from the first caffeinated beverage."
At that time, green tea leaves were pressed into cakes, and ground into a powder like matcha. It was whisked into a froth in beautiful bowls. During the Song dynasty, people would even have brewing competitions to see who could whisk the finest green tea. Of course, the taste of early green tea was very strong, very grassy, and thick. When people sipped the jade green froth of Song era green tea, they were actually drinking the tea leaves themselves as a powder.
Zen Buddhist monks took this way of brewing tea back to Japan, and prepared it in a chado ceremony (from the Chinese Cha Dao) or way of tea. Green tea caught on in Japan after the emperor personally fell in love with it and started planting green tea gardens around Kyoto.
GREEN TEA IS GROWING MORE POPULAR EVERYDAY
Green tea did originate in China, but it is widely associated with many Asian cultures. Green tea has recently become relatively widespread in the West where black tea has been the traditionally consumed tea. But the times are changing and as more health benefits of green tea are discovered... the more popular it will become around the world.
- Pranabjyoti Nath