I’ll admit that there was a time not too long ago when I never would have dreamed of drinking green tea. I’m really a coffee junkie. And I’ve always deemed tea to be a bit boring. But I’ve changed my ways recently And it’s because I discovered that I was drinking green tea all wrong.
My old green tea ways.
Cut back to 2015. I would just plop a tea bag into a cup, throw in some boiling water, and let the tea brew indefinitely. Seems simple enough, right? But no…that’s wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
And not only did this affect the health aspect of the tea. It compromised the taste as well. I was completely missing out on everything great about green tea. So if you, like me, think that tea isn’t for you, you might be drinking it wrong.
My purchasing green tea mistakes
I was purchasing green tea completely wrong. Teas aren’t all the same. Go figure!
First, it’s best to buy loose leaf tea if possible. Did you know that many tea bags just contain the bits and end from the tea leaves that would otherwise be discarded? You’ll not only miss the full nutrient potential, but you’ll be horribly deprived in the taste department. That stuff isn’t very good.
So loose leaf is best. But you can also look to some of the higher quality tea bag brands. Those brands offer larger tea bags with more whole leaves.
Also, if possible, make sure to get organic. Tea leaves can be heavily sprayed. And green tea is such a healthy beverage. It’s a shame to weigh it down with a bunch of unhealthy pesticides. You can usually brew leaves at least twice, so that helps you make the most of your investment.
My brewing green tea mistakes
So the way I brewed couldn’t have been more incorrect. And that explains a lot of why I found the taste to be unpleasant. What a difference once you brew correctly!
First, I should never use water that reaches a rolling boil. The water should be hot. But an active boil will scald the tea, creating a bitter taste. And I thought hotter was better.
Second, I should steep for only 1 to 3 minutes. After which I need to remove the tea bag. Again, who knew? Oversteeping further comprises the flavor.
Once I made those changes, a cup of tea became a totally different thing. The flavor was transformed. And it was still hot, even though the water didn’t reach a rolling boil.
Green tea trivia
I just love trivia!
Did you know green tea and black tea start from the same leaves? Green tea is in more of a natural state. You make black tea by further fermenting and processing the leaves. This alters the taste. And like any other processed food, it also hinders the nutrient value.
There are many different types of green tea. And not only do they vary in taste, but they also vary in caffeine level. For instance, matcha green tea is naturally quite high in caffeine. Hojicha green tea is roasted, which results in a lower caffeine tea. But all green teas have less caffeine than coffee!
Decaf teas aren’t all equal. And the labels can be confusing. Naturally decaffeinated green teas are decaffeinated via a chemical solvent. Which, to me, doesn’t sound that natural. Plus, the solvent can potentially compromise the nutrient value of the tea.
The other option is CO2 decaffeination. This is a healthier option that preserves much more of the tea’s nutrient value. The best way to learn about the decaffeination process of a company is to research online.
The health benefits of green tea.
First, green tea contains antioxidants. Antioxidants help neutralize toxins in our bodies. And given that a modern lifestyle exposes us to toxins, antioxidants can be vital to our health.
Green tea is particularly high in polyphenols like catechins and flavonoids. These mighty antioxidants have been shown to reduce risk for major diseases like cancers. And given that about 40% of U.S. citizens in 2017 are expected to develop cancer over their lifetime, it’s nice to be as proactive as possible.
Green tea may be helpful against Type II Diabetes. Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t take the place of a healthy diet. But it can help improve insulin sensitivity. And insulin sensitivity is integral to diabetes prevention and management.
It may also improve your heart. Antioxidants help ease inflammation in the body. And inflammation often triggers heart disease. Not to mention that green tea can potentially help improve cholesterol levels as well.
Give this tea another try.
If tea disappointed you in the past, give it another try. I’m really happy that I did. Because it’s possible that you’ve just been drinking it all wrong.
Get better quality leaves. Experiment with new methods of brewing. And green tea just might become your new best friend. And your body might just thank you for it too!