“I hold a bowl of tea in my hands.
In its green color I can see all of nature.
I close my eyes to contemplate the hills
and the pure water running in my heart.”
Green & White Tea
Green Tea, white tea, black tea and Oolong tea all come from the same plant- called Camellia Sinensis. It is just the processing of the leaves that makes the difference.
Black Tea, which is also sometimes called “red tea”, is fermented. And with this fermenting it takes on a red or copper-colored infusion.
Oolong Tea, which is also known as Wu-long or “Blue-green” tea is semi-fermented, and ends up producing a deep yellow or orange colored liquor that is lower in caffeine than black tea.
Green tea isn’t fermented at all. Instead of being fermented, it is dried at high temperatures over fires, or steamed shortly after picking- to stop the fermentation process. Because this tea is not fermented it is lower in caffeine than its black counterpart and its color is pale green to yellow.
White tea, are the buds or new shoots from the tea plant. White tea buds (pekoe) are sorted, withered and dried to prevent fermentation. This tea makes a very pale yellow liquor, is very low in caffeine and high in nutrients and antioxidants.
The antioxidants that would regularly spread throughout the entire leaf are instead concentrated into these smaller shoots.
Green and White tea are valued remedies in Chinese medicine, where people are very dedicated to good health.
Tea is known to remove impurities from the body and help to clear out and strengthen the immune system, improve circulation, as well as relieve stress and fatigue.
Green tea is also known for raising the metabolism, combating bad cholesterol, and inhibiting the absorption of fats. It helps to eliminate alcohol, and other harmful substances such as fats and nicotine from the body. Green tea also prevents or alleviates anemia, eases limb and joint pain, and diminishes mucus secretion.
Green and white tea are very high in Vitamin C, A, B, E, and K. The leaves also contain potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, copper, fluoride, chlorophyll and fiber. As well as all these vitamins, tea is high in antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals that are dangerous to our bodies. They are also known to regulate hormones and our cardiovascular systems. Just drinking two to three cups of green tea a day can reduce cardiovascular disease and risk by 40%.
The Benefits of Green tea do not stop there either. Studies have shown that the consumption of green tea is helpful in the prevention of cancer. EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) a substance which is one of the most effective yet, in fighting cancer- is abundantly found in green tea. Researchers have found that it inhibits the development of lung metastases and of carcinogenic cells in the stomach, intestines, liver and skin.
Recent studies also show that green tea has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal action which is effective for the whole body.
Green tea and White tea are also known for their soothing, relaxing and anti-aging effect on skin. Both extracts are now readily available in all kinds of skin care and bath products.
But, above all green tea will prolong your life! So go ahead, and have a cup- or ten!
Matcha Tea: Health Benefits
Matcha has been by far the healthiest natural beverage known to humanity since its discovery over 900 years ago. Matcha is the oldest and most premium variety of Japanese green tea and it has the highest concentration of anti-oxidants, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals compared to all mainstream beverages today.
One serving (2g) of Matcha Nutritional Value:
- Polyphenols and antioxidants 0.212g
- Caffeine 0.06 g
- Protein 0.612g
- Plant lipids 0.106g
- Magnesium 4.6mg
- Fibre 0.77g
- Calcium 8.4mg
- Iron 0.34 mg
- Zinc 0.126 mg
- Potassium 54 mg
- Copper 0.012mg
- Phosphorus 7mg
- Vitamin A Beta Carotene 580 ug
- Vitamin A Retinol 96 ug
- Vitamin B6 0.0192mg
- Vitamin C 1.2 mg
- Vitamin E 0.56 mg
- Vitamin K 58 ug
- Thiamin 0.012
- Riboflavin 0.027 mg
- Niacin 0.08 mg
- Folate 24 ug
- Pantothenic acid 0.074 mg
- Ascorbic Acid 1.2 mg
Two cups of regular green teas approximately twice the antioxidants of red wine, seven times that of orange juice, and twenty times that of apple juice. Matcha, on a gram per gram basis, has approximately nine times the Beta Carotene of spinach and four times that of carrots. Matcha contains essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy lifestyle.
Source: Certificate of Analysis #021068-1 Japan Measurement Certificator, Constituent Breakdown: Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan, 5th Revised Edition.
Origins of Matcha
Over 900 years ago, a Buddhist monk by the name of Eisai brought over tea from mainland China to be used as a miracle potion of ailments. When the tea arrived from China, it came in a powder form. It was customary of the times to grind the teas into a powder to facilitate transportation. When the Japanese incorporated green tea into their culture after the arrival of Eisai, it remained in its original powder form and consumed by diffusing it into water. As other surrounding tea nations continued to develop unique varieties of green teas, Japan steadfastly kept the old traditions of grinding the tea leaves and consuming the infusion and leaves whole. In short, the ceremonial Japanese green tea of the 21st century has remained the same since the 11th century.
How to Prepare Ceremonial Matcha:
- To avoid the Matcha powder from forming lumps with the addition of hot water, pass it though a tea strainer. Sift the whole can at once onto waxed paper and then return the sifted powder to the can.
- Bring water to a boil. In order to warm up the tea bowl, pour about half a cup of the water into the bowl.
- Soften the tea whisk by immersing the tip into hot water, for about ten seconds. Pour the water out and dry the bowl with a paper towel.
- Place two scoops (about one teaspoon) of Matcha powder in the bowl, using the Matcha spoon.
- Add 1/3 cup of less that boiling water to the bowl (80 C). By the time you have warmed and dried the bowl the water in the kettle should be about the right temperature. Boiling water is too hot for Matcha. It will damage the flavour of the tea.
- Once the water is in the tea bowl, incorporate any stray bits of powder into the water with your whisk, in slow circular strokes. Then agitate the mixture with a back and forth motion of the wrist for about 15 seconds. The surface of the Matcha should be completely frothy ( the protect the tea whisk, do not rub it or press it against the bottom or sides of the bowl. After each use, rinse it under cold running water. Wipe clean with a paper towel.)
- Drink Matcha immediately. Make sure to close the can of Matcha powder tightly and to store it in the refrigerator.
“Teaism is the art of concealing beauty that you may discover it, of suggesting what you dare not reveal. It is the noble secret of laughing at yourself, calmly yet thoroughly, and is thus humour itself,–the smile of philosophy…”