First of all, I am a woman who desperately needs caffeine. I cannot go a day without it. Raising 5 kids, working full time and then coming home to cook dinner, give baths, do laundry… let me tell ya, the chore list goes on. I couldn’t survive my day without caffeine. I recently switched from drinking coffee (which was similar to a Starbucks coffee…FULL of CREAM & SUGAR) to a green tea; and let me tell you, I can tell a world of difference in just about everything, and I am not just saying that. There are so many added benefits to green tea. My skin got clearer, it detoxed my body, I felt better and was less bloated and had more energy. I also wanted to switch it up to because of all the other health benefits it has where as coffee seemed to dehydrated me, (probably because I literally drank 2 pots a day).
I have heard that green tea also prevents obesity. So why wouldn’t I try it? Its 1/3 the caffeine of coffee. I just had to give it a shot, and I did by drinking it plain. If you want more flavor you could easily add ginger, honey, or sugar to your tea, but I chose to stick it out and drink it slowly so I wouldn’t be consuming excess sugar (since I am on a diet and all).
Over the months of me drinking green tea it has helped me sustain my weight loss by increasing my metabolism. I am proud to say. without a doubt, I am now an avid Green Tea drinker.
If you are interested in Green Tea and want to know more about Green Tea benefits, and how it’s produced just read below as you will be amazed how this natural herb affects your body in more than just one way.
With millions of people suffering from weight gain and obesity the weight loss business has become a huge industry. Needless to say many people are in it only for the money. Various companies are putting out chemicals and pills as well as diet programs that are harmful to the health of consumers. You might probably be the victim of such diet programs or pills and are looking for a healthy remedy option for obesity. Green tea can certainly be that option as it 100% safe, economical and have proved to work for centuries. If you look at the production process of Green tea, you will find that no fermentation is done as in case of black tea. This ensures that Green tea retains the flavor and color. Read this post for more information regarding production process of green tea.
Green Tea Production Process
Green tea is produced from the top two leaves and bud of an East Asian evergreen shrub “Camellia Sinensis”. Right from the cultivation of this plant, its harvesting, to its plucking, drying, rolling and then final drying, green tea production is a meticulous task.
The tea plant “Camellia Sinensis” grows in acidic soil with an annual rainfall of about 114-123 cm. It may be grown under sun or under shade; its growing process significantly influencing the final flavor of the tea. The shrubs are grown in rows and pruned systematically. The harvesting begins in April and subsequent harvests are done in June, July and September. The plucking can be done mechanically or manually. While mechanical plucking is good for fast picking, manual plucking ensures only the best leaves are plucked for highest grade teas. The plucked leaves are stored in large bins with cool air circulated through them. They are then sent to factories for further processing.
The plucked leaves are dried or withered through steaming, pan firing, or sun drying. In Japan, the leaves are spread over conveyer belts and heated, whereas in China they are put on large pans and fired using flame or electric wok. In India, usually the tea leaves are spread out on bamboo trays under sun and allowed to dry in natural hot air. The leaves are regularly tossed and turned to ensure uniform drying. Drying the leaves arrest enzyme action in leaves and stops their fermentation.
The essential difference between black tea and green teas is that green teas do not undergo fermentation or oxidation. As fermentation is responsible for the dark color and strong flavor, its absence makes tea leaves retain their natural green color and delicate flavor. It also retains maximum antioxidants and polyphenols which impart numerous health benefits to green teas. The drying makes leaves more flexible to withstand the next processing stage, which is rolling.
The tea leaves are then put under rollers to shape them into twisted, thin, flat or curly appearance. It also breaks down the cell walls in the leaf and extracts their natural oils. Rolling reduces the bitterness and astringency of the leaf.
Finally, the leaves are laid for second drying. The final drying stabilizes the shape and flavor of the leaf. It reduces the moisture content in the leaf to as low as 2%, which makes the leaf crisp and crunchy. Again it can be done both mechanically and manually. However, it is the manual process which yields the high quality green tea.
The leaves are sieved through mechanical sifters which segregate the tea leaves according to their size and shape, and remove dust to deliver clean tea, ready for packaging.
Japanese Green Tea (Matcha) Production Process
The traditional Japanese green tea, matcha, is an integral part of all Japanese celebrations. Matcha holds the honor of being the beverage of Zen monks, Japanese royalty, and Samurai. This mystic beverage blends ancient heritage with ample health benefits. It marks simplicity, purity, harmony and mental agility. Different plant varieties grown on different soils are carefully merged to produce unique matcha flavors. Though grown at numerous places across Japan, the Uji province in Kyoto has the ideal climatic conditions, soil and altitude for growing matcha.
Producing matcha is a long and complicated process. It begins by tilling the soil about two to five meters deep before planting seedlings. Yabukita, samidori and okumidori are the most preferred varieties of tea plant “Camellia Sinensis” for producing high grade matcha. Matcha is harvested just once a year, beginning from the month of May. Four weeks before plucking, the plants are covered with bamboo mats or black vinyl sheets. One sheet is added per week; a fourth sheet may be added to produce highest grade premium tea. This shading process cuts off sunlight from plants and retards the photosynthesis process. As a result, the tea leaves accumulate more chlorophyll and amino acids, and the plant grows softer and thinner buds. This imparts matcha its characteristic sweetness and subdues the caffeine’s bitter notes. The most tender shoots are carefully handpicked and steamed slightly to arrest the enzymatic action within the leaves. This stops further oxidation of the juices in the leaf and helps retain its antioxidants and nutrients. The dried leaves are cleaned and at this stage, they are referred to as aracha.
The leaves are then put through a mechanical separator which sifts out the veins, twigs and stems from the leaves. The fleshy middle part of the leaf is collected for further processing. These cut leaves are roasted to reduce the moisture content to as low as 4-5%. At this stage, the pure dried and roasted leaves are referred to as tencha.
In the final phase, the tencha is ground into a fine powder using mechanized granite grinding wheels. The word matcha literally means “rubbed” or “ground tea”. Tea leaves from different farms may be blended to achieve a stable taste and flavor. The ground leaves are sieved through a mesh filter to attain a powder like consistency. It takes a long time to ground the leaves to an extremely fine powder. It can take as long as one hour to produce just 30 grams of match tea powder. The powdered tea is finally ready for packaging. It is packed into airtight containers and refrigerated.