It is safe to say that green tea is more of a movement than simply a beverage. With origins going as far back as three thousand years, it was the Chinese people that began using tea leaves. Green tea was named most obviously because of the color of its leaves and the color of the brewed beverage produced. In the 8th century, people began steaming leaves to produced an un-oxidized taste. This process is still in use today.
It is the most common tea in China and is the most widely grown tea. In the beginning of the twentieth century, it began to become popular as it was taken to different parts of the world. While many consider the daily drinking of tea as an English custom, the Chinese integrated this into their lives during the period of the Song Dynasty in the tenth century. It was however during the Ming Dynasty that the drinking of tea became more than simply a royal or higher class activity. The Ming Dynasty lasted from the 14th through the 17th century AD and accounted for a great deal of development and innovation in the growing and brewing of tea.
Modern research has suggested that this type of tea has a lot of health benefits including antioxidants and lower levels of caffeine. This has led to a culture and a movement around tea, green and otherwise. Indeed, the Chinese have been using tea for its health benefits for centuries. It has been used to improve mental sharpness and it has helped with circulation.
The culture surrounding tea is concerned with the calming effects that it can bring. Drinking tea and adding meditation can drastically reduce stress and keep the body hydrated. Unlike coffee, the caffeine levels of this type of tea are lower and work more naturally with the bodies metabolism. While the health benefits associated with it can be substantial, these benefits are more often as a result of brewing and less with the plant itself.
All tea, including green, originates from the plant camellia sinensis. It is grown in higher altitudes, more specifically, the mountainous regions of China. Not only in China, the plant is grown in many different regions of the world. In China, harvesting is still often done by hand, but other areas of the world harvest using machines. Hand picked teas are often less bitter and provide a sweeter, more robust taste.
Just like with coffee, most people have a tendency to drink stale tea. This is due to a lack of knowledge of how the best brewed tea should taste. Because of more mass manufacturing and brewing, most people associate the green teas with a more bitter taste. The best quality green teas will have a sweeter and more rich taste. The water used in brewing a good green tea is also very important. It should be filtered and boiled.
Historically speaking, the best teas are brewed in smaller quantities. Between 6 to 8 ounces at a time is the best quantity. Trying different methods for brewing over time has led to some delicious and delightful outcomes. The amount of leaves used compared to the amount of water yields a great many variations in flavor. This is part of the charm and interest surrounding those interested in tea brewing.
When buying tea leaves, it is important to avoid older leaves. This is the same principle as with coffee beans. Typically purchasing leaves that are older than 4 months is past the level of peak freshness. Once purchasing leaves, keeping them in an air-tight container that can be resealed is important. Those most interested in the brewing of fresh tea will do extensive research in crop reports and will want to know the region that the leaves were grown.
The United States has created a substantial culture that consumes the green teas for both physical and mental health benefits. This is in tandem with the tea drinking culture found in so many other countries of the world. European nations have long embraced tea as a part of their daily lives. A quality cup of tea has always been a regular part of the lives of these Europeans and is now becoming the same in the United States. With the antioxidant benefits along with other health considerations, more Americans are beginning to look to the green teas over coffee as a better alternative.
Subscription services like those found with Loose Leaf Tea offer customers the opportunity to purchase extremely high quality tea leaves that will provide the flavor and health benefits that avid tea drinkers are seeking. Loose Leaf Tea, through its subscription service and other online options, caters to those interested in becoming innovators and experts in the area of tea brewing. Loose Leaf Tea can be found online at www.SimpleLooseLeaf.com.