Tuesday, March 25, 2003
The Green Tea Miracle
posted by Julie |
It's an acquired taste, acquired more easily when it's been prepared correctly.
And now the reasons to learn to prepare green tea correctly so you learn to enjoy it are stacking up.
Green tea, far more than black tea (which is the same leaf, but fermented and toasted, thereby removing some of its nutritive kick), contains substances that may act as antihistamines, helping you control allergies, substances that may fight cancer-causing agents, substances that may help your memory, may help reduce PMS symptoms, may help reduce your blood pressure. And more. There's always more...
Some of the oldest, most clever people I know drink pots of this stuff every day, and that's, actually, good enough for me.
Also, keeping your tummy warmed all day will help keep hunger at bay. And that's a very good thing.
So how to buy and how to brew green tea? There are lots of ways, different traditions and styles and ceremonies. I'm slightly less ceremonius, but I do take time to brew my tea well, and try to slow down and appreciate the process. Here's how I do it:
First, you'll find bazillions of sources of from large chain groceries selling green tea in cans and teabags sweetend with all manner of crazy stuff to funky little tea shops selling precious quarter-ounces of leaves grown on the most pampered bushes on the farthest-from-industry mountaintops where the dew and mist perfectly hydrate every leaf every day.
If you're looking for the best flavor and the best health effects, you'll want to choose full-leaf, loose teas. Forget the bagged teas. Spend a dollar for a plastic or bamboo tea strainer, and figure on boiling, rather than microwaving, filtered water.
Do filter your water to remove the chlorine. A Britta or Pur filter will do the trick, or start with bottled water. This will make a difference in the flavor.
Boil the water, but with green tea, as opposed to black, you want to let that water rest a spell. Green tea should be brewed at slightly cooler temps and for less time, generally.
I like to brew green tea in white or lightly-colored cups so I can watch the color develop.
Boil three times as much water as you'll need for the cups you're making. Green tea leaves can be steeped 2-4 times before they are spent.
Into the strainer, place a heaping teaspoon of leaves for each 6-oz. cup in your container. When your water is ready, pour a containerful of water through the leaves into the container, swirl the container gently for 10 seconds, and then remove the tea strainer and pour this first water out. You just woke up your leaves.
Pour the second containerful of water, and let the leaves steep for not long at all. Under a minute, watching the color develop. If you overbrew green tea, it will become bitter and could easily upset your stomach rather than save it. Green tea should be very pale, and offers a lightly flavored, grassy, meadowy scent.
When to drink it?
All day long.
Fresh brew is key. If you want to ice your green tea, do it the day you will serve it, but then pitch it before the night falls. Day old tea is not good for you, say old wives whose advice I'm more likely to follow these days.
Enjoy a cuppa or two or five per day,
Green Tea Article at Prevention.com
Franchia's Wild Green Tea, and beautiful descriptions of the Korean Tea Ceremony
The Franchia folks' cool tea shop in NYC, go and tell me about it?
SpecialTeas, a catalog I love