Green tea

Benefits of green tea

Green teaGreen tea is considered to be one of the healthiest beverages in the world. Green tea is full of antioxidants and nutrients which have a powerful effect on the body. Green tea has proven to improve the functioning of the brain, contribute to fat loss and lowers the risk of cancer. This article will address the history, the production process as well as the benefits of green tea on the body.


The use of green tea leaves originated in the southwest area of China. It was first used over 3,000 years ago by the Chinese population and was mostly used for chewing and eating. This is comparable to the use of coffee beans in Ethiopia. Coffee beans were first used by people in Ethiopia by eating them instead of using them to brew coffee. Over time, people started to use the tea leaves and the buds from the tea tree gradually expanded as people starting to introduce it in their daily cooking. Also, people added the leaves and the buds to boiling water to flavor the water they drunk. A method was used to steam the leaves to inhibit their oxidation. Later on in time, a new method was introduced which resulted in a longer and more intense taste of the leaves. Both these processes eventually led to un-oxidized taste and have set the base for the production of our modern green teas. Both these techniques are used today. Since this time, the production and popularity of green tea has increased. This increase has led to new methods being evolved and methods of production being improved over time. Green time was first recognized outside China in the early 1900’s. From this moment onwards, green teas became incredibly popular. It was in 1915 that Xinyang Maojian won a gold medal for being the best green tea in the world.


Green tea is processed in various ways and grows in different ways as well. The way  green tea grows and is processed depends on the type of green tea which is desired. As a result of these different methods, high amounts of volatile organic compounds are not lose during the production process. This also means that maximum aroma and taste is retained. There are two main growing conditions which can be divided in two types, namely green tea which grows in the sun and green tea which grows under the shade. Green tea usually grows in rows which are pruned. They are pruned in order to produce shoots in a regular manner. Also, green tea is harvested three times a year. The first harvesting period is in April or the beginning of May. The second harvest season takes place somewhere between June and July. The third picking happens between July and early August. Depending on the weather conditions, sometimes there is also a fourth harvesting season. Moreover, it is usually the case that the tea from the first harvesting time produces the best-quality leaves. They are usually sold  for a higher price compared to the tea from the other harvesting times. The way green tea is processed is also not dependent on one specific method. For example, green tea can be sun-dried, steamed, pan-fired or oven-dried. Especially oven-drying and steaming are considered to be modern methods. Green tea which is processed needs to be stored under low humidity. Processed green tea, also known as aracha, still needs to be refined after it has been stored under low humidity. Before the green tea is selected, blended and packaged, a final firing takes place. By firing it one more time, the green tea has a longer shelf-life and has a better flavor.

Brewing and serving

The process of making tea is called steeping, or is also often referred to as brewing. Two grams of green tea is usually enough for 100ml of water. However, it is also possible to add more tea in case you like your tea to have a stronger taste. In case of very high quality teas, such as gyokuro, it is not needed to add two grams of tea. A small teaspoon will be enough for a cup of tea. Moreover, gyokuro can be used multiple times because of its high quality tea. It is also not needed to brew the tea for long. Steeping the tea multiple times for short periods of time is enough. The steeping time of green tea is dependent on the type of green tea used. The hottest brewing temperature is around 85 degrees, and the coolest steeping temperature is between 60 to 65 degrees. Also, the longest time for green tea to brew is about three minutes, while the shortest time is thirty seconds. It is usually the case that high quality tea does not have to be brewed for a long period of time and they can be brewed in cooler temperatures. Once green tea is steeped for too long it can result in a bitter taste. This is due to the fact that large amounts of tannins are released. This happens regardless of the quality of tea. It is therefore important that green tea should not be brewed for too long to assure a good flavor. It is also recommended that the teapot where the green tea is added to should be warmer beforehand. This is in order for the tea not to cool down immediately.

Functioning of the brain

It is often said that green tea contributes to the functioning of the brain. This implies that it does not only contribute to keeping the brain awake, but also contributed to your intelligence. The active ingredient in green tea is caffeine. Caffeine, often known as being present in coffee, is also known as a stimulant. Green tea does not contain as much caffeine as coffee does but it does contain enough caffeine to produce a response without causing the effects when having consumed too much caffeine. Caffeine blocks a neurotransmitter in the brain called Adenosine. By blocking this neurotransmitter it increases the production of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine. The effects of caffeine have been studied in the past multiple times since the consumption of coffee has increased over the years. Various studies have concluded that caffeine leads to an improvement in the functioning of the brain, it improves memory and reaction time. Moreover, it also improves vigilance and mood. However, caffeine is not the only nutrient present in green tea which has a positive effect on the body. Green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine. This nutrient has anti-anxiety effects and also increases the release of dopamine in the body. It has also been proven that the combination of caffeine and L-theanine contribute to improving brain function. People have also indicated to be more productive when they drink green tea  compared to coffee. They report having more stable energy. This implies that the effects of green tea on the body are different compared to the effects coffee has on the body.

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

A study conducted in 2011 tested the effect of CAGTE, a component of green tea, on the body. Researchers conducted the study after the component had been digested. They studied what the effect was of this specific component on a key protein in Alzheimer’s disease. This study showed that high concentrations of CAGTE has a positive effect on the body. CAGTE protected the cells from the toxic effects of the protein leading to Alzheimer’s disease. After the results of the study were released, the Alzheimer’s Society commented that this studies contributes to the previous research conducted on this topic. Previous research has also suggested that green tea might help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In order to understand the mechanism involved and to know what doses of CAGTE are needed to provide the necessary protection from the Alzheimer’s disease, it is important that further research will be conducted in the future on this topic. Another research conducted at the University of Michigan found that a specific molecule in green tea may help to prevent the unfolding of certain proteins in the brain. As a continuation of this, a research of 2015 concluded that green tea extracts hindered the progress of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. Nevertheless, in order for green tea to be used as a treatment method for Alzheimer’s disease, more research needs to be conducted.

Lower risk of cancer

Research has also been conducted on the effects of green tea on the growth of cancer cells. Cancer is caused by the growth of cells which happens in an uncontrolled manner. Cancer is currently considered to be one of the world’s leading causes of death. Different studies have proven that antioxidants have a protective effect on the development of cancer, while oxidative damage has a reverse effect on the development of cancer cells. Green tea is a source of powerful antioxidants. It is for this reason hat different studies have been conducted on the effects of green tea on various forms of cancer. A set of meta-analysis studies have concluded that women who drank green tea had a 22 per cent lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who do not drink green tea. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. With regards to the effect of green tea on men, a study found that green tea can also have a positive effect on prostate cancer. Researchers found that men who drink green tea had a 48 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer. While breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, prostate cancer is considered to be the most common form of cancer among men. Another study also found that women drinking green tea have a 57 per cent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. During this study it was also found that it is not a good idea to add milk to your tea. This is due to the fact that it can reduce the antioxidant value.


Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 2054x
Added: 31-07-2016 19:07
Last modified: 13-08-2016 14:35

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