Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to improve the taste of green tea (tea bags)

We all know that green tea is healthy and all that, but there's one problem. You've probably tried drinking green tea from tea bags and found out it tastes bitter. Who would want a bitter drink everyday. Sort of like taking medicine, isn't it?

But listen: Green tea doesn't have to taste bitter. You can improve the taste of green tea by trying out these practices:

  • Temperature is very important. Boil the water and let it cool to prevent the bitter aroma. Add the tea when the temperature is around 60 degree celcius. Too hot a water will bring out the bitterness of the tea. If you've been doing this for a long time, you'll get to learn to estimate when is it time to steep the tea bag in without the use of a thermometer.
  • Use only one tea bag per cup of water.
  • Try adding sugar or, if you're feeling a bit sosyal, honey. You can also add milk (adding milk is optional; some people think that milk only enhances the bitter taste or green tea, while others think it helps the taste) or lemons.
  • Chlorine in water alters the taste of the tea, so you might want to use pure spring water only. 
  • Steep the tea bag for about 2 1/2 minutes, which is just enough time to give your tea a balanced flavor.
  •  Last, look for quality tea bags! There are lots of tea bag products out there, and like other products, there are good-quality brands and just cheap ones. Good-quality tea bags have a better taste.

As you can see, preparing green tea is an art itself, much more when you preferred it brewed and using tea leaves.

Finally, I have to tell you that drinking green tea is really an acquired taste. My sister, for instance, simply doesn't like green tea no matter how it is finely made. Honestly, I wasn't too keen on it too, but later on I got familiar with the taste, and now, I heavily preferred it than coffee (yes, even mocha-flavored ones).

So I suggest you try it as well, and do not forget the steps I mentioned above. ;)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Green tea: A traditional health drink

Chinese have long since recognized the benefits of green tea, leaves from the plant Camellia sinensis; it has been used as a medicine about 4000 years ago. Koreans, too, incorporate drinking green tea into their daily lives. Green tea, as believed traditionally and spiritually, cleanses the body and gives a calming and soothing experience.

As a morning-coffee people, Filipinos are only just being familiarized with green tea because of endless commercials of bottled tea.

Green tea is a miracle tea, and this is not an overstatement. Health researchers have found not one thing harmful about drinking green tea daily, except sleep difficulty from green tea’s small dose of caffeine.

However, generally speaking, green tea is all health to the mind and body.

First of all, green tea is a powerful antioxidant. It is rich in catechin polyphenols, in particular, epigallocatechin gallate (more commonly known as EGCG). EGCG inhibits cancer cell growth without affecting the healthy tissues in the body.

Harvard conducted a scientific study on the benefits of green tea. iVIllage lists the beauty benefits of green tea.

It also improves metabolism and helps in keeping weight balance.  It lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure, helps against heart and cardiovascular diseases, boosts the immune system, protects lungs from smoking and liver from alcohol, and rehydrates and rejuvenates the body.

Aside from this, Chinese are known to drink green tea to cure headache and depression. Like I said, drinking green tea has a calming effect on the body.

So you probably got overwhelmed with all those facts like I did when I first read them. But here’s the bottom line, green tea is healthy. A few Asian and European countries have known and harvested from these knowledge many years before, and the Internet and television have made this information available to us.

Don't like the taste of green tea? See how to improve its taste.