Archive for June, 2009

Japanese green tea – quick guide to the four main types

Japanese Green Tea – Quick Guide To The Four Main Types

Japanese green tea has long been considered the best among all the green teas in the world. Japan produces four types of green tea – Gyokuro, Matcha, Sencha and Bancha, – each so unique and great in its own way.

Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks around, offering a wide range of benefits for your health. Amongst the most important of green tea properties is its content of antioxidants, helping to ward off diseases like cell damage and threat of cancer. It also helps to speed up the metabolism, burning fat faster, reducing weight, ridding you of bad cholesterol levels and keeping the body balanced.

Japanese Green Tea is the result of centuries of work. Since the 12th century, when green tea was first brought to Japan from China by the Buddhist monk Eisai, this tea has been grown, processed and brewed in different ways to offer your daily diet the amazing range of choices available today.

Let’s take a closer look at the four main types of Japanese Green Tea:

– Gyokuro tea, rare, expensive, considered the finest Japanese Green Tea. Higher chlorophyll content gives it a sweeter taste and less caffeine content. This comes from the fact that it is grown in the shade.

– Matcha tea derives from Gyokuro. Whole leaves are ground to a fine green tea powder, making this a different and original green tea drink with a very high content of antioxidants.

– Sencha tea is the loose leaf tea for everyday use. This needle-shaped tea has a floral fragrance which is relaxing and energetic at the same time. It’s an energy boost to hold you through the day.

– Bancha tea can have two variations, both inexpensive and low in caffeine. These variations are Hojicha and Genmaicha, the first being a roasted tea, with a red-brown colour, the second is a mix of green tea leaves with roasted rice.

With such different tastes and experiences at your disposal it’s no wonder that more and more people are turning more and more to drinking green tea. Its lower caffeine content makes it an energetic drink and a great coffee alternative.

Importance of green tea

Importance of Green Tea

Green tea is found out to be a good drink. It has anti cancer nutrients and it is better than coca cola, coffee or other black teas. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant found in green tea, is at least 100 more times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells and DNA from damage believed to be linked to cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses. This antioxidant has twice the benefits of resveratrol, found in red wine.

Bottled green tea has alot of sugar and if you make it on your own then you know how much sugar you put in so brewed by yourself is better than bottled. Lipton Green Tea has a label claiming its powerful antioxidents 190 to be exact it proves it potency in delivering what Green Tea is and why its good for your body.

Decaffeinated brewed green tea contains only 56 milligrams, less than half of the catechins found in an original brew. Flavored brewed green tea has 43 milligrams. Disappointingly, instant green tea has only 12 milligrams.

Here are just a few known health benefits of drinking green tea:

Lowers cholesterol

Aids in weight loss by burning calories

Reduces high blood pressure

Prevents arthritis

Boosts your immune system

Lowers blood sugar

Helps prevent cavities and tooth decay

Slows the aging process

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Reduces the risk of stroke

Lowers the risk of blood clot

You can use either tea bag or dried leaves. greentea smoothens our skin, it helps in our body’s elimination of wastes and body toxins which promotes prolong life with less entire body complications. Oolong tea is good for blood circulation and skin. Green tea may be fine for preventing aging in skin, but will do nothing to help your acne. Green tea has antioxidents which will slow down collogen breakdown, hence it will help to keep skin young looking and delay the onset of wrinkles.

The caffeine in the tea perks up your skin and tightens the skin so it does appear for a few hours that the wrinkles are diminished. However if you want to treat fine lines I would suggest you always use a moisturizer and use a mild anti wrinkle cream at night to prevent further lines and to treat existing lines. It calms the vessels around the eyes and makes them look less tired and worn out. Just heat up the tea bags in water and squeeze them out. Make sure they are not too hot to apply to the eyelid by testing them on the inside of your arm. Make sure the tea bags are cold and just put them over your eyes like you would a cucumber. you should feel a soothing sensation over your eyes

It is believed that the health benefits of jasmine tea may surpass those of green tea. Several studies have found jasmine tea lowers cholesterol levels. Other studies found that fruit flies lived 20% longer when jasmine tea was added to their drinking water.

The tea is a natural antiseptic that relieves itching and swelling. Try it on inflamed breakouts and blemishes, sunburns, even puffy eyelids. And that’s not all. In the lab, green tea helps block sun-triggered skin cancer, whether you drink it or apply it directly to the skin – which is why you’re seeing green tea in more and more sunscreens and moisturizers.

Buying a coffee maker

Buying a Coffee Maker

Making coffee shouldn’t be a hassle especially when this is needed to make one mentally alert early in the morning. One way is by buying a coffee maker from the appliance store so it will be ready when the person goes into the kitchen. Here are some guidelines for prospective buyers.

The first thing to do will be to determine how much coffee everyone in the household consume daily. It isn’t practical to get a big one if there are only a handful of drinkers.

Coffee makers just like any other household appliance cost money. You should come up with a figure as to how much can be spent. The cheapest one may be purchased for less than a $100 while those that will grind the beans and perform other things will go for a $1000. Another factor that will affect the price is whether the machine is made from plastic or stainless steel. Some people say plastic versions can easily break compared to those made out of metal but this really depends on how the owner takes care of it.

You should also think about the kind of coffee that will be made using the machine. After all, these come in different flavors and styles so those who want to drink something unique will have to get something that can do the job like those being used in cafes.

The homeowner should also check if there space in the kitchen where the coffee machine can be placed. Small ones aren’t hard to store or move around when it isn’t being used but if this is big, there must be a place where this will stay at all times.

Lastly, when talking with the sales clerk, the customer should ask if the item chosen has a warranty. This will make it easy to return if there are any defects or if those in the household aren’t happy with it so this can be replaced with something else.

You should remember that buying the best coffee machine on the market won’t guarantee that whatever comes out will taste good when consumed. This is because the type of beans purchased is still the deciding factor. The only thing the appliance will do is heat it up and blend the contents with water.

Insider’s guide to chinese teas – part 3 jasmine

Insider’s Guide to Chinese Teas – Part 3 Jasmine

Jasmine teas are usually made using Green tea as a base, to which the flowers are added. The floral aroma of a good quality variety is exquisite and as you drink the pale yellow, almost colourless brew, you can just lose yourself in a timeless bubble. This is quite often the most appealing Chinese tea to those of you who are traditional Indian Black tea drinkers. The taste is a subtle sweetness with a persistent floral aftertaste and the aroma is gorgeous. Loose leaf Jasmine is the best. The leaves are an art form in themselves; the makers will twist, curl, roll or even tie the leaves together in a small bunch. In China, tea drinking is done with all of the senses, not just taste, which is why the producers go to such extraordinary lengths.

The very best Jasmine teas are made using leaves that are picked between the middle of March and the end of May and combined with blossom that is picked exclusively during May as that is the time when they are at their most fragrant. Traditional production methods involve layering the leaves and the blossoms so that the flavour and aroma permeates the leaves. Nowadays, the blossoms are usually placed in a stream of hot air to extract the essential taste; the aromatic hot air is then passes through and over the leaves in order to give an intense flavour. The blossoms are then simply added as decoration.

Jasmine tea has been documented for over 800 years and in common with most tea types, has its origins in China. How it was invented is not known, it may have been by accident or design. Unlike most of the other tea types, I have not come across any legends that explain why and how it was created – I am sure there must be some out there!

Since it is normally based on Green tea, Jasmine tea has much the same health benefits as the latter. Green tea is claimed to be good for digestion, your heart and even halitosis! The best documented benefit however, is against cancer. It has high levels of antioxidants such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This is one of a group of chemicals called flavonoids which are known to destroy the reactive molecules called free radicals (oxidants) that are created in the body. These oxidants are implicated in the formation of cancer and with heart attacks so Jasmine tea is a pleasant way to help your body deal with these. It is not a magic cure-all as some tea sellers would have you believe but when included as part of a healthy lifestyle, it may help. Judging by the research, which really needs to be more extensive and controlled in order to be clinically reliable in my opinion, it is not going to hinder. So for those who are not keen on the sometimes ‘grassy’ taste of green tea, jasmine is a potentially healthy and tastier alternative.

Here in the west, many other flavoured teas have been developed, for example mint tea. These are not authentically Chinese and often disguise the fact that the tea is stale. That is fine if you are not serious about tea however to experience this beverage in its full glory, buy it loose, fresh and unadulterated. It can be difficult to find top quality brands if you live outside of a big city, but that is where the internet comes in. There are many retailers of this wonderful product online, however choose carefully. Pure, loose and organic is the best but not the cheapest. If you do buy the cheapest that you find, you really will be missing out.

June 2009
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