the tea is processed. Black tea is fermented during processing; green tea is not. After
the tea leaves are plucked, they are laid out to wither for about 8 to 24 hours.

This lets most of the water evaporate. Next, to prevent the oxidation (fermentation)
process, the leaves are steamed or pan fried. Finally the leaves are rolled before a
final drying takes place. After this final drying, the leaves, which still look green, can
now be sorted, graded and packaged.

The lack of fermentation causes green tea to look, smell and taste different than
black tea. It typically brews to a pale green color and has a bit of a grassy flavor and
aroma. This lack of fermentation also causes green tea to have more health benefits
than black tea.

The fermenting process used for black and oolong teas causes a compound called
EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) to be oxidized, and converts it into other compounds.
EGCG is a very powerful anti-oxidant, but the compounds it converts to during
fermenting are not as healthful.

This difference means that this powerful anti-oxidant is in its most natural state; the
state in which it provides the most protection to the body.

EGCG, like other anti-oxidants are important to the body because they rid our bodies
of free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen containing molecules that are created as a
byproduct of our digestive processes. Unless they are eradicated from our bodies,
free radicals damage our cells and DNA, causing aging and disease.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and other plant based foods like green tea and
wine, help us get the anti-oxidants we need to stay healthy. And, EGCG is one of the
best and most protective anti-oxidants found in any food.

For this reason, cultures who have traditionally consumed large amounts of green tea
throughout their lives have been shown to have lower incidences of many serious
illnesses including cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol. In recent years there has
been much scientific research linking green tea with a longer, healthier life.

Green tea has also been shown to aid in weight loss by speeding up the metabolism
and increasing the oxidation of fat cells in the body. For years it was assumed that
green tea's caffeine was responsible for this ability to aid weight loss.

However, more recent research has shown that green tea is more effective at
speeding weight loss than other beverages with higher caffeine contents. Researchers
have concluded that it is the caffeine in green tea combined with green tea's
anti-oxidants that make green tea a better weight loss supplement than other
caffeinated beverages.

Green tea was first grown in China. Most of the green tea grown today is grown in
China and Japan, which is also where most of the world's green tea is consumed.
However, it has gained a great deal of popularity in other parts of the world, primarily
because we now better understand its health benefits.

Today, nearly any tea purveyor will carry green tea in loose form. There are many
green tea varieties with distinct tastes. In addition, there are many varieties of
flavored green tea. These appeal to the many people who may not find plain green
tea's somewhat grassy flavor to be appealing. When flavored with other fruits and
herbs, green tea can take on many different flavors.

One of the most traditional green tea forms is matcha. This form of green tea is used
in Japanese tea ceremonies and was the primary form of green tea in Japan for
centuries. Matcha is simply green tea that has been crushed into powder form. It is
then whisked into hot water to make traditional Japanese green tea. Most other parts
of the world use loose tea to make green tea rather than matcha.

Today, there are many varieties of green tea. Different green teas will have slightly
different tastes depending upon the region in which they are grown and how they are
flavored. If you're new to drinking green tea, there are many places to buy green tea
and many flavors with which to experiment.

To brew a cup of green tea, use fresh cold water. Fill your kettle and place it on the
stove to heat. While the water is heating, add warm tap water to your teapot and
your cups, if you wish, to warm them. When the water comes to a boil, remove it
from the heat and remove the tap water from your teapot. Let the water sit for
about 2 minutes.

Green tea should be brewed with water that is about 160°F, which is cooler than
most other teas. Add the green tea to your teapot and pour water over the leaves.
Use about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per cup. Most green tea should steep about 1-2
minutes before serving. The best green tea should give you 2-3 infusions.

There are many varieties and flavors of green tea for you to try. Buy a few different
green teas in small quantities until you find the green tea that's perfect for you.


About The Author

Jon Stout is Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. For more information
about
, green tea [http://www.goldenmoontea.com/greentea] and wholesale tea
[http://www.goldenmoontea.com/WholesaleTea] go to goldenmoontea.com.
Tea: What is Green Tea?
by Jon Stout
Green tea has been the most
popular drink in Asian countries
for centuries. But, in the Western
world, black tea has been
overwhelmingly more popular
than green tea until recently. But,
as we have learned more about
green tea's unique taste and
many health benefits, it has
gained popularity all over the
world.

Green tea, like black tea comes
from the Camellia sinensis plant.
The difference between green
and black tea comes from how
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