It’s like the whole world is sipping green tea. From actors to athletes, this Asian brew is everywhere, and the good thing is that it is also readily available in our local grocery stores now. The simple difference between green tea and black tea is that the leaves in green tea are unoxidised, whereas the leaves in black tea are first rolled and then exposed to air to trigger oxidation. Since the leaves (Camillia Senesis) of green tea are prevented from oxidation, they are much lighter, and greener in colour. So, all of you who were thinking that there is some natural or artificial pigmentation involved, that is not the case.  

Green tea has also been dubbed as a ‘superfood’ in the world of health and nutrition. This is due to its long list of health benefits. Apparently, green tea is loaded with catechins, these are potent antioxidants that help prevent free radical damage that cause premature ageing of cells, which in turn could lead to weakened immunity, increased inflammation, poor skin, hair loss etc. Catechins, are also very helpful in keeping your weight in check. If that is not convincing enough, then you just know that green tea is a ‘zero-calorie’ beverage. Of course, the calorie content will alter with the addition of ‘extras’ like sugar, honey, lemon or other herbs.

Brewing green tea is also a cakewalk, but many people complain about the tea turning out bitter, or the lack of colour. Follow these steps to make the ideal cup of green tea.  

  • When you put your water to boil, keep in mind the temperature, you do not have to boil all the way. Heat the water till it just starts to bubble, this should be about 85 degrees Celsius. This temperature will ensure that you get a lovely, earthy flavoured tea and not a bitter decoction.  
  • Now add the tea leaves to the water. For a mug of hot water, one teaspoon should be enough. Lower the heat, let it steep for 2-3 minutes. You can also take the clear hot water in a mug and then add the tea leaves to the mug and steep it. Make sure you do not steep it for longer duration as this can turn your green tea bitter, and if you steep for less amount of time, you would only get green-coloured, partially-flavoured water and not green tea. So timing is key.
  • Now add half a teaspoon of honey/sweetener and a pinch of lemon juice. To make it taste even better, you can go for a cinnamon bark or mint and peppermint too. The choice of ‘extras’ depend on you, but make sure, you do this step towards the end.  

Follow these steps and make yourself a cup of fresh green tea now.