Green tea is a popular, traditional tea that hails from China and India. There are several varieties of green tea and all provide antioxidants and other health benefits in varying levels. In this article, we will explain the basic differences between Japanese and Chinese green tea. Read on to learn more.
All green tea helps control free radicals
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, all green tea contains a hefty dose of polyphenols (aka: antioxidants) which are valuable in neutralising free radicals. Free radicals cause cellular damage which can interfere with DNA synthesis, accelerate symptoms of aging and even cause the development of cancer.
Antioxidants are also credited with inhibiting cholesterol absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. This helps keep cholesterol levels under control.
The polyphenols found in green tea also help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is the basis of all disease ranging from heart disease to gastrointestinal distress to arthritis to dementia.
Regular ingestion of green tea has been shown to soothe the gastrointestinal tract, ease symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, reduce atherosclerosis, prevent liver damage and more.
Adding a couple of cups of green tea to your daily diet is an easy, tasty way to take a break and improve your overall health.
Green tea supports weight loss
According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adding green tea to your diet can help stabilise blood sugar levels and boost metabolism. Keeping blood sugar levels under control is a good way to avoid energy level fluctuations and hunger.
An efficient metabolism burns fat more steadily and efficiently Both Chinese and Japanese green tea provide these benefits; however, Japanese green tea may be more effective because it is more concentrated.
Japanese tea vs Chinese tea
Growth circumstances and the type of processing involved play a part in determining the health benefits imparted by a given tea. For example, Japanese green tea is generally recognised as containing about sixty percent antioxidants, but Chinese green tea contains between twelve and sixteen percent antioxidants.
Both of these types of tea are made using the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, but the processing of the tea differs greatly between Japanese and Chinese products. Chinese tea is grown in the open. The leaves are picked and air dried whole. They are brewed whole or broken.
Japanese green tea is brewed in a concentrated powdered form. This tea keeps its deep green colour because the tea leaves are covered just prior to harvest to encourage chlorophyll production. They are also steamed lightly during processing to prevent fermentation and inhibit the loss of nutrients. Matcha tea is produced by drying and pulverising the tea leaves.
The difference in cultivation and processing of the tea accounts for a big difference in the presence of antioxidants. Powdered Japanese matcha imparts more benefit to the water the tea is brewed in. Furthermore, the pulverised leaves, themselves, are consumed when the tea is drunk.
Chinese whole-leaf or broken leaf tea is steeped in hot water, and the leaves are removed from the water before the tea is consumed. Naturally, it is not possible for whole leaves to impart as much benefit as pulverised leaves.
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What about taste?
In terms of flavour, matcha is a stronger, richer, fuller tea. Chinese tea is light a refreshing. Your choice between the two might depend on your own tastes and/or your intended use. For example, you might enjoy matcha (which contains more caffeine) as a morning tea and Chinese tea as an after-dinner tea.
Many people find that drinking matcha tea before meditation practice sharpens the senses. Light, Chinese green tea enjoyed after the evening meal calms the nerves and aids digestion.