I just want to let you know that I have found another great way to cool the temperature of boiling water quickly so as to make the perfect cup of delicious green tea:
- Place about 2 tablespoons (more or less, depending on the size of your cup/mug) of frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc.) into your empty cup. Pour boiling water over the berries. Check the temperature. Add your tea bag when the temperature is right, etc.
Using frozen berries to instantly cool the boiling water saves time AND adds flavor to your green tea! And then when your tea is all gone, you have some delicious berries to eat! This is my favorite way to drink green tea these days.
And…if you like citrus flavor in your green tea, as mentioned in the post, Monamifood Zesty Citrus Flavor Cube, you can cool the boiling water with a Citrus Flavor Cube too. Or just add frozen berries plus some grated organic citrus peel to get a wonderful berry/orange (berry/tangerine or berry/lemon) drink!
The suggestions for cooling the boiling water by adding frozen berries or Zesty Citrus Flavor Cubes, have now been added to the post, Green Tea (Part II), under the heading, “How to cool the boiling water quickly.”
And to learn everything you ever wanted to know about green tea – why it’s good for you, where to buy it, how to make a great cup of green tea, and more, see Monamifood Green Tea (Part I) and Green Tea (Part II).
I hope you enjoy these time-saving and flavorful ways to make a great cup of green tea!
Enjoy and be healthy!
In doing some research today on green tea, I learned that adding lemon or orange juice to green tea appears to significantly increase the body’s ability to absorb the antioxidants in green tea:
Nutrient absorption is critically important, because if the body can’t absorb a nutrient (or much of a nutrient), it can’t do you any good (or not that much good).
To my to my knowledge, the beneficial effect of citrus (and vitamin C itself) on the absorption of antioxidants in green tea has been shown in just the one study mentioned on the links above. More research to confirm — or not confirm — this effect is needed.
Meanwhile, it can’t hurt to add a little orange, lemon or grapefruit juice to your green tea! And if you prefer your tea “straight,” just have a small glass of orange or grapefruit juice – or an orange or grapefruit — with your meal.
And by the way, you don’t have to obsess about it…green tea without any citrus — in it or with it — is good for you. After all, green tea has more nutritional benefits than just antioxidants.
Enjoy and be healthy!
HOW TO MAKE A PERFECT CUP OF GREEN TEA (Hot)
1. Use filtered cold water
–Never use hot tap water. Hot water promotes the growth of pathogens (germs) and may leach heavy metals from water pipes – both undesirable ‘additives.’
2. Bring the water to a boil
3. Pour the boiling water into your tea cup and let the water sit until it cools to about 160-175 degrees F (and some experts give a wider range of temperatures: 140-180 degrees F). Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature. When taking the measurement, be sure that the end of the thermometer touches nothing but the water.
–Because adding a metal strainer with loose tea reduces the temperature of the water, aim for the higher temperature of 175 degrees F if brewing tea in this manner.
4. Place your tea bag or strainer with loose tea into the water and cover your cup with a lid.
–Ideally, you should have 2 grams (0.07 ounce) of tea leaves per 8-ounces of water. You may want to purchase a small digital scale for weighing tea leaves. I bought such a scale from a tea merchant at a farmer’s market and it was only $15.00.
–Covering the cup with a lid keeps the volatile flavors from evaporating so you get a more flavorful cup of tea.
5. Set a timer for 10 minutes. That’s how long the tea should steep to get all the anti-cancer substances from the lea leaves into the tea you drink.
–In a big hurry? Then let it steep for 5-8 minutes, but not less.
TIME AND TASTE SAVING TIPS FOR BREWING GREEN TEA
1. How to cool the boiling water quickly.
- Place about 2 tablespoons (more or less, depending on the size of your cup/mug) of frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.) into your empty cup. Pour boiling water over the berries. Check the temperature. Add your tea bag when the temperature is right, etc. Using frozen berries to instantly cool the boiling water saves time AND adds flavor to your green tea! And, when your tea is all gone, you have some delicious berries to eat! This is my favorite way to drink green tea these days!
- Place a Zesty Citrus Flavor Cube into your empty cup. Pour boiling water over the cube. Check the temperature. Add you tea bag when the temperature is correct, etc. You may find that one cube is a little overwhelming in taste, but if the cube is about half the size of a full mini-muffin cube, it’s probably fine. Taste and then adjust the size of the cubes you prepare.
- Pour boiling water into your cup and then add a teaspoon at a time of cold water. Keep track of the number of teaspoons of cold water you need to add to get the proper temperature so you won’t need to use a thermometer next time.
2. Do not re-boil water that has been boiled once. Your tea will taste flat.
3. Store your tea leaves and bags in an airtight container for up to six months in a cool place.
HOW TO DECAFFEINATE YOUR OWN TEA
–This process will remove some but not all of the caffeine
1. Discard the tea water that you get after the first 15-30 seconds of steeping.
2. Start over and brew the cup you are actually going to drink using more of the water that’s cooled to the temperature you desire.
IS DECAF GREEN TEA JUST AS GOOD FOR YOU AS REGUAR GREEN TEA?
Does decaffeinated tea – the kind you make yourself or you purchase ready-made — have less of the anti-cancer substances that are so special in green tea?
Dr. Servan-Schreiber says that you get the same anti-cancer benefits from regular and decaf green tea! (page 120)
GREEN TEA ISN’T FOR EVERYONE
New research shows that green tea, which was ingested in the form of a supplement in this study, interfered with a cancer drug used to treat multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. The study concluded that “Contrary to popular assumptions about the health benefits of green tea, researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have found that the widely used supplement renders a cancer drug used to treat multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma completely ineffective in treating cancer. The study, which found that a component of green tea extract (GTE) called EGCG destroys any anticancer activity of the drug Velcade in tumor-bearing mice…”
Comment (mine): This study used greeen tea in the form of a supplement – not a beverage. And this study refers to the interaction with a medication used to treat cancer. If you are under the care of a physician for cancer treatment, you should ask your physician and pharmacist whether any of your medications, including herbal supplements, might interfere wtih your medical regimen.
In general, herbal supplements can provide large doses of very bioactive substances (or not) and it is important to get your physician’s and pharmacist’s OK before you start taking any herbal supplements — whether you are under a doctor’s care for a specific condition or just trying to stay healthy.
Also, always consume REASONABLE QUANTITIES of any food, including those that science thinks might be good for you. One of the golden keys to good nutrition is: Eat a wide VARIETY of HEALTHY foods. (In this last sentence, the word “variety” is just as important as the word “healthy.”)
Enjoy and be healthy!
Why green tea?
Green tea is rich in polyphenols, including catechins (especially EGCG), a well-known anti-cancer agent. In addition, green tea is rich in antioxidants, chemicals that act as detoxifiers, and chemicals that “facilitate the death of cancer cells by apoptosis”! See the book, Anti Cancer, by David Servan-Schreiber (page 120).
Chinese or Japanese?
According to the book, Anti-Cancer, (page 120), Japanese green teas (sencha, gyokuro, matcha and others) are richer in EGCG –one of the potent anti-cancer substances in green tea — than Chinese green teas.
Regular and decaffeinated green teas
Decaf green teas still contain all the cancer-fighting substances.
Adding lemon or orange juice to green tea appears to significantly increase the body’s ability to absorb the antioxidants in green tea. Here’s the research from Purdue University on this and Canada’s CBC report.
For more on citrus and green tea, see my post, P.S. Green Tea and Citrus Foods .
SOURCES OF GREEN TEA – LOOSE – JAPANESE
Upton Tea (mail order)
Based on my experience, I would say that Upton Tea has reasonable prices and good service.
Teavana (stores in malls and also mail order)
Before buying a new tea, you may want to try a cup of that tea. If you’re in the store, they will brew a cup of any tea you select. All you have to do is pay for it.
Ten Ren (mail order and brick-and-mortar stores, including one in Rockville, MD)
–I tried the Gyokuro from Ten Ren. But I wasn’t all that pleased with it. The lower priced gyokuro that I bought looked like a good value but the quality was sub-par.
TeaSource (mail order and brick-and-mortar store in Minnesota)
–Recommended by NPR’s Splendid Table .
One of my friends just told me about this great site for learning about and ordering green tea from Japan:
An online purveyor of fine teas, including green teas.
SOURCES OF GREEN TEA – TEA BAGS
Every supermarket has a selection of green tea (regular and decaf) in tea bags, but you can’t tell which ones are made with Japanese green tea and which are made with Chinese green tea.
Most of the boxes of tea contain 20 tea bags. So when comparing brands, I look for a box with a higher net weight because then I know I’ll get more tea leaves per bag.
My two favorite bagged green teas are:
Twinings Green Tea
Good quality, individual tea bags in air-tight wrappers.
Kirkland Green Tea Matcha Blend (from Price-Costco)
100 tea bags per box. Good quality, individual tea bags in air-tight wrappers.
FLAVORED GREEN TEA
I don’t buy flavored green teas because I like to add flavors myself.
Here are some flavors I have tried recently:
Mint – fresh mint leaves.
I just cut fresh mint leaves into thin strips and add them to my tea.
Orange or lemon peel – Using a microplane (a very sharp kitchen tool) I remove some orange or lemon rind from organic oranges or lemons and add that to my tea.
Ginger – I just peel a few chunks of fresh ginger, cut them up into pieces the size of dice, and the toss them into the food processor. Using the metal blade, I process the ginger so that I have fine pieces and then I add that to my tea.
Orange or lemon juice – A few tablespoons of orange juice or a teaspoon of lemon juice adds great flavor.
ICED GREEN TEA
Hot or iced is good. But do not store green tea for more than an hour or two because you’ll lose most of the beneficial anti-cancer substances.
HOW MANY CUPS OF GREEN TEA PER DAY?
Dr. Servan-Schreiber recommends 2-3 cups per day. I like to drink 3-4 cups per day.
Enjoy and be healthy!