GREEN TEA (Part I)

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.

With lemon?

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 .

Japanese Green Tea Online

One of my friends just told me about this great site for learning about and ordering green tea from Japan:

Elemental Tea

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!

Leni

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16 thoughts on “GREEN TEA (Part I)

  1. Leni, thank you for doing it for us. I have some real Japanese loose tea at home. When I return, I’ll start drinking it regularly. I didn’t know that in an hour it looses it’s anti-cancer substances. How many cups per day make a difference?
    Galia

  2. thanks for inviting me to your blog. It is a wonderful idea and l look forward to following your thoughts for good info and good food.
    Debra

  3. Congratulations on your new blog! And thanks for letting us know that the Teavana store will brew a cup of tea to try before you buy… great info. As you know, there are some great green teas in the world and then there’s the rest. Finding the one that is best for you is, sometimes, the hardest part. I think that a lot of people try green tea and their first experience is not to their liking. As a result, they don’t go back for more. With the opportunity to try more varieties without investing in the whole box/bag/container, I think everyone can find a flavor that pleases them!

  4. I love the blog, Leni. I have been drinking green tea for years and have my own addiction to it! I am wondering if you have also read anything about that to get the full benefit of the tea and not “burn” the leaves, which seem to be very fragile, to not use boiling water but water that is almost boiling. have you heard anything like this as well?

    I also really like Servan-Schreiber’s book….it seems very holistic re: it covers everything from food to lifestyle to alternative healing to attitude and the part stress plays as well. He is a real hero and inspiration, I think. THanks so much for the blog, leni..what a gift.

    1. I think what’s important is that the water is at the right temperature — and how you get it to the right temperature is up to you:
      –don’t let it boil
      –let it boil and then let it cool
      –let it boil and add cold water to it

      Hope this helps clarify the matter…
      –Leni

  5. Hi Leni,

    The blog is a great idea. I am sure that you will give me good ideas for healthy meals. My husband, Bill, drinks green tea daily. I don’t as much, but my parents always drank green tea.

    Thanks for sharing all your expertise.

  6. Leni,

    I’m looking forward to reading more.
    Great stuff about green tea. Have you ever heard of kimbucha (spelling?)
    tea? I would be interested in your thoughts!

    Also, I’m trying not to eat as much meat as I used to, any ideas???

    Alex

    1. Hi Alex,
      Yes, I have heard of kombucha. Here’s what Andrew Weil, MD, (a solid MD with a holistic bent) has to say about kombucha and it’s not all that positive…http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA365602 . If you are consuming it for the probiotics, there are many other good if not better sources. I’ll discuss probiotic foods (yogurt, being one common example) on the blog in the near future.
      Hope this helps.
      Leni

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