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!