Here’s a 90 second knowledge boost on your cup of green tea… You already know it’s good for you but here’s how to MAXIMISE it!
First, get a good reputable source of tea and you’re half way there – not gonna try and sell you one, pick your own favorite. It can vary greatly in it’s benefits from mass production to artisan. Then…
Which is best… tea bags, leaves, or powdered green tea?
You probably guessed, powderer green tea , then leaves, then trailing a long way behind – tea bags – in that order. Why, because you want to get the most EGCG content, the most abundant catechin in tea. Why, because it has been found to be over 100 times more effective in neutralizing free radicals than vitamin C and 25 times more powerful than vitamin E. One cup (one gram of tea leaves in 100 milliliters of water) has a whopping 180 milligrams of EGCG. And this is kinda what we’re after.
Divide the benefits by 3. The decaf process removed up to 2/3 of ECGC. Your call.
How long should you brew it?
Powdered green tea has an edge here. Anything from 30 seconds and you’re getting the best of it. It peaks at four minutes brew time. Tea leaves peak around 5 minutes, give them at least two minutes. Tea bags? Oh dear, they’re only about half the potency. But if it’s all you’ve got or all you can manage, give them the full 5 minutes brewing to squeeze the best from them.
First – scald that tea. Boiling water at 100 degrees gets the most out of your cup of green tea. Drop the temperature to 80 degrees and you can loose as much as 30 to 40% of your ECGC and some other benefits disappear too eg: less caffeine extraction [eeek!].
And then, if you let it cool…? Or chill it on ice? The short version is, after about 7 hours it looses about 20% of it’s ECGC content. So not too bad. I like mine iced. And I often make it in a jug and drink it over a few days. I can’t tell how much it looses after 7 hours, but I reckon it’s still still good for me – better than fizzy drinks anyway.
Booster bonus: Adding a few drops of lemon to the tea may help to slow the oxidation process (same process that turns a cut apple brown) and retain the antioxidants, as well as provide support for the immune system. It can also increase the potency of the tea. And lemon once ingested turns to a base, which is good for lowering your bodies level of acidity (note, not stomach acidity).
Well, ginger not only tastes great but also gives it antibiotic proprieties and combined with green tea helps shift pounds easier than a lot of patented and expensive drugs. I add fresh squeezed lime juice as it has similar properties to lemon and I enjoy the taste. Mint, it helps with digestion and also tastes nice. Very occasionally, honey, another of natures antibiotics. But it can cause insulin spikes so go easy. And also, it’s inconclusive but adding milk can reduce the ECGC absorption.
1) Choose a high quality tea
2) Powdered green tea (or good leaves), not decaf
3) Wet the tea at 100 degrees
4) Brew for 4 minutes (or 5 minutes if leaves)
5) Add a little lemon or lime juice, a thin slice or two of ginger, and a mint leaf.
6) No milk
Drink it up. Mmmmm! If you chill it keep it sealed to reduce oxidation and carry it to work in a flask.
Last but not least – how much should you drink? The evidence is so conflicting that it’s hard to tell, and none of the reports I can find state the quality of the tea referenced. If you’re following the guide above I’d say go with 300 to 500mls per day and you’ll be doing your body & mind good while still being able to sleep at night.