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Green Tea 101

Green Tea 101

Civilisations in China and Japan have been using green tea for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Green tea is tea in its purest form because tea makers have minimal room to alter its production techniques.

It is absolutely crucial in its manufacturing process to prevent oxidation of the fresh leaf and preserve the natural green color. In most cases, tea farmers will lightly steam fresh leaves from the plant to produce it.

Green tea offers many different leaf styles and flavor characteristics. Without doubt, tea connoisseurs will delight in its transitory tastes and sweet-smelling aromas that are fresh, delicious and uncomplicated.

Tea plantations produce it year-round in subtropical locations, but only at specific times in the warm months in temperate zones. This corresponds to the specific varieties of camellia sinensis grown in these dissimilar places. The quality of the leaf generally relates to the time of year and number of plucks (harvests) per year.

In regions of the world in which the tropical sub varieties of camellia sinensis, such as assam bush or java bush grow, leaf for green tea may be plucked all year-round.  

green tea 101 tea bag in cup with flower jar and teabags

Health Benefits

Drinkers are currently using green tea as a beverage or dietary supplement to relieve digestive symptoms and headaches. It is also used to improve mental alertness and promote weight loss.

Although many studies have been done, researchers still have yet to obtain definite conclusions on its health benefits. However, limited evidence available suggests that it might have beneficial effects on some heart disease risk factors, including blood pressure and cholesterol.

There’s evidence that green tea enhances mental alertness, as would be expected because of its caffeine content. [1]

Read more: 3 Green Tea Tips for Weight Loss

Read more: Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

Grades of Green Tea

The terminology used to designate grades of green tea can differ widely, because no universal standard exists for grading it. Hence, this complexity and lack of standardization can be confusing. For example, some may use the term imperial to designate the top grade of a particular tea. Others may label the same as premium. In brief, tea buyers should seek high quality tea at reasonable prices.

Buyers can find it difficult to know whether a certain tea is more expensive than another because it is overpriced or of a higher grade. There will be no resolution to this because the tea industry cannot possibly codify the thousands of green teas available, so it is necessary to cultivate a relationship with a trustworthy tea brand. As you become familiar with our teas, you will in essence become familiar with our criteria for selection. This will prove to be more valuable to your enjoyment of tea than any complex, universal system of standards could ever be.

However, premium green teas tend to follow a specific plucking standard. Generally, it is plucked early in the spring and have certain country-specific particulars.

Chinese wisdom in the tea garden dictates, “tea that is picked early is a treasured; picked late, it’s trash.

Because it is processed so minimally, the size of the leaf before manufacture has a critical impact on the flavor of the finished tea.

p.s. Shop for our Green Tea Collection.

 

Classic leaf styles

  • Bud-only; sword or sparrow’s tongue
  • Budset; sword or twisted needle
  • Open or leafy
  • Flat of flaky
  • Twist
  • Spiral or crimped
  • Needle or wiry
  • Ball or rolled
  • Compressed
loose leaf green tea

Taste components

  • Aromatic
  • Astringent
  • Body – varies from light to full
  • Bright
  • Character
  • Clean
  • Crisp
  • Fresh
  • Grassy
  • Green
  • Herbaceous
  • Kelpy
  • Lingering finish
  • Mineral
  • Soft
  • Spicy
  • Strength
  • Sweet
  • Vegetal
tea plantation
chinese green tea in clay cups in bamboos

Steeping Green Tea

The first harvest of teas in the spring season will fill the mouth with fresh, delicious flavors that are sweet and refreshing. Being more delicate than most other classes of tea, green tea requires steeping water that has cooled from the boil. Water that is too hot will force the leaf to become bitter, rather than encourage it to yield the sweetness inherent in the leaf.

Teas from China

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of leafy tea (per 175ml of water)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons for bud tea
  • Spring teas: 70 – 75°C
  • Other teas: 75 – 80°C
  • Steeping time: 90 seconds to 2 minutes

Teas from Japan

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons (per 175ml of water)

  • Steeping temperature: 70 – 75°C

  • Steeping time: 90 seconds to 2 minutes

Read more: Tea Brewing Instructions

Read more: 3 Green Tea Pairing Tips for Beginner

The Role of Green Tea

green tea being dried in baskets

CHINA

Green tea has been the most popular form of tea in China since the Southern Song dynasty. In fact, approximately 70 percent of China’s yearly output of tea is green tea. Generally, there are almost ten thousand distinctions of it produced in China’s eastern provinces of Anhui, Henan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Zhejiang and the western provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan.

China’s most delicious green teas are delicate, fresh, and clean. Some possess vegetal flavors in the cup whilst others are earthy and grassy in style, reflecting the cool climate and austere soil found high in the tea mountains.

JAPAN

Buddhist monks brought tea seeds to Japan in the early 9th century. Most green tea consumed in Japan is produced on this small but intensively farmed country of islands. Japanese tea enthusiasts are deeply connected to the flavor of Japanese tea. They are also rarely attracted to the tea offerings of other countries.

The flavor of Japanese tea is vivid, striking and vegetal, which makes it unique and deliciously refreshing any time of the day. In the cup, the best Japanese teas feature both astringency and controllable attribute of tea that has been finely honed by Japanese tea artisans.

In contrast to China, Japan historically produces only one major class of tea – green tea. Japan’s green teas are usually dark, forest green, thin and needle-shaped. Underscoring this selective focus is the additional fact that Japanese tea makers produce only a scant handful of green tea varieties, a distinction that highly contrasts with that of neighboring China.

Emphasis is not on specific tea gardens or famous mountains, but on distinctions that differentiate the teas from larger geographical areas such as Shizuoka, Kyushu and central Honshu.

We source our high quality Japanese teas from Yame, Japan – highly renowned for their premium quality.

In Japan, tea should exhibit three necessary traits: good aroma, taste and appearance.

Read more: Matcha 101

[1] From National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, (2016, November). Green Teahttps://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/green-tea

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By the end of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), the culture of tea drinking was growing in the West. But black tea did not find appreciative drinkers until the Dutch embraced Chinese tea after 1640, when Dutch traders introduced tea to society patrons in Hague and it became a fashionable lifestyle. Eventually, it became the most sought-after trade commodity of the English East India Company.

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Matcha 101

Matcha 101

Matcha seems to be the entire craze lately.

It has become the in beverage – touted by celebrities, and at the same time, chugged down by trendy hipster cafes. Generally, it is stirring up a storm in the health and beauty world.

roleaf matcha 101 in bowl with whisk

What is matcha?

It essentially means “powdered tea”. Japanese craftsman crush tea leaves into a special form of fine powder to make it a drink. In comparison to traditional green tea, it is healthier and more concentrated. It is more potent because you are drinking the actual tea leaves.

p.s. Our Matcha powder is of the finest quality from Yame, Japan.

 

Read more: Green Tea 101

 

matcha powder
matcha powder

1. Nutritional Matcha

It is a much more powerful source of nutrients because it is more concentrated than traditional steeped green tea. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols, matcha has it all.

Tip: A cup of matcha a day keeps the doctor away!

2. Calmness

It is a great alternative to coffee. It will help with the decaffeinating process. You get the alertness you need without the crash. It also has the added benefit of the compound “l-theanine” which induces relaxation without drowsiness. In brief, alert yet calm.

Matcha is traditionally prepared by mixing a teaspoon of matcha powder with a third cup of hot water (heated to slightly less than a boil). The drink is then whisked with a bamboo brush until it reaches a nice frothy consistency.

3. Weight Loss

Matcha is rich in the compound catechins which has thermogenic properties. Therefore, it increases metabolism, and promotes fat oxidation, even at rest.

Tip: Studies have shown that exercising immediately after drinking it results in 25% more fat burn during exercise.

Read more: 3 Green Tea Tips for Weight Loss

 

4. Fibre

Constipation? Matcha contains a high level of easily absorbable dietary fibre that will ensure smooth excretion. Besides that, it also help in stabilizing blood sugar levels.

What are you waiting for? Get some matcha into your daily regime! Buy now!

It will definitely boost your health and take it to the next level.

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By the end of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), the culture of tea drinking was growing in the West. But black tea did not find appreciative drinkers until the Dutch embraced Chinese tea after 1640, when Dutch traders introduced tea to society patrons in Hague and it became a fashionable lifestyle. Eventually, it became the most sought-after trade commodity of the English East India Company.

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Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

You may have heard a lot of talk about antioxidants.

However, few people know what they are or how they work.

To understand the necessity of antioxidants, firstly, we must understand free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive compounds. It is naturally produced in our bodies as a result of normal metabolic processes. It can also be produced as a natural response to environmental toxins such as excessive sunlight, cigarette smoke, harmful chemicals and radiation.

These free radicals attack healthy cells in our body. This can lead to all sorts of degenerative issues such as aging, skin damage, decline in immune system, and even chronic disesases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis. In fact, medical researchers have found that free radicals are a main contributor to at least 50 types of chronic diseases.

roleaf antioxidants - why do you need them. tea with fruits

Function of Antioxidants

Here is where antioxidants come in. They neutralize and reverse the effect of free radicals in our bodies. Antioxidants stabilize and deactivate free radicals before they have a chance to damage healthy body cells. Therefore, antioxidants are extremely crucial in our diet to stop the accumulation of dangerous free radicals in our body.

matcha egcg
roleaf health tea guide

Sources of Antioxidants

A healthy diet will readily supply most of the antioxidants our bodies need. Good sources are:

1. Vegetables

Most vegetables contain powerful phytochemical that reduce inflammation and fight carcinogens. These are the two common side effects of free radical damage.

Tip: Juicing vegetables will ensure you get the optimum benefit.

2. Fruits

Fruits from the berry family such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and cranberries contain some of the most potent antioxidants. For example, Vitamin C, carotenoids, carotenes and phytochemicals.

Besides that, there are also other awesome sources such as dragonfruits, prunes, plums and pomegranates.

Tip: The darker and more color-condense the fruit, the higher the amount of antioxidants.

3. Green Tea

Green tea is rich in EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), an extremely powerful antioxidant. EGCG readily fights free radical damage in our bodies and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases such as cancer.

Read: 5 Cups of Tea A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Tip: Our green tea and matcha are of the highest quality. Hence, it will prove to be an invaluable addition to your diet.

Read: 3 Green Tea Tips for Weight Loss

Antioxidant is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy and drink your cup of green tea today!

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By the end of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), the culture of tea drinking was growing in the West. But black tea did not find appreciative drinkers until the Dutch embraced Chinese tea after 1640, when Dutch traders introduced tea to society patrons in Hague and it became a fashionable lifestyle. Eventually, it became the most sought-after trade commodity of the English East India Company.

read more
Tea Brewing Instructions

Tea Brewing Instructions

We offer a wide range of teas from all around the world.

Hence, understandably, it is a little difficult to remember the brewing methods and temperature.

Because of that, we have prepared a Tea Lovers Handbook to help you get started on your tea journey. These are some of the tips from the Handbook.

1. Black Teas

Black Tea is one of the most commonly drank tea. It is more oxidized than the other types of teas. Some of the most renowned black teas are Earl Grey Tea, English Breakfast Tea, Darjeeling Tea and various others.

Brewing Time: 3 to 4 minutes

Brewing Temperature: 100° C

– Read 3 Black Tea Pairing tips for Beginner

2. Green Teas

Tea farmers steam freshly harvested tea leaves to make green teas. As compared to other fermented teas, it contains more antioxidants and minimal oxidation.

Ancient Japanese textbooks have recommended it, e.g. to improve concentration. In addition, today, its healing powers are the subject of much scientific research.

Brewing Time: 2-3 minutes

Brewing Temperature: 80° C

Read more: 3 Green Tea Pairing Tips for Beginner

Read more: Green Tea 101

3. Oolong Teas

Oolong is a semi-fermented tea produced in China through a unique process of withering and oxidation prior to curling and twisting. Its secret lies in the fermentation of the leaf’s outer edges, while the heart of the leaf remains unfermented. In fact, the extent of oxidation of the teas will produce very different taste and aroma.

Oolong tea is very popular among the Chinese community in south China and Southeast Asia. Indeed, some of the most famous Oolong teas are such as Tie Kuan Yin and Da Hong Pao.

Brewing Time: 1 to 2 minutes

Brewing Temperature: 80° C

Read more: 2 Oolong Tea Pairing Tips for Beginner

4. Herbal and Fruit Teas

Generally, there are many types of herbs and it is non-caffeinated. In fact, ancient civilisations have treasured and recommended herbal teas for their beneficial effects on the nerves and internal organs.

On the other hand, the basic ingredients of fruit tea are apple, hibiscus and rose hip. A tea master can mix herbs or fruit teas with different types of teas to create a fun and fruity tea blend. However, in recent times, more types of ingredients have been used to create exciting new flavours.


Brewing Time: 4 to 5 minutes

Brewing Temperature: 100° C

5. Matcha

Matcha is a Japanese green powdered tea that is harvested from shade-grown tea leaves which are high in chlorophyll levels. Therefore, it has a complex and rich taste with smooth finishing. We do highly recommended it for its tremendous health benefits.

Brewing Time: 1 to 2 minutes

Brewing Temperature: 80° C

Read more: Matcha 101

Please share and comment below if these tips have been very helpful to you. 

If you want more insight into the history, origin and types of teas, then scroll down and sign up to download your FREE pdf.

 

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5 Tips to Get Past a Full Day of Work Without Dozing Off

5 Tips to Get Past a Full Day of Work Without Dozing Off

Work blues got you dozing off? Feeling sluggish and working from home because of restrictive movement caused by Covid19?

Getting scolded by your boss for not picking up calls? Here are a few tips to stay awake at home without your usual coffee shots.

1. Turn the lights up

Maximize your body’s exposure to light.The circadian rhythm, which responds to light – or lack of, regulates our bodies greatly. Therefore, the brighter it is at work, the more likely your body will excrete the right hormones for you to stay alert and productive. Also open all the windows and turn on all the neon lights you can. Don’t forget to increase your screen brightness. 

2. Music

Listen to the right kind of beats as music acts as a stimulant for our brains.. ‘How do you sleep’ by John Lennon may not be the best option.  In fact, if the extra focus is what you need, classic instrumental music works best. On the other hand, if an extra motivational jolt is required, try hip hop, dance, or electro beats. Remember, plug in those earphones so you don’t distract your family!

3. Snack right

Go for low Glycemic Index (GI) foods that can sustain energy for a longer period of time. Slow digesting carbs high in protein and fiber are good bets, e.g. nuts, fruits, peanut butter & protein bars. Equally important, avoid sugary snacks/drinks that will cause you to crash and burn after an initial rush.

4. Get moving

When all you do is sit and hunch over your work desk, it is easy to be dozing off. Do some jumping jacks or air squats. Even head to the pantry and get a cup of tea. Stretch! In brief, do anything to get some blood flowing and your senses activated again. Truly, a little movement goes a long, long way.

5. Drink up and don’t sleep!

You can never go wrong with tea because it gives you the right amount of caffeine to keep you sustained throughout an entire workday. Furthermore, tea gives you all the alertness without any of the crashes that come with coffee. Green tea and black tea are fantastic to sip on throughout the day.

These few hacks are bound to amp up your productivity and alertness while working from home. Good luck!

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It is no question that tea lovers tout green tea as THE miracle tea of choice. But what about its counterpart, the black tea? Don’t brush it off just yet. Scientists have discovered a whole host of health benefits linked to it. 

read more

Black Tea 101

By the end of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), the culture of tea drinking was growing in the West. But black tea did not find appreciative drinkers until the Dutch embraced Chinese tea after 1640, when Dutch traders introduced tea to society patrons in Hague and it became a fashionable lifestyle. Eventually, it became the most sought-after trade commodity of the English East India Company.

read more