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3 Health Benefits of Green Tea

3 Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is one of the most amazing healing remedy this planet has to offer. Here are three remarkable health benefits of including it in your daily diet!

3 health benefits of green tea life featured pic

Powerful Antioxidant

This is perhaps the most touted benefit of green tea. In this case, the secret is in its catechin content. Catechin is definitely one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet because it helps to fight the free radicals that our bodies are exposed to on a daily basis. In fact, Harvard researchers have found a link between drinking green tea and a reduced risk of cancer.

Tip: Take green tea daily together with Vitamin C & E supplements to get a powerful dose of disease preventing antioxidants.

Speed Up Metabolism

Looking to shed a few pounds? It’s time to add green tea into your diet! Research has proven that it increases fat oxidation in the body as well as boosts metabolic rate.

Tip: Drink a hot cup of green tea with a squeeze of lemon the first thing you wake up every morning. In brief, this will help you to kick start your metabolism and give you energy to get the day started!

green tea lifestyle shot with girl and book
green tea leaves

Lowers Cholesterol

As found by a 2011 research study for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the powerful antioxidant compound EGCG in green tea helps to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from the large intestine. Results from this study suggest that regular green tea consumption will reduce serum cholesterol levels by as much as 7.2mg/dL.

Tip: Generally, experts recommend drinking up to 5 cups of green tea a day to lower blood cholesterol levels.

Roleaf has an incredible variety of green tea that you’ll never get bored choosing from. We source our teas from the highest quality farms across the globe, so you can be sure you are drinking only the best available.

 

Roleaf’s delicious Soothing Sencha is fine Japanese tea from Yame perfecture which is renowed across Japan for producing some of the finest quality green tea in the whole country. Glossy, deep and dark green, it is refreshing and smooth with slight roast flavors. 

And there you have it! Remember, as a rule, self-care is important. On a side note, dear introverts, never feel bad for making sure you are at your best emotionally.

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Award Winning Matcha – Know What You’re Drinking

Roleaf Matcha is from Yame, Japan which is is famous for its outstanding gyokuro (jade dew). It is proud of its top production amount of gyokuro green tea (Highest Quality). As much as 45% of all gyokuro available on Japanese market comes from Yame Region. Hence, tea connoisseurs recognize Yame as one of the few production places of highest quality green tea in Japan.

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Award Winning Matcha – Know What You’re Drinking

Award Winning Matcha – Know What You’re Drinking

Matcha is one of the more intricately manufactured green teas. Tea producers usually pack matcha in a foil pouch or a small tin. Generally, we can distinguish matcha between the “ceremonial” grade used in Chanoyu, and “culinary” grade, for cooking and baking. Ceremonial-grade matcha is exquisite in style and distinct umami flavour. In comparison, culinary-grade matcha is light in body and mild in flavour. It is a delightful product, but not as singular as ceremonial-grade matcha.

The source of the leaf, the expertise of the tea farm and the consistency of the grade will affect the intensity of flavour and the vividness of the color.

Read more: Matcha 101

matcha - know what you are drinking

Matcha Production

Tea farmers will harvest more mature bushes for matcha, often more than thirty years old. This is to avoid the occasional harshness and underlying bitterness of most Japanese green teas. Three weeks before harvest, farmers enclose plants destined to produce tencha in a shade covering, which slows down growth. This stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels and causes the production of amino acids, in particular theanine (known for its stress-reducing effect). Then, they steam the pluck to prevent oxidation, and individually destem and devein the tea leaf. Instead of rolling the tea leaf, they simply dry it which become known as tencha. It is then reserved for grinding into this highest-quality matcha.  

Traditional tea farmers use stone mills for grinding matcha. They are designed to remain cool during the grinding process of the particles of tencha into matcha powder.

Origin

Japan is the country that continues the historic tradition of producing finely milled, emerald-green matcha powdered tea. Tea plantations in China and Korea produce it as well. However, neither of these countries can match the remarkable sophistication of flavour and aroma of Japanese matcha.

Currently, high grade matcha is produced exclusively in Japan. The highest grades of matcha comes from Yame in Fukuoka Prefecture, Uji, south of Kyoto, and Nishio in Aichi prefecture.

The region of Yame is famous for its outstanding gyokuro (jade dew). It is proud of its top production amount of gyokuro green tea (Highest Quality). As much as 45% of all gyokuro available on Japanese market comes from Yame Region. Hence, tea connoisseurs recognize Yame as one of the few production places of highest quality green tea in Japan.

Only gyokuro from Uji matches the superior quality of that from Yame. The gyokuros from both regions however bring out completely different taste notes and thus complement each other perfectly.

Yame is renowned across Japan for producing some of the finest high quality green tea in the whole country. Farmers work on small, remote plots of land high up in the mountains surrounding Yame. Kyushu’s largest plain receives 1,600 to 2,400 mm of rainfall per year. Temperatures are high during the day and drop drastically at night. These factors are important to grow rich and sweet tea in large amounts. The temperature, shade and mist creates the perfect environment to nurture delicate teas. The ethereal mist and fog often found blanketing the fields in the morning don’t just add an air of mystery and beauty; they protect the leaves from the sunshine’s harshest rays.

 

Award Winning Tea from Yame, Japan

Roleaf matcha is from Yame, Japan. Skilled tea artisans hand-pick the finest tea buds from shade-grown tea leaves. It is the same leaves that also are used to make their renowned gyokuro. After harvesting, they lay out the leaves to dry before grinding it. If they roll up the leaves before drying, the result will be gyokuro tea.

 

Yame Green Tea won Best Prize in the All Japan Green Tea Competition for 12 consecutive years from 2001 to 2012, as well as in 2014 and 2015. As of 2007, all of the top 26 ranked brands of Gyukoro Green Teas are from Yame. This shows its overwhelming excellence over green teas produced in other regions in Japan. In 2017, Yame Green Tea won the first place in the World Green Tea competition.

 

p.s. Shop for our Matcha.

 

Yame - Japan
matcha green tea in cup

Chanoyu – Matcha Tea Ceremony

From ancient times, Chan or Zen Buddhists have included the preparation and consumption of powdered tea in their ritual. In 1191, a monk Eisai brought the Japanese methods of preparing powdered tea to Japan. Since then, it became an important item at the Zen monasteries. From the 15th onwards, the elite members of society do seek and greatly appreciate these fine powdered tea.

In Chanoyu, tea masters prepare matcha in two ways. In the preparation, they use two specific types of matcha: koicha (“thick tea”) or usucha (“thin tea”). The Japanese serve Koicha in full-length Chanoyu gatherings. Koicha is an opaque, jade-green, slightly viscous and deeply flavored drink. It it traditionally offered in a communal matcha bowl, called a chawan. Each guest sips from the chawan and then wipes the rim of the bowl before passing it to the next guest.

Usucha is a light, refreshing and astringent drink. Although not as a popular for everyday tea drinking as sencha, many Japanese drink it regularly.

 

japan chanoyu tea ceremony

Health Benefits

Although matcha and gyokuro share the same cultivation process, Matcha definitely has greater nutritional value. By drinking the whole ground leaf, you take in all the nutrients of the tea including the maximum Theanine. It is the richest amino acid in green tea. Together with succinic acid, gallic acid and theogallin, it gives matchaits umami flavor. 

Matcha also allows you to take in the nutrients usually missed. This includes beta-carotene (which converts into Vitamin A upon ingestion), Vitamin E and dietary fiber.

Japan’s University of Shizuoka, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, conducted studies on theanine’s stress-reducing effects. Laboratory mice that consumed more than 33 mg/kg of matcha had significantly suppressed adrenal hypertrophy, a symptom that shows sensitivity to stress. The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences also tested the stress-reducing effects on university students. It is found that students who ingested 3 grams of matcha in 500 ml of water had reduced anxiety, than students who consumed placebo. Green tea leaves also contain the catechin, an antioxidant found to be able to mildly prevent cancer, diseases, and aid in weight loss.

Read more: Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

Brewing Instructions

 

  1. Scoop 1 ½ teaspoons of matcha powder (about 2 grams) for every 250ml cup of milk. For  475ml, that would be about 2 teaspoons of matcha powder.
  2. Sift your matcha powder into a tea bowl, swirling the powder with your ladle. This will ensure there are no clumps so that your tea will be smooth.
  3. Heat milk and carefully pour some hot milk into tea bowl with matcha powder.
  4. Using your chasen, whisk the tea in a gentle circular motion for thin and smooth tea for about 10-15 seconds.
  5. Use a frothing pitcher and pour remaining milk into the bowl. Add honey if preferred. 

 

Read more: Dalgona Earl Grey Matcha Latte Recipe

Read more: Burnt Matcha Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

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Black Tea Goodness

Black Tea Goodness

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. 

black tea goodness health benefits

What is Black Tea?

It is produced from the same kind of plant the green tea is – Camellia Sinensis. The only difference is how tea farmers process it. Leaves are withered, rolled, heated and then fermented and heated in order to produce delicious tea leaves.

Read more: Black Tea 101

Here are some of its health benefits.

Read more: Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

black tea with muffin and journal
black tea in transparent tea pot

Health Benefits of Black Tea

1. Stress Relief

Black tea is ample in L-theanine, which helps you relax and concentrate. Regular consumption has also been found to lower cortisol levels.

2. Immune System Boost

It has alkylamine antigens and tannins which support the immune system, helping to ward off common everyday illnesses such as the flu and the tummy bug.

3. Lowers High Cholesterol

Research conducted by the American Heart Association concluded that black tea was associated with slower age-related decreases in HDL-C concentrations which is beneficial in reducing bad cholesterol, thus lowering the risk of heart strokes. People who drink 3-4 cups a day seems to be at a lower risk than people who consumed none at all. [1]

4. Oral Health

The Tea Trade Health Research Association discovered that it helps eliminate plaque formation. It seems to inhibit the growth of bacteria that promotes cavity formation and tooth decay. This is due to the polyphenol content that kill bacteria and the enzymes they create which bind plaque to the tooth enamel.

5. Energy Boost

It contains caffeine, albeit not in the skyrocket amounts that coffee does. It is sufficient however to provide a long lasting and steady boost of energy and mental clarity throughout the day.

What are you waiting for? Brew yourself some black tea goodness and drink up!

p.s. Shop for our Black Tea Collection.

References

[1] From Journal of the American Heart Association, (2018, June). Tea Consumption and Longitudinal Change in High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Concentration in Chinese Adultshttps://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.118.008814

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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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6 Habits that Help You to Sleep Better

6 Habits that Help You to Sleep Better

Are you struggling with falling asleep at night? Do you toss and turn until the wee hours of the morning only to fall into a restless sleep? Wake up feeling more tired than refreshed?

You’re not alone.

Millions of people struggle with sleep disorders ranging from mild to severe.

If you don’t want to default to prescription sleeping pills, try going the natural route with chamomile tea. It is perfectly safe and it really works!

Studies have shown that chamomile tea is rich in apidenin, a flavonoid compound which helps relax the body and induce sleep. Get your chamomile tea now, its delicate flavour and warm aroma helps you to unwind after a long day. 

1. Chamomile tea

If you don’t want to default to prescription sleeping pills, try going the natural route with chamomile tea. It is perfectly safe and it really works!

Studies have shown that chamomile tea is rich in apidenin, a flavonoid compound which helps relax the body and induce sleep. Get your chamomile tea now, its delicate flavour and warm aroma helps you to unwind after a long day. 

2. Stay away from screens

Try to stay away from your phone or computer one to two hours before bedtime. I know it is tempting to keep checking your phone when you can’t fall asleep, but the blue light that the screens emit will mess up your melatonin production and prevent you from falling asleep.

Charge your phone across the room instead of right beside your bed. Drastic times call for drastic measures!

3. Establish a proper night time routine

This helps to signal to your brain that it is time for bed. This looks different for everybody. Do what helps you de-stress. Take it as your “me” time.

Light a scented candle. Take a warm bubble bath. Read a book. Drink a warm cuppa tea. Pray. Find what works for you and stick with it.

My nightly routine:

Drinking a warm cup of Roleaf tea while reading a good book helps me to unwind after a long stressful day. They have a such a great range of non-caffeinated brews to choose from! Calming Chamomile, Rooibos, French Rose Tea… These calming teas soothe my body. I love diffusing lavender and cedarwood essential oils too.

4. Exercise

Exercising tires out the body and helps you to sleep deeply. This is especially true for me after an intense session of weight training! I crash into bed and fall into a deep sleep almost immediately. If you don’t like weights, go and take a walk, go for a swim… just move. This will regulate your hormone production, making it easier to sleep at night.

*Make sure you do it during the day or early evening. Working out too close to bedtime is counterproductive because the rush of endorphins will make it difficult to fall asleep.

5. Sleep schedule

Try to go to bed and wake up the same time every day – even on weekends. It is tempting to sleep in all the way until noon on a Sunday, but that will only confuse your internal clock and make it hard to adjust again on weekdays.

6. Eating before slumber

Eating before bed is not always a bad thing. Some food are actually great to help you fall asleep.

  1. Warm Milk – contains tryptophan, a sleep inducing hormone
  2. Tart Cherry Juice – rich in melatonin for sleep regulation
  3. A small serving of carb-rich foods e.g. bananas, wholegrain cereal, wholemeal toast. Carbs induce sleepiness. Make sure to choose healthy sources of carbs with low sugar for all the benefits without the increased waistline.
  4. Sweet potato – It contains potassium, a muscle relaxant, and is rich in complex carbs.

*Avoid alcohol before bedtime. It might make you feel drowsy, but it actually impairs the quality of your sleep. Alcohol also metabolizes quickly in the system causing you to wake up multiple times per night.                                                                                                     

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