11 Types of Chinese Green Tea

11 Types of Chinese Green Tea

In this article I will talk about 11 different kinds of Chinese green tea, their characteristic features and their associated health benefits.

Green tea is known as lu cha is China. The people of China have been drinking green tea for centuries. Green tea is made from un-fermented leaves and is believed to contain the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols which help to slow-down ageing process. Many studies indicate that green tea also helps prevent many coronary artery diseases.

Green tea is grown mainly in China and Japan. In an earlier post I had talked about the 10 Types of Japanese Green Tea, and in this post I shall focus on Chinese green tea varieties.

Type of Chinese Green Tea

Zhu Cha (Gunpowder) Green Tea

  • Once gunpowder tea is processed, it is transformed into small pellets, which when placed in hot water during the brewing process, open up.
  • High quality gunpowder tea will have small, tightly rolled pellets.
  • Gunpowder Tea has a slightly smoky flavor.
  • This tea is high in fluoride and prevents many dental problems.
  • Gunpowder tea is exported to the Maghreb (western region of North Africa) where it is used to prepare traditional North African mint tea.
  • There are two type of gunpowder Chinese green tea – Pingshui gunpowder (Temple of Heaven Gunpowder or Pinhead Gunpowder) and Formosa gunpowder.

Long Jing (Dragonwell) Green Tea

  • Dragon Well (Longjing green tea) is one of the most popular Green Tea varieties in China as well as in the West.
  • True Long Jing Chinese Green Tea is grown only around Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province.
  • When pocessed, the leaves become flat and have the color of jade. When prepared the tea produces a yellow-green color.
  • Dragonwell green tea has one of the highest concentrations of catechins among teas.
  • Longjing green tea was granted the status of Gong Cha, or imperial tea, in the Qing dynasty by the Kangxi Emperor.
  • Longjing green tea comes in 6 varieties – Xihu Longjing, Pre-Qingming Longjing, Shi Feng Longjing, Meijiawu Longjing, Bai Longjing, Qiantang Longjing, Tiger Spring Longjing and Lion Longjing.

Pi Lo Chun (Green Snail Spring) Green Tea

  • Pi Lo Chun Chinese Green Tea (Biluochun) is grown among plum, apricot and peach trees, which allows it to absorb their fragrance.
  • It is renowned for its delicate appearance, fruity taste and floral aroma.
  • As per a famous Chinese legend, a tea picker girl accidentally discovered Pi Lo Chun tea. She ran out of space in her basket and put the tea between her breasts. The tea, on being warmed by her body heat  started emitting a strong aroma that surprised the girl.

Snowy Mountain Jian Green Tea

  • Snowy Mountain Jain green tea has a full body flavor similar to black teas.
  • It is a good body, full flavored, tending herbaceous with satisfying sweetness.
  • It is grown in the high mountains of Yunnan Province of China.
  • This tea is quite pungent and is good tea for someone who is normally drinks black tea but would like to try a green tea without sacrificing too much taste or texture.

Hyson Lucky Dragon Green Tea

  • Hyson Lucky Dragon is a premium Chinese green tea.
  • It comes from the Anhui province of China.
  • It has a more full-bodied flavor as compared to other green tea. Hyson tea has been described as light, warm, smooth, good-bodied, earthy, sunny, and spring-like in flavor.
  • During the Boston Tea Party hyson tea represented 15 of the more than three hundred chests of tea that were destroyed.

Kai Hua Long Ding Green Tea

  • Kaihua Longding is an orchid style green tea, bright and lively with a unique sharpness accented with bouquet and a slight touch of herb.
  • The leaves of Kai Hua Long Ding Green tea are stocky but short.
  • They are mostly grown in the Zhejian Province of Tiantai County. “Long” is the word “dragon”, and “ding” means “the top” referring to the place where the tea is grown.
  • It is said that the tea was developed as recently as the 1950’s, but in a short while of 60 years it has achieved global acclaim.

Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea

  • Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea has a light, sweetish and delicate taste and grown mainly in Tian Mu mountains of Zhejian Province.
  • The flavor is light yet deep and sweet to the nose and on the tongue. It is said to be vivid yet gentle flavor, springtime fresh and hard to resist.

Xin Yang Mao Jian Green Tea

  • Xin Yang Mao Jian Green Tea is also known as green tip.
  • It is grown in the Henan Province of China.
  • It is often designated as a China famous tea.

Hou Kui Green Tea

  • Hou Kui Green Tea is also known as Monkey tea. It has an orchid flavor taste and is grown in the Anhui Province of China.
  • Houkui tea has a delicate orchid fragrance with a mellow taste.
  • In a glass, the leaf gracefully sways in the water which is described as the “Phoenix dances”.

Anji Bai Cha Green Tea

  • Anji Bai Cha is a high quality green tea in which the leaves are arrow shaped and feathery in appearance. It is called “white” tea although it is a green tea.
  • According to a 2010 study, Anji white tea is high in polysaccharides which can inhibit the hemolysis of blood cells.

Mao Jian Green Tea

  • Mao Jian is a high quality variet of Chinese green tea mainly produced in Xinyang, Henan Province.
  • It has a wett and nutty flavor.
  • Also known as downy tip tea, it is characterized by small slightly downy sea-green colored leaves with silver tips.

Conclusion

There are a lot of varieties of green tea, each having their own signature taste, texture, flavor and benefits. In this article I have talked about 11 varieties of Chinese green tea, some of which have been in use since ancient times while some are as recent as 60 years.

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References

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10 Types of Japanese Green Tea

10 Types of Japanese Green Tea

In this article I will talk about 10 different types of Japanese green tea that are available and list some of their characteristics and health benefits.

We all know the benefits of green tea. But what many of us do not know is that green tea comes in many varieties. There are two main categories of green tea – Chinese green tea and Japanese green tea. In fact in Japan 99.99% of all tea produced is green tea. Green tea means tea that has not been fermented  – to produce green tea, oxidation of the tea leaves is stopped as soon as possible after they have been picked and in Japan this is done by heating using water vapor.

Types of Japanese Green Tea

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha Green Tea is a popular Japanese variety of green tea. It is a powdered green tea variety grown in the Uji region of Japan. Dark Matcha (Koicha) is used in Japan’s traditional tea ceremony. Matcha green tea is also used to make traditional Japanese confections and various savory dishes. Matcha is considered to be one of the most powerful super foods on the market today.

Some of the health benefits of Matcha Green Tea are as below:

  • They are high in antioxidants and hence better able to fight many diseases
  • High content of catechin / EGCg has anti-cancer properties
  • L-theanine in Matcha boosts memory
  • Makes one calmer
  • Detoxifies the body

Shincha Green Tea

Sencha Green Tea is the most commonly consumed variety of Japanese green tea. Its leaves are steamed and rolled to make crude tea. It undergoes minimal processing and no fermentation. There is a huge variation in types and quality. Shincha tea is the first picking of the season. Its major feature is the fresh flavor of new leaves, and because of its lower catechin and caffeine content it is only mildly astringent.

Some of the important health benefits of Sencha green tea are as follows:

  • Antioxidants decreases risk of certain diseases
  • Helps fight against heart diseases
  • Potential cancer fightig benefits

Fukamushi Sencha Green Tea

Fukamushi Sencha Green Tea is one that has been steamed for a longer time than ordinary sencha tea. It is powdery and the tea takes on a stronger taste and darker green color.

Gyokuro Green tea

Gyokuro Green tea is the best variety of Japanese green tea, having smooth tatse with a light fragrance. One of the unique characteristics of GYokuro tea is an aroma similar to nori seaweed. It is very rich in flavor and low in astringency and is one of the most expensive kinds of Japanese tea. It is produced essentially in Kyoto and Fukuoka prefectures.

Bancha green tea

Bancha green tea has a comparatively weaker flavor than other green teas. It is high on antioxidant and low on caffeine and is popular for its mellow flavor.

Houjicha green tea

Houjicha green tea is brown in color on account of being roasted. Hojicha is easy to drink for children as well as elderly because of its lower caffeine content, savory aroma and clear light taste.

Kabusecha green tea

Kabusecha green tea is similar to gyokuro in how it is made, but has a mildly sweet flavor. the largest kabuse-cha producing area is Mie Prefecture.

Tencha Green Tea

Tencha green tea is the main ingredient of Matcha.

Genmaicha Green Tea

Genmaicha green tea is a mixture of brown rice and Sencha tea is 50:50 ratio. It is famous for its savoriness on account of roasted brown rice and the refreshing taste of Shincha. Because of lower caffeine content it is suitable for you children and elderly. Genmaicha is popularly known as popcorn tea.

Kukicha green tea is made from white stalks (kuki) produced by harvesting one bud and three leaves. It has a chestnut like flavor, mildly astringent but vibrant.

Conclusion

There are a lot of varieties of green tea, each having its own signature taste, texture, flavor and benefits. While Matcha is the most popular green tea, especially in the west, it is by no means the only one and there are 9 other varieties of Japanese green tea.

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References

  1. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02854/Nine-Green-Teas.html
  2. http://www.itoen.co.jp/eng/allabout_greentea/varieties.html
  3. http://www.teadiscussion.com/types/green-tea-types.php
  4. http://www.naturallivingideas.com/10-amazing-benefits-of-matcha-green-tea/
  5. http://www.livestrong.com/article/351244-sencha-tea-health-benefits/
  6. http://www.thes-du-japon.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=4&chapter=0&language=en
  7. Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_tea_kabuse-cha.jpg

Thank you for reading “10 Types of Japanese Green Tea”. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments in the comment box below and do share with your friends and family.

15 Facts about Slimming Green Tea

Amazing Facts about Slimming Green Tea

In this post I will share 15 Amazing Facts about slimming green tea.

Green Tea is tea that is light in color and made from leaves that have not been oxidized before drying. As per Wikipedia, green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation applied when processing Camellia sinensis into oolong tea and black tea.

Drinking green tea everyday has a lot of benefits. While the taste of green tea sucks, it is good for health – that we all know. But what most people don’t know is that green tea may also be conducive to slimming when combined with other healthy habits.

Please note that drinking 10 cups of green tea alone will not make you lose weight – but if you regularly have it and follow certain practices, you will definitely see some good results.

Slimming green tea is a type of slimming tea. The other types of tea’s are:

  • Chinese slimming tea
  • herbal slimming tea
  • wu long slimming tea

Facts about Slimming Green Tea

  1. Green tea contains caffeine – but in much milder dose than coffee. Caffeine has been shown to help in  burning fat (1) (2)
  2. Green tea has a useful substance called anti-oxidants of type catechins like ECGC (Epigallocatechin gallate) which boost metabolism. (3)
  3. ECGC in green tea inhibits an enzyme which causes a hormone norepinephrine to increase which in turn cases more fat cells to break down. (4) (5)
  4. Catechins in green tea increase body temperature which in turn helps one burn more calories. (11)
    Caffeine and ECGC together have a synergistsic effect in breaking down of fat. (6)
  5. For those who exercise regularly, burning of fat increases upto 17% when people regularly take slimming green tea extract. (7)
  6. Green tea can boost metabolic rate by upto 4% which in turn helps in burning more calories and weight loss. (8)
  7. The most harmful type of fat in our body is belly fat (visceral fat). Green tea helps in breaking down the harmful stomach fat. (9)
  8. Tulsi green tea is the healthiest slimming green tea option as it has a lot of anti-oxidants. And additionally the Tulsi also helps in prevent cough and cold infections. (10)
  9. Among green tea varieties, Match green tea is supposed to be the most effective weight loss variety. (14)
  10. One should drink 2-3 cups of green tea everyday to reach the desired level of caffeine and catechins which will cause weight loss. (12)
  11. Green tea in combination with honey or sweetener does not help  in slimming because of extra calories. (11)
  12. One can drink green tea directly or use green tea supplements. (13)
  13. You don’t have to drink too much green tea to lose weight – 2.5 cups approximately per day should be sufficient.(14)
  14. Green tea because of caffeine may cause dehydration, hence one should drink plenty of water, when one is on a green tea weight loss program. (13)
  15. Some experts advise that whenever you have a craving for something sweet or unhealthy, you should instead have a little bit of green tea. This will temporarily curb your hunger, and indirectly assist in maintaining your weight.(15)

Conclusion

As we can see, green tea helps in weight management in a number of direct and indirect ways. But as I have mentioned earlier, green tea alone is not a solution to weight gain problem. With a bad lifestyle, no amount of green tea will help. In fact too much of green tea is actually bad, so one should have it in moderation. However for someone who has a health lifestyle and consumes green tea regularly, weight control and weight loss can be achieved easily.

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References

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20049372
  2. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/1/40.full.pdf+html
  3. https://authoritynutrition.com/green-tea-and-weight-loss/
  4. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031938410000703
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norepinephrine
  6. http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v24/n2/full/0801101a.html
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326618
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10584049
  9. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2007.176/full
  10. http://www.thefitindian.com/6-best-green-tea-recipes-for-weight-loss/
  11. http://www.livestrong.com/article/410595-how-much-green-tea-should-you-drink-to-lose-weight/
  12. University of Maryland Medical Center Study, quoted in (11)
  13. http://www.livestrong.com/article/87045-green-tea-weight-loss-side/
  14. http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/how-drink-green-tea-weight-loss
  15. http://www.wikihow.com/Drink-Tea-to-Lose-Weight

Thank you for reading “15 Amazing Facts about Slimming Green Tea”. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments in the comment box below and do share with your friends and family.

Sprouts Wiki and Guide

Sprouts Wiki and Guide

In this article I present a Sprouts Wiki and Guide. I have tried to put together information available in different places so as to present a reference guide and resource on spouting and sprouts.

What are Sprouts?

Sprouts are tiny nutritious very young plants mid-way between seeds and full plants. They look like little threads with peas on the top. A sprout is a seed that has germinated and grown for generally 4-7 days. It is grown with water only, as the seed contains all the nutrients it needs to grow the infant plant to that age. A micro-green is essentially a sprout that is harvested typically between 10 and 20 days, when 2-6″ tall, depending on the variety. Micro-greens are also known as “baby” greens, the early growth of a plant, and are more nutritious plus more delicately-flavored than the full-grown plant. [1] Sprouts are skinny little veggies that are big on nutrition. More technically, they begin as seeds that — when exposed to the right temperature and moisture — germinate into very young plants. [2]

Three main classes of sprouts are – grain, beans or leafy sprouts. Some common types of sprouts are bengal gram sprouts, green gram sprouts, beans sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower sprouts, radish sprouts, lentil sprouts, chickpea sprouts, pumpkin sprouts and wheat sprouts.

Sprouting is the process whereby seeds are germinated so that they may be cooked or eaten in raw form. Sprouting is a very common practice in in Indian sub-continent. Sprouts can be produced at home as well as industrially. Sprouting involves soaking grains, seeds, nuts, or legumes so that they start germinating and start producing pod-like protrusions. Sprouts may carry a risk of foodborne illness similar to any food item that is eaten raw.

How are they formed?

Seeds when exposed to water and proper temperature, germinate into young plants. Sprouting is the process whereby seeds are germinated and eaten either raw or cooked. Sprouts are in fact known as super-food.

As per The Fit Indian [4]: “The nutritional changes that occur while sprouting mainly happen due to the breakdown of complex compounds into simpler forms. The process helps in the development of some essential nutrients, constituents and also plays an important role in the breakdown of anti-nutrients that make the whole phenomenon of sprouting possible. Metabolic activity in dormant seeds commence when they are hydrated during soaking. They are one of the most important ingredients for raw food diet … They provide our body all the essential minerals and vitamins when they are used on a regular basis in our diet.”

Benefits of Sprouts

Eating sprouts promote good health. Sprouts contains beneficial enzymes and anti-oxidants that can
a. help our body in digestion
b. in fighting infections
c. protects against cancer
d. boosts oxygen in the body and detoxes the body

As per Mercola [3], Sprouts as young as three days old contain 10 to 100 times the glucoraphanin, the main enzyme inducer, of the mature vegetable, which helps protect against chemical cancer-causing agents. Eating sprouted foods not only boosts the antioxidant vitamin C content but also increases the chlorophyll content (a good thing), which creates a hostile environment for harmful bacteria and detoxifies your body while boosting your oxygen and immune system levels. Because of the high fibre content, sprouts can also assist in weight-loss.

Sprouts and Lectins

Lectins are a category of proteins that easily bind to cell membranes, given their sticky and glue-like nature. They are abundant in plants, especially in raw legumes, grains, tomato, potato, eggplant and pepper. They are also present in specific vegetables as well as in milk products. In the plant world, lectins help the plant against fungus and insects attacks. However in humans, lectins attach to healthy intestinal cells and cause inflammation. Also known as gut permeability, this is the root cause of many ailments. Lectins being highly durable remain unaffected by high temperatures and by bodily enzymes and digestive juices. Sprouting is the one of best ways to remove the toxic effect of lectins. Soaking and cooking is another method to mitigate the toxicity of lectins. [5][6]

Nutritional Benefits of Sprouting

  • Sprouts contain digestive enzyme and are high on certain antioxidants. Antioxidants such as sulphoraphanes reduce insulin resistance and in people with Type-2 diabetes assist in blood-sugar control.
  • Sprouts contain high levels of dietary fiber, vitamin B Complex, digestive enzymes and proteins.
  • Sprouting increases the bioavailability of calcium, zinc and iron.
  • Sprouting prevents the ill-effects of enzyme inhibitors and the sugars producing intestinal gas.
  • Sprouting neutralizes carcinogens found in grains.

Nutritional benefits of some selected popular sprouts are given below.

Alfalfa Sprouts

Sprouts Wiki Alfalfa Sprout

Bean Sprout

Sprouts Wiki Bean Sprout

Brussels Sprout

Sprouts Wiki Brussels Sprout

Use of Sprouting in Malting

Sprouting is also applied on a large scale to barley as a part of the malting process[8]. Malt is the basic ingredient used to make beer. Malt is barley that has been sprouted such that enzymes produced convert its starchy to sugar. Making malt needs barley and water only. A three-step process, steeping, germinating and drying, can transform it to beer. The grains germinated by soaking in water, and are then prevented from germinating further by using hot air.

Side-Effects

In some cases, they can trigger food poisoning with diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.

As per Foodsafety website [7]: “Since 1996, there have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Most of these outbreaks were caused by Salmonella and E. coli.”

How to Keep Sprouts Safe for Consumption

As per Eatright [2], one should follow the below steps to ensure that Sprouts are safe for consumption.

  • Buy only fresh sprouts that have been kept properly refrigerated.
  • Do not buy sprouts that have a musty smell or slimy appearance.
  • At home, refrigerate sprouts at 40° F or below — in a clean refrigerator.
  • Wash your hands properly before handling raw sprouts.
  • Rinse sprouts thoroughly under running water before use.

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References

  1. http://www.fourseasongreens.com/FAQRetrieve.aspx?ID=48330
  2. http://www.eatright.org/resource/homefoodsafety/safety-tips/food/are-sprouts-safe-to-eat
  3. http://foodfacts.mercola.com/sprouts.html
  4. http://www.thefitindian.com/sprouts-for-weight-loss/
  5. http://bodyecology.com/articles/lectins-the-anti-nutrient
  6. http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-lectins
  7. http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/fruits/sprouts.html
  8. http://byo.com/hops/item/1108-malting-your-own-techniques
  9. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-sprouting-seeds-2304.html
  10. http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-sprouting

Images

Alfalfa Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts

Thank you for reading Sprouts Wiki and Guide. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments in the comment box below and do share with your friends and family.