The start of the New Year can usually be marked by the our intention to detox after the extravagance of the festiveperiod, but how can a simple cup of tea benefit our new healthy regime?
The Chinese have been using green tea as a medicine for over four thousand years, but why?
Green tea is naturally high in antioxidants and its associated health benefits have been suggested for centuries. Books and
studies in the last few decades have claimed benefits ranging from lowering cholesterol to inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
Both black and green tea use the same leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant but it’s the manufacturing process which
determines the different styles of tea. The colour and taste of black tea comes from the oxidising of the natural occurring
chemicals called polyphenols (also known as catechins). Green tea is prevented from oxidising as it is dried as soon as it is
picked by using steam or in some cases by pan frying. The quick drying process prevents any enzyme activity which causes
oxidisation so catechins stay in the tea and it’s these chemicals which are said to be behind the claimed benefits.
Green teas are clean and light with a wide range of subtle flavour variations. Chun Mee for example has a naturally sweet
taste and is recognised by its ‘Plummy’ undertones whilst Dragonwell (one of the most famous green teas of China) has a
creamier, nutty flavour with a wonderful orchid aroma.