Brewing Green tea
If you look at other websites about brewing green tea you will discover there is an art to brewing the perfect cup. The most common advice is to not use boiling water or steep the tea for too long as this will make the tea too bitter. This is great advice that will definitely deliver a better flavored tea, but If your aim is to extract the most antioxidant polyphenol catechins out of your tea, the brewing methods will need to be adjusted. This will sacrifice the flavor somewhat, but increase the catechin levels for weight loss. Follow these brewing methods for this purpose:
1. Temperature: The tea needs to be brewed with boiling water to extract as much of the catechins as possible for green tea weight loss. (The lower the water temperature the less catechins are released from the green tea leaves).
2. Steeping time: The longer you steep the tea, the more catechins you get. 5 minutes is a good idea.
If you find this makes the tea too bitter you can add a little milk. Of course you will get extra calories from the milk which you might want to avoid if dieting. A regular cup of green tea with nothing added is just 4 calories.
For brewing a less bitter, balanced and flavorful tea (although producing less catechins):
1. Temperature: Aim for 185 degrees F. This is the highest temperature you would use to keep the bitterness down. The catechins wont start releasing in abundance until at least 179 degrees F.
2. Steeping time: Japanese teas: 1 to 2 minutes. They have smaller tea leaves compared to the Chinese teas and need less steeping time. Chinese teas 1 to 3 minutes.
Choosing lose tea or teabags:
Loose teas contain more catechins than teabags. Teabags contain very small chopped up pieces of the green tea leaves, this exposes more of the leaf to oxygen which degrades the nutritional quailty of the leaf. loose teas, however, are just the whole tea leaves and maintain a higher number of catechins. So it is preferable to use loose tea. However, teabags are still a great option if you are pushed on time or need an easy option for work.
Using a teapot or a steeping cup are common ways to brew loose tea, some people even use a coffeemaker!
“Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage.” KAKUZO OKAKURA, Book of Tea