Sunday, February 12, 2012
Green Tea: The Health Nut of Teas
We grew all grew up with some kind of tea right? Mommy's Iced sweet tea in summer or grandma's cosy and comfy cuppa to Grandpa's strong and bitter tasting tea that knock the very life outta you! While all that was going on, a type of tea went generally unknown and only savored by folks on the other side of the globe. Even the ever fabled connosiuers were to busying themselves with black tea and its trance that we forgot that there were varieties. Imagine Darjeeling being outclassing the best Dragonwell or Gyokuro! A shame best put by George Orwell that " China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase 'a nice cup of tea' invariably means Indian tea." A perception mostly attributed to all types of Chinese tea, but being exempt consumed "cuppa style" meant surely green tea which compromises most of Chinese tea consumption followed by Pu-Erh, black tea, and rarely white and yellow teas.
Its an obsession in all things creamy, sugary and energetic which are the trinity of ancient human tendencies for food and previously blinded us before and on the age of obesity, coffee, and things highly stimulating. Green tea only gained its height by intrepid explorers of tastes who are not confined to conventional attitudes often seen as defiant to tradition and customs and seen unusual. But conventional thought has not stop green tea from achieving heights know now, and definitely spearheaded the world's fascination into tea! A combination of tea lovers with a taste for the exotic, health nuts involve with the health food movement, and the adventurers of customs and culture has brought green tea in the west in the likes never before! It is now longer the thought in the likes of Orwell that comes to enjoying green tea, its a taste of health!
Green tea comes in many varieties but tends to taste vegetal like, sometimes even fishy and rich in tastes of "umami";a term best describing heartiness and savoriness that touches the heart and calms the mind. Today, far fast from assumption of feeling, we now know its L-Theanine that calms minds down when tea is consumed. Once thought to be cheap and economical is as healthy as vegetables; with as much vitamins, antioxidants , a mineral called EGCG that fosters resistant to diseases, and omega-3 fatty acids that promotes brain development. Once thought that it can't stand a variety of flavors than salty, for which it can't take sugar and milk is pure bollocks! Green tea has as much healthy flavors and heartiness of nutritious foods, but even pass on flavors of it growths and nutrients of the soil! For instance, Gyokuro or "shade tea"carries more chlorophyll due being shaded two weeks prior harvesting brings the deepest of grassy flavors and even spicy, sweet and starchy notes. Green tea has proven without a shadow of doubt that its a tea of many characters!
It is also important to note that regions producing teas affect the way tea is produced and ultimately beloved. It is for the most part Chinese teas are the most respected, having varieties from Dragonwell to Long-Jing , most of all having a deep starchy and earthy vegetal flavors of spinach or straw. This is all due a process in firing where fresh leaves after withering are fried to impart a roasted taste and give off hidden flavors only released through cooking. Then end result ends with a tea tasting of cooked starches and vegetables , and grown in a climate normally inland in mountains or valleys where a subtropical climate is present helps tea grow in aboundance and gives less strain and brings more flavors out due to an aboundance of nutrients. The mixture of sea air coming in from the east and cold air coming from the north makes areas such as Yunnam, Anhui, Hubei, etc optimal places topalnt tea where weather, an aboundance of resources and a passion for crafts best serves tea!
Japan has also a good share of green tea making and craftsmenship! Its green teas well known in ceremony and everyday use and for its tastes in "umami" flavors and healthy stigma known world over! Grown in near tropical climate and low lands in southern Japan, green tea grown in Japan is know for deep tasting grassy, nutty, and vegetal flavor similar to seafood. Some tea bushes are even covered in shade for two weeks before harvest, promoting chlorophyll and producing beautiful deep green leaves and high in nutrients beneficial to bodily health like Chinese tea.
Green Tea. The first tea ever made and certainly not the last will be made after! After all, all good things never end and this tea embodies to its user to stay healthy and keep playing! Cheers!