By now you're probably familiar with the incredible array of health benefits of green tea has to offer. Although you green tea in bottles to buy, the health benefits or pre-prepared, bottled green tea significantly less due to the lower levels of catechins. To ensure you receive the maximum health benefits of green tea gets brewing your own green tea at home is the best option from a health standpoint. You can also realize significant cost savings brew loose, fresh green tea leaves in your own kitchen.
If you decide to make your own green tea to brew, how can you be sure that you get fresh green tea leaves that will give you the best taste? While some people buy loose green tea leaves online, you can not guarantee you the freshest, highest quality product you purchase by mail or by computer. If you have a local tea or coffee shop near you, visit and spend some time breathing in the scent of fresh green tea leaves to determine their scent. Another place to find loose leaf, fresh green tea leaves is a natural food markets.
What is a Fresh High Quality Green Tea
Because of the way it is processed, green tea does not have a long shelf life, much less than other types of tea. Freshness is a very important factor - you do not want a tea which has spent long periods of time on the shelf, in ocean transit, or in a warehouse. Simply put, old green tea does not stay green and does not taste good. The typical shelf life, from date of packaging, is about 6 months on unopened packages and immediately drops to 2-3 months once opened. This basically rules out the grocery store and "flavored" green teas (peach, strawberry, etc.) All O-Cha.com teas are packaged in Japan within a very short time (1-2 weeks) from when you order them.
How to Choose Better Green Tea
- Try to buy organic green tea when you can, and store your tea in a dark, dry place. Don’t store it in the refrigerator as that can introduce moisture and food odor to the tea. And here’s a trick to determine the freshness of a box of tea bags. Remove the tea from one of the bags and steep the tea-less bag in boiling water for three minutes. If the water tastes like tea, that’s a sign that the flavor has transferred to the bag indicating that it is not fresh. If the water tastes like water—you have a box of nice fresh tea bags, just waiting to help boost your health.
- Experiment with a few flavors. If flavor is a major component in your tea choice keep in mind that green tea does not have to be boring. Such flavors as mint, lime and many others can be purchased. Decaffeinated green tea is also an option if you cannot have or prefer not to have caffeine in your tea.
- When you taste a green tea sample, the tea should taste clean. The best green teas usually strike a balance between grassy green undertones and astringent qualities. Higher quality green teas should taste light and clear, not bitter. The more green teas you sample, the more skilled you'll become at detecting their quality and freshness.
- Choose fresh tea. EcoMall reports that green tea has a shelf life of about 6 months. This shelf life is cut in half once the package is opened. Unopened packages of green tea may be preserved a bit longer if they are stored in the refrigerator. Check the date on the package to make sure that your green tea is as fresh as possible.
- Take a closer look at loose leaf tea. According to registered dietitian Suzanne Dixon, at Publix.com, loose leaf tea (especially when finely ground) will release more catechins than tea leaves in bags of similar size. However, she does note that if tea bags are dunked in the cup repeatedly and then squeezed they may release around the same amount.