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Ingredient of the Week – Green Tea

Published on May 10, 2013 by Stephanie C. Ocano

Green tea is regarded as being the second most popular beverage, behind water, around the world. However, given its plethora of health advantages, it should be first. From its refreshing taste to distinct color, there are a multitude of reasons to support why this drink should be incorporated into your diet.

History: Green tea is said to have first been used in China over 4,000 years ago. There are various legends that tell of the discovery of green tea. According to a Chinese legend, Emperor Shen-Nung discovered the tea in 2737 B.C. when leaves from a tea bush fell into a pot of water he was boiling. Other legends tell of a Chinese countryman who found the tea while on his walk. The tea plant was later discovered to also produce Oolong, black, and red teas, although green tea still remains to be the most popular type of tea in China.

Tea culture was spread to Java, the Dutch East Indies, and other tropical and subtropical areas by the 9th century A.D. In the 16th century, traders from Europe sailing to and from the Far East introduced Europeans to the drink and it became the national beverage of England soon after.

Tea came to the Americas with American colonists and the popularity of the drink led to the British tea tax in 1767. The rest, as they say, is history.

In cooking: The ideal choice of water to brew tea in is spring water, followed by filter water. The minerals removed in distilled water result in the tea tasting flat, which is why it should not be used.

When brewing loose leaves of tea, using a food scale will help measure the right tea to water ratio. Three grams of tea to five ounces is adequate for small teapots, while four grams of tea may be used per eight ounces of water. Green tea should be brewed at a lower temperature of 160-170

One Response to Ingredient of the Week – Green Tea

  1. Daniel Reply

    May 14, 2013 at 5:33 am

    A lot of people don’t really anjoy the taste of green tea and a good option for them might be matcha. This is the most famous Japanese tea and the one used in the traditional tea ceremony. It is a powder and as such, the tea leaves are actually consumed whole, making for much higher concentration of nutrients and antioxidants.

    The reason matcha is good for those who don’t like tea, is that is can be added to numerous recipes. The most famous is probably the green tea ice cream available all over Japan, but it can be added to almost any desert and can be sprinkled on anything from pasta to salads. It is also often added to drinks, like the matcha green tea latte available at Starbucks. For more information on matcha, check out: http://www.letsdrinktea.com/types-of-tea/green-tea/matcha/

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