When compared to green tea from other countries, the Japanese teas are easily recognized by their rich, green leaves. Japan produces the best green tea in the world. This is a result of steaming and rolling the leaves immediately after plucking and then air drying them to preserve freshness and to retain the full nutrients of the tea. This process captures the flavour, fragrance and beautiful colour of the leaves. It is then put in foil bags and vacuum sealed to lock in freshness and prevent oxidization. The time from plucking the leaves to processing and packaging is often as little as 45 minutes.
The tea plants are basically the same, but the Chinese, unfortunately process it different. They skip a vital steaming method of the leaves, that prevents oxidization. Thus Chinese tea is not a true green tea. Japanese green tea carries 60% of antioxidants compared to 12-16% for Chinese tea and sadly 8% for black tea. This is the key reason your green tea must be from Japan.
Single estate tea is grown, picked (mostly by hand), and processed and vacuum sealed all at the same farm. These places are becoming rare. All other tea is a Co-op tea. This tea is combined with different teas from different places or even countries. A single estate tea's taste remains consistent over the years, with only very slight changes from year to year depending on the growing climate of each year. It also assures fresher and healthier tea.
It is the abundance of natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is said that a good green tea has 20 times the antioxidant properties of vitamin E and 10 times that of vitamin C. Please refer to are Health Benefits page for more information.
The caffeine in green tea is natural and is absorbed and metabolized differently than coffee. The caffeine in coffee occures during the roasting of the bean and is not natural. The difference is that it stays in your body a lot longer.
For best result, allow boiled water to cool for approximately 5 minutes. Boiling water burns the leaves and makes it bitter. Use one heaping teaspoon per serving.
There has been an explosion of green tea on the shelves and the internet. This has caused immence exploitation of the product. Japan produces the finest green tea. There are 3-4 harvest a year in Japan and the first 2 are considered by far the best. Unfortunately over 90% of the tea sold is from China, which uses later harvested tea, very low quality. Air pollution, exposure to oxygen and freshness will make tea brown. Like wine there are many levels of quality and many different prices. Would you buy a bottle of red wine that was brown? Basically you get what you pay for. And in the case of lower priced tea, you may be getting a lot of things you don't want.
The definition of Organic simply means a decreased amount of chemicals and pesticides. Certified organic, unfortunately varies a lot from country to country. There is no universal certification. Some countries allow certain things and some don't. Also, when they certify something, the tests are only done on the soil and not the plant. In the case of tea, like spinach, it easily absorbs the dioxins in the air. Which means you could have clean soil and not clean tea. We offer an independent laboratory analysis of 250 elements for you to view. If you'd like to sign up for our free monthly newsletter, you can view the report.