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Green Light On Green Tea

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

We all know that green tea is good for your health and has several benefits. But, are you drinking it the right way? There is a particular way in which your green tea should be brewed. Dev Goswami tells you how so that you can go ahead and get the maximum benefits

From being rich in antioxidants and having half the amount of caffeine as black tea, to boosting your cardiovascular health and helping you lose weight, green tea has a number of benefits. But, in your hurry to consume the goodness, you might be making mistakes while preparing or drinking it. These mistakes might not cause you much harm, but it will definitely mean that you’ll lose out on some of the advantages of green tea. Here’s what you need to keep in mind before you brew:

Preparing the tea
The most common mistake made while drinking green tea is in the very first step — preparing it. Many people use water that has already been brought to a boil or even worse, pour boiling water over the tea leaves. But, this method can actually damage the tea leaves, causing them to lose their health properties. The correct way to prepare green tea is to keep water on a medium flame till the temperature reaches 80°C. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, you’ll need to keep an eye on the water. Turn off the gas the moment the water starts bubbling. And when we say bubbling, we mean those tiny bubbles that appear just before the water actually starts boiling.

Meanwhile, keep a strainer ready with one teaspoon of green tea leaves in it. If you’re using a tea bag, then just place the tea bag in a mug. Then, pour the water through the strainer or into the mug.

Now comes the second common mistake that people make — never let the leaves steep for more than three minutes or your tea will become bitter. If you’re using a tea bag, don’t drink the tea with the bag in the mug. Remove the strainer or the tea bag after 2-3 minutes.

Drinking the tea
Before you drink it, you need to let the tea sit after you’ve removed the leaves. Cover the mug for 2-3 minutes before you sip on it. As far as how many cups of tea you should drink is concerned, there is no absolute consensus on it. But, studies show that 1-2 cups of green tea are more than enough to get all the benefits.

Also, try to drink green tea as it is. Avoid adding sugar as it will just add calories to a healthy cup of tea. If you need a sweet taste, add a spoonful of honey instead.

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