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Green tea

Thanks to a gift from my parents, C. and I have been drinking Japanese green tea all weekend. Green tea leaves are highly reusable. Other kind of tea would be too if the brewing time was only 30 seconds. My first introduction to the high-speed brewing of green tea came when our group slid down Mount Fuji and collapsed after the whole trek. We went through cup after cup of the stuff, the water flowing through the tea pot almost as fast as we could drink it.

All weekend, off and on, we've come up with other questions about green tea, things we don't know about it. How many different kinds of green tea are there? How does green tea differ from black tea? Are there really any health benefits to either? How should it be prepared? (Don't use boiling water. Wait a few minutes for it to cool.) The internet gave us varied answers all around, but the wikipedia provided the clearest and quickest answers to most of them. If it weren't for all this superficial reading on the subject, I would never have noticed that the kind of green tea we bought from Kensington Market yesterday was houjicha.

C.'s thinking green tea will make a good caffeine source for me, to help in my work. It's not as good as fruit juice, but it's good enough that I'll drink it in large quantities. Of course, thanks to the short brewing time, it doesn't have the same caffeine density of black tea or coffee, but I don't drink those, so it's not competing. And, of course, there's always chocolate. (After all, all true writers have caffeine habits.)


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2004 06:28 am (UTC)
white tea
there is also white tea - which I think is for real, and not just a marketing gimic. Either way, it is much lighter in body and caffeine content. I drink it because I'm weirdly oversensitive to caffeine and one cup of green tea can keep me jittery for hours. You can also rebrew the white tea tea bag.

and I've heard of red tea, too, but have no idea what it is.
Aug. 30th, 2004 07:53 am (UTC)
Re: white tea
If you follow the willipedia link it claims that red tea is the name given to black tea in china. They also mention white tea.

Aug. 30th, 2004 06:48 pm (UTC)
Re: white tea
From informative web searches, I now know that white tea is made from the regular tea plant, but shaded from its early growth so that its chlorophyll doesn't develop. Its harvested when young, and undergoes much less processing than other kinds of teas. It's meant to be much better as a cancer-preventative than any other kind of tea.

It sounds intriguing - what does it taste like?
Sep. 1st, 2004 07:27 am (UTC)
Re: white tea
see, now I know so much more about what I daily suck down in large quantities. White tea tastes like - tastes like - had to explain, how a liquid can have such a light but distinct taste. Sorry if I get into wine snob territory here, but white tea (I drink the pineapple-guava flavor from the Republic of Tea - not cheap, which is why it is nice that the bags re-use) is a more self-contained taste, in that it doesn't zang your tastbuds right off, but smoothly eases over the tongue, offering a full-bodies, yet restrained stimulation... um, can't describe. Our coffeeshops carry it; try some if you can find it. I found the white tea jasmine flavor to be too much, though - I think it is a very easy flavor of tea to overwhelm with an added flavor. MH
Sep. 1st, 2004 08:38 pm (UTC)
Re: white tea
I'll try to find white tea without extra flavorings to start with, since I can buy flavored herbal teas without the tea content. I'm curious what the basic flavor of it is first. Thank you for the description - I'm intrigued, and it would be particularly useful to me because it shouldn't have any tannins in it, I would think, based on the color. Green tea doesn't have many, but only because the brewing time is so short.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )