Many people come to me guzzling green tea, believing that it will make them shed weight without changing their diet, curb cravings, and make them practically immortal!
It’s great stuff, and delicious too, and there’s a variety for all tastes, but many people are staggered to discover that green tea is loaded with caffeine!
Gram for gram, green tea contains around 2/3 the caffeine of coffee, however, we tend to drink our green tea pretty weak, so this figure is nearer 1/3 on average. Different varieties contain different quantities of caffeine – Sencha is one of the highest.
Unlike coffee, green tea contains l-theanine, which is the compound that makes tea feel like a hug in a mug. It also aids concentration, unlike caffeine, which for many people can make a train of thought look more like a map of the London underground!
Benefits of green tea:
• Packed with polyphenols, powerful antioxidants
• May boost metabolic rate
• May protect against cancers due to antioxidants
• Catechin compounds may potentially reduce risk of neurological conditions such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers
• Great for your teeth due to ability to inhibit plaque bacteria
• Could improve insulin sensitivity, thereby lowering blood sugar
• Supports cardiovascular health
• May help to decrease abdominal fat
Many of the health benefits of green tea are also in Rooibos tea, which is available as green as well as the red variety, and is naturally caffeine free. Decaffeinated green tea is available too, although this processing diminishes the phytonutrient content.
Here’s a way to enjoy the delicate flavour of green tea without the tannins and only half the caffeine, whilst still retaining some of the phytonutrients. If you really like it, cold brew bottles are available which quite literally take the strain out of the brewing process! Try with different varieties of loose tea. It’s a great alternative to sugary drinks, and a sophisticated non-alcoholic option on a summer day.
Cold brewed green tea:
Using a large jar with a well fitting lid, add 4 tsp of green tea, and add cold water. Infuse in the fridge for 4-8 hours. Strain through a sieve into jug, and pour into a glass bottle to serve or keep in the fridge.
You can add flavourings of your own. Try adding:
• a couple of slices of orange and lemon
• a sprig of fresh garden mint
• a tbs of dried rose petals
• a few frozen mango chunks