Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and there are two main countries that are traditionally known as producers of quality green tea: China and Japan. In both countries, the leaves are picked, dried and heat treated to stop the fermentation process. China uses a dry heat where the leaves are heated in a large wok over a flame or placed in a revolving cylinder into which hot air is blown. After which, China prefers the hand rolling technique to roll the shoots into pearls or twists, or be formed into flattened sticks or needles. Japan uses a wet heat method where the leaves are placed in large bamboo baskets and suspended above steam baths. The leaves retain their grass-green color and are formed into the shape of a pine needle. Green tea is widely studied and many articles boast various health benefits . Green tea is known for its antioxidant properties, particularly EGCG, which has the ability to neutralize free radicals found in our bodies. In addition, green tea is lower in caffeine, approximately 20mg per 1 cup serving as compared to coffee at 115mg per 1 cup serving. Green tea should be brewed with a water temperature of 175 degrees to 185 degrees for 2-4 minutes using 1 teaspoon per 6-8 ounces of water. If the water temperature is too hot, the leaves will be burned, the aroma will be spoiled and the tea will taste very bitter.
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