For countless centuries organic green tea has been touted a wonder drink to detox with, and in its various forms has been clinically proven to help with weight loss (including of course other healthy lifestyle changes like exercise). In short, it mainly helps to increase the body’s metabolism, without accelerating one's heart rate as much as coffee – which makes it a perfect fat burning aid.
In the West, in recent times, much has been made of the wide-ranging benefits of more premium jasmine tea pearls including that it helps rejuvenate the skin, improves blood circulation, lowers cholesterol and reduces stress.
Subtle, sweet and fragrant green teas not only tastes wonderful with a traditional Chinese meal but has plenty of reported health benefits of drinking green tea on a regular basis.
Drinking jasmine tea after a meal like this, will not only help to digest your food but will also refresh the pallet and counteract any greasiness in the food. In places like the north of China, serving jasmine tea to guests at home has a huge cultural significance.
Flavouring tea is not a new thing and it’s happened for thousands of years. Earl Grey, for instance, uses black tea imbued with the scent and flavour of bergamot. Lapsang Souchong is produced by smoking teas leaves with pine wood.
Jasmine has been used to flavour tea for over a thousand years although the actual history of its development is a little unclear. Some suggest that it was first tried in Persia and India and then transported via trade routes to China. In the 14th Century, an enthusiastic green tea drinker, emperor Chu Chuan, wrote about imbuing tea with various scented flowers including Jasmine.
According to legend a Chinese emperor in the Song dynasty (960-1279AD) used several hundred pots of jasmine to perfume the palace grounds. It was around the same time that the Chinese began to scent their teas by adding blossoms from jasmine, rose, lotus and lychee and other flowers.
There are about 200 different varieties of the jasmine flower which grow across Europe and throughout Asia and the rest of the world. The flowers are highly fragrant, smell sweet and come from a vine-like plant that is related to the olive. In general, for making jasmine green tea, the two species that are used to add flavour are common jasmine and Sampaguita.
Common jasmine was originally more common to areas like the Middle East, including Afghanistan while Sampaguita may have had its origin in the Himalayas. Over the years, however, the plant has easily crossed borders and is prevalent in many areas of the world.
North China isn’t the only place where it has cultural significance. In the Philippines, it is the national flower and is used to create Leis or garlands for visiting dignitaries while in Indonesia it is used in wedding ceremonies. The making of green tea using jasmine is now a multi-million dollar industry.
You might be surprised to learn that shape and size matters when it comes to grading the quality of a tea. Before any packet reaches your local store, it is graded and this can be quite a complicated process because there are variations between different types. Cheaper mainstream tea producers now sort the tea with machines using varying sized holes to sift the quality, while more premium grades still use centuries-old artisan processes and do so entirely by hand. The quality and the age of the tea leaves also makes a big difference.
There isn’t a set grading for green tea as such, and it can vary from place to place. In general, however, you can have:
As with any other tea product, you can get organic jasmine tea which is made using specific and much more natural methods than with mass manufacture. For example, the Jasmine Dragon Pearls Green Tea that we stock at Chateau Rouge is made in northern Fujian in China and is 100% organic.
Many people might be surprised how intricate the process is for making green tea and how much work goes into the process. It’s all about timing and releasing the fragrance from the jasmine flowers at just the right time.
Jasmine is a night flowering plant, so the blooms are picked during the afternoon and then placed the tea in layers just before they are about to open.
The whole infusion process takes about four hours overnight and is repeated several times – once complete the tea is rolled into delicate pearls that are ready for drinking.
Chinese green tea has long thought to possess a wide range of different benefits. Introducing a cup or two into your day has been associated with helping with weight loss and improving circulation.
One particular study, conducted at the University Hospital in Tainan, Taiwan, found that organic green tea is a great thermogenic agent, in other words, it generates heat. This is mainly caused by the fact that the biochemical structure of the caffeine particles in green tea gets absorbed slowly over an extended period of time, rather than a sudden hit of caffeine like that in coffee.
Other studies into the numerous health benefits of drinking green tea have shown that it inhibits the movement of glucose into fat cells, so less fat is absorbed and glucose levels are regulated. So, green tea not only helps you lose weight, it prevents you from gaining it in the first place.
So how can you use green tea to help lose weight, and what are the benefits of drinking organic jasmine green tea? Basically, it is recommended to have a cup of Jasmine tea 30 minutes after every meal (wait half an hour after you eat or the tannin in the tea might prevent the absorption of iron).
Just as you normally do in a Chinese restaurant and has been done in Eastern cultures for millennia - sometimes we don't need to come up with something completely new, rather just look back into history and expand on what is already working and repeat that!
While green tea extract benefits have yet to be fully backed up by the current research, it's easy to make sure you drink a cup of the best loose leaf green tea a day as part of a sensible health and wellness regime. With the large range of new flavoured tea brand varieties available online and through retailers like Amazon, your never stuck for choice and can easily find a blend you like.
With anything to do with any drink or food, it’s quantity and quality that makes all the difference. Drinking too much green tea extract can be bad for you and may have side effects including overloading yourself with too much caffeine. On the whole, however, a few cups a day are thought to be good for you and the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects.
All leaf teas have caffeine in them and much will depend on the type of leaf that has been used and how it has been processed. Jasmine tea caffeine is a little lower in loose leaf than with a tea bag but, as with everything in life, moderation is key. If you are still concerned about does green tea keep you awake and looking for tea without caffeine at all, you could try rooibos or honeybush tea - both of which are very high in antioxidants but without any caffeine at all.
If you’re looking for a refreshing drink that comes with some potential health benefits, fragrant organic jasmine green tea is well worth keeping stocked in your kitchen cupboard.
Jasmine green tea accompanied with a healthy diet and exercise program is guaranteed to keep you in shape for the beach when hitting the ski-slopes or just to help build up your immunity contributing to keeping a nasty cold at bay.
It has been utilised for centuries in China as a treatment for various medical conditions - so why mess with thousands of years of medical research! Good luck with your green tea diet plan, please share your tips on how to stay healthy with food and exercise.
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Seán Farrell – Founder, Chateau Rouge