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Green tea is a type of tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Unlike black tea, green tea undergoes minimal oxidation during processing, preserving its natural green color and characteristic flavor. Originating in China thousands of years ago, green tea has become a popular beverage worldwide due to its unique taste and numerous health benefits.
The production of green tea involves withering, steaming or pan-firing the leaves to halt oxidation, rolling or shaping them, and finally drying them to retain their freshness. This process helps maintain the natural compounds in the tea leaves, resulting in a more delicate and grassy flavor compared to black tea.
Green tea has a light, refreshing, and slightly vegetal taste, often described as grassy, earthy, or seaweed-like. The flavor can vary depending on the specific variety and growing conditions. Regular consumption of green tea has been linked to various potential health benefits, such as improving heart health, supporting weight management, promoting better cognitive function, and aiding in diabetes management. The antioxidants in green tea may help protect cells from oxidative damage and reduce inflammation in the body.
To brew green tea, water is typically heated to around 175°F (80°C) or slightly below boiling point to avoid damaging the delicate flavors and nutrients. The tea leaves are then steeped for a short period, usually 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the desired strength.