Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world next to water. It has a history that spans centuries, and it is still widely consumed in many countries in Asia. Generations of people have enjoyed green tea because of its health benefits. Today, it has gradually gained popularity in many western countries as people look for a healthy alternative to coffee, without all the caffeine.
Green tea contains about 30mg of caffeine per 8oz. (240ml) cup. Compare this to a cup of regular brewed coffee, which contains around 100mg. In a report published by the John Hopkins University of Medicine, it was revealed that of the 80-90% of the North American population that consumes caffeine, on average 280mg is consumed per day. This caffeine comes from consuming coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate products. The university also reported that an over-consumption of caffeine (over 200mg), could result in nervousness, anxiety and an upset stomach. If we follow the recommendations to consume up to and not over 200mg of caffeine, that equates to 2 cups of coffee, or about 1 cup of coffee and a couple of cans of soft drink. With this guide in mind, we can safely consume 5-6 cups of green tea a day.
The report also suggests that despite the low caffeine content in green tea, people with anxiety disorders, insomnia and pregnant women should reduce their intake or stop consuming green tea altogether.
Green Tea for Health
These days you can often find decaffeinated green tea in your supermarket or specialty stores. Unfortunately during the process of removing the caffeine from green tea, the flavour is also altered. This is why in Japan, where so many people drink green tea, that decaffeinated green tea is almost impossible to find in any supermarkets or stores.
It is also thought that by removing the caffeine content in green tea, much of the health benefits are also lost from the polyphenolic content.
There are some simple ways to reduce the caffeine content in green tea. The first way would be by brewing the leaves or tea bag for just 1 minute (compared with the normal 2 minutes). The other way would be to just discard the first cup of brewed tea, and drink the second and third brewing only.
Moderation is the key to consuming anything in life, and the same can be said for green tea. The great thing with green tea is it contains so many healthful properties and still contains the right balance of caffeine, so we can refresh and energize without experiencing the irritability and anxiety which can often happen with coffee.
Brigita Feltham is the creator and owner of Infusious Tea. After spending over 3 years in Japan, green tea became a part of Brigita's daily lifestyle as it is for most Japanese people.
Brigita began to study tea ceremony and found out that not only does green tea have wonderful health benefits, but it also has a rich cultural tradition in Japan. Brigita would now like to share her knowledge and love of Japanese green tea.
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