Tea is delicious to drink while still warm. Tea can be refreshing. You can add sugar. It'd be more enjoyable if you sip it while relaxing, not in a rush while you must complete certain tasks.
You, of course, already know the origin of tea. Well, tea comes from Camellia sinensis leaves. This herbaceous plant grows in tropical and subtropical regions with rainfall not less than 15 hundred millimeters.
To grow, tea plants require high humidity with air temperatures between 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the reason why tea is often encountered in the cool highlands and mountains.
A really high-quality tea is derived from the young tea leaves that ain't bloomed. Because it comes from a dash, to make one pound of high-quality tea, it's approximately required 80 thousand leaves! In addition to requiring a lot of shoots, tea also requires a long process to get into your cup.
Once picked, the leaves are further collected to undergo various processes. One of them is cooking. From there, then appear various teas: white, oolong, black, and green.
To make white tea, it's needed the youngest leaves still filled with short hairs or fuzz. The ripening is through two stages of evaporation and drying. There're no processes of withering, rolling, and fermentation.
The appearance of white tea is almost unchanged, i.e. silvery-white. When brewed, it'll be yellowish-pale with a delicate and fresh aroma.
Oolong tea is made from bigger and older leaves. Once picked, it's directly dried to withering. The objective of withering is to lower water levels and make softer. Then, the leaves are stirred or shaken to remove the periphery.
The next stage is stocking and drying. The leaf edges will be red because of fermentation while the middle remains green.
For black tea, the leaves that've been picked are dried for 12 to 18 hours then undergo a fermentation process in full. The leaf color turns to black and has a unique aroma. Then, the blackened tea leaves are grounded and still fermented in a cold and damp room.
Because the cooking process looks easy and can gets more results, most of the teas on the market is black.
Meanwhile, green tea is derived from the leaves previously heated with steam to deactivate enzymes. Furthermore, they're rolled and dried. Green tea is produced by evaporation of the leaves at high temperatures so that the polyphenol can be maintained.
Why's polyphenol maintained? Polyphenols are chemical compounds that function as an antioxidant. The tea leaves contain four primary polyphenols, namely epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Well, EGCG in green tea is an antioxidant whose strength is 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times higher than vitamin E. EGCG in one gram of green tea is between 30 to 50 milligrams.
Actually, black tea also contains polyphenols but not as much as the green. Polyphenol in black tea is only around 10 percent. Compare to green tea which reaches 30 to 42 percent. It's due to the fermentation process in the making. This process is damaging the polyphenol.
Besides EGCG, green tea also contains tannins. This is a polyphenolic compound that can inhibit the absorption or damage of iron in the body. If you're pregnant or with iron deficiency, it's recommended not to drink green tea too often in order to avoid the risk of anemia.
However, the tannin makes taste of green tea astringent. When tasted, green tea feels more astringent than the black.
As a powerful antioxidant, EGCG in tea is able to repel free radicals and reduce cell damage. So, it may delay the aging process. It's no wonder that you have a habit, every morning, to wash your face with tea that's been lodged overnight in order to look younger.
Tea water infiltration into the pores of the skin on the face is believed to make taut. Not only tight, the face skin is also shining.
Other functions of EGCG are as an antiatherogenic, antithrombotic, and antimicrobial. Well, unfolding is green tea greatness. At least, coronary heart disease, stroke, and caries on the teeth can be averted.
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