Science and logic tell us that certain teas are healthier than others. Science tells us that Green and White tea have the highest levels of catechin antioxidants (in a freshly picked tea leaf, catechins can compose up to 30% of the dry weight). And logic tells us that tea from cleaner environments will have lower levels of toxins (from exposure to local ground water, soil, air, and rain). A 2013 study by the Journal of Toxicology: The Benefits and Risks of Drinking Brewed Tea found heavy metals (lead, aluminum, arsenic, cadmium) in all teas studied, with tea from China and Sri Lanka having higher levels than Japan. The study wasn’t clear if the US was included and if it was, how it stacked up.
5 TIPS FOR SELECTING GREEN TEA
- Choose Organic and from cleaner environments such as Japan (terrific resource for Japanese Green Tea research).
- Choose Sencha. Sencha is grown under full sun and contains the most catechin of the major Japanese teas: Gyokuro, Matcha, Bancha and Sencha.
- Choose Loose Leaf. Tea bags are chopped, losing freshness more quickly, plus tea bags leach hazardous compounds like PVC.
- Choose Brewed. Bottled tea has very little, if any, remaining catechins and antioxidants due to processing.
- Choose Caffeinated. Decaffeinated has a lower amount of antioxidants due to extra processing.
TEA BREWING TIP
Brew at a low temperature <3 minutes which is how long it takes to extract catechins. Steeping longer can increase heavy metal leaching by 10 to 50%.
MANIAC APPROVED GREEN TEA
Mountain Rose Herbs – Green Sencha Leaf from Japan