Tea Blog

Green Tea Benefits:

A Rundown

February 22, 2021

While we work to complete our official page on the incredible health benefits of green tea, here is a rundown we wanted to share!

Antioxidants, as can be guessed by the name, fight against oxidative stress in our bodies.  Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals which come from an onslaught of the environmental toxicity we are exposed to on a daily basis, including processed foods, chemicals in many common products (e.g. cleaning solutions, skincare, clothing, etc.), pollution, and even plain old mental and emotional stress.  The damage caused by oxidative stress is connected to all kinds of malaise and diseases such as fatigue, headaches, susceptibility to infection, memory loss, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, cataracts, physical signs of aging (wrinkles, graying hair, hair loss, etc.), diabetes, Parkinson’s, and more. 

Polyphenols are an antioxidant-dense compound found in many plant foods and teas.  They have been shown to enhance general immune function as well as increase natural killer cell activity, which can play a critical role in fighting cancer.  The antioxidants in tea in particular are powerful enough to actually eliminate and even help reverse the oxidative damage we are constantly exposed to every single day. 

Of the various polyphenols in green tea is a compound called catechins.  Many studies have shown that catechins specifically in tea exhibit antiviral activities by inhibiting viral absorption in the body, suppressing their replication, and enhancing immunity against viral infection.  Several studies have shown that gargling with green tea actually reduced the risk of flu infection.  These studies have been conducted since decades before the current pandemic, and further studies continue to show much supporting evidence of green tea’s antiviral and immunity enhancing properties today.

While there are four different types of catechins found in green tea, the main catechin is called EGCG.  EGCG is not only the most powerful antioxidant in green tea, but it is present in the highest amounts.  It has been and continues to be one of the most studied antioxidants due to its impressive abilities to affect human health.  One of the main benefits is its anti-inflammatory properties.  Oxidative stress leads to inflammation, and a prolonged state of inflammation then leads to a multitude of diseases including asthma, autoimmune diseases, hepatitis, diabetes, and, of course, cancer.  EGCG is able to suppress the inflammatory compounds that lead to harm, which is also linked to its ability to support neurological health by reducing oxidation and deterioration of brain cells.  It may have therapeutic effects for people with diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  It is also known to improve heart and circulatory health by reducing bad cholesterol and blood pressure.  Research suggests it may help control blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance.  Another popular benefit is its ability to support weight loss, especially when combined with caffeine, which is also present in green tea.  

It is important to understand that the effects of the caffeine in green tea are entirely different from those of the caffeine in coffee or energy drinks.  The caffeine in coffee is delivered to the body in such concentrated amounts that it causes your body to react as if it is undergoing extreme stress by releasing high amounts of cortisol (the “fight or flight” stress hormone).  Normally your body releases cortisol along with adrenaline as a response to stress, and naturally drops the levels back to normal when the response is no longer necessary.  However, when your body is constantly overexposed to cortisol and other stress hormones, you become more susceptible to developing any number of symptoms and conditions such as headaches, weight gain, anxiety, depression, heart disease, and many more.  Also, as a result of the caffeine crash, you are likely to reach for quick energy boosts through more coffee or sugar, continuing the cycle and adding further damage.

The caffeine molecules in green tea, on the other hand, are attached to catechin molecules which are larger and therefore cause the caffeine to take longer to break down; in other words, the catechin causes the caffeine to be released in your body more slowly over time.  This gradual release allows you to stay alert for a sustained period of time without ever experiencing the sudden crash or anxiety caused by regular caffeine, while a compound called L-theanine simultaneously keeps you calm and anxiety-free.

L-theanine is a major amino acid in green tea that helps to reduce stress and anxiety by inducing alpha waves that are normally achieved through meditation, enabling better calm and focus in moments of stress, thus preventing stress-related damage to cells.  Studies showed that consuming caffeine with L-theanine resulted in fewer mistakes when carrying out complex tasks than after consuming caffeine alone.  It has been shown to have beneficial effects on mental state and sleep quality, and therapeutic effects in psychiatric and depressive disorders.

 While these compounds can often be taken separately outside of green tea, there is a critical synergy that takes place in their naturally occurring state within green tea.  However, not all green teas are the same.  In order to properly reap the health benefits of green tea, it is important to check the source and quality of the green tea you choose.  Because green tea is highly absorbent of its surrounding elements, purity, cleanliness and a complete absence of pesticides and chemicals are critical.  It is also important to consume enough green tea on a daily basis.  Various studies have shown that somewhere between three and ten cups of green tea should be consumed per day in order to experience its effects.  Please scroll down to the previous entry for suggestions on how to make increased daily intake of green tea approachable and easier than you may have thought.


-

 

Green Tea Every Day - It's easier than you think!

January 11, 2021

While there is a visible light at the end of the Covid tunnel, by now we’re all a bit winded, which makes this the most precarious stretch yet.  Drinking green tea every day is a simple yet seriously effective way to boost your immune system, as well as help keep you calm and focused through whatever you’re facing.  

As much as the act of properly brewing and drinking green tea allows you to slow down and take a conscious moment for yourself, the contradictory reality of daily life can make this difficult to do as often as you’d like.  Here are some tips on how to make it easier to incorporate green tea into your daily routine.

1. The Right Temperature

How often have you burned your mouth, sipping from your thermos filled with scalding hot tea?  It’s no wonder you end up giving up on it, bringing back a mostly full thermos at the end of the day.  The solution?  Fill your thermos with green tea that is already at a comfortable drinking temperature—not too hot.  A good thermos should keep your tea warm pretty well throughout the day.  Don’t have the time in the morning to brew your tea and then wait for it to cool to the perfect temperature?  Just make a slightly stronger brew with hot water as per usual, pour it into your thermos half or 2/3 of the way, and fill the rest with cooler water.  Life isn’t perfect.  Some green tea is better than none. 

2. The Right Thermos

If your thermos doesn’t retain temperature well, or is uncomfortable to use, you’ll likely end up neglecting to use it; and even when you do, you may not drink from it as often as you’d intended, especially if you get busy or are driving a lot.  Choose a thermos that retains temperature well, and is comfortable and easy to use.  We will have some available for you here soon!

3. Use Your Thermos at Home

Sometimes being at home all day makes it even easier to forget to have green tea, simply because we become too comfortable or distracted.  Try filling a thermos as you would when going out or to the office, and take it around with you in the house.  It’s much more efficient than going back and forth to the kitchen to pour yourself a mugful, leaving the mug on a shelf to cool, forgetting about it, and then finding it has gone cold when you go back to it, if you even remember to go back to it.  A thermos is just as convenient to use at home as it is on the go.

4. The Right Teapot

Just like having the right thermos, the right teapot will make it easier for you to brew green tea more regularly.  Uncomfortable objects make for less use of them.  We will have some nice teapots for you soon!

5. No time for brewing at all?

Throw some green tea leaves or green tea powder into your water bottle and go.  The tea will cold-brew over the next minutes and hours on its own, infusing your water with the extraordinary benefits. 

Got more tips on how to make it easier to incorporate green into your daily routine?  Share them with us at info@wildorchard.com with "Daily GT Tips" as your subject.


-


Green Tea Rose Latte

November 27, 2020
 
Wondering what to do with that old French press you still have from your coffee-drinking days? ;)  Here's a fun new way to make the most luscious Green Tea Rose Latte right in your own kitchen.  Our recipe features a gorgeous Organic Rose Honey from 123 Farm, but feel free to switch it up with any sweetener of your choice, or omit it all together.  However you want to do it, make this antioxidant-loaded, immune-boosting, virus-fighting green tea recipe part of your self-care routine and personal fight against Covid.

 Full Recipe:
1 heaping tsp Wild Orchard Late Spring Green Tea Powder
1 tsp + 1 heaping Tbsp 123 Farm Organic Rose Honey
1/4 cup cold non-fat milk (for the foam)
3/4 cup hot milk of choice (we used whole milk)

Directions:
1. Stir 1 tsp Rose Honey into about 3/4 cup hot milk (this step may also be done last)
2. Remove the strainer from the French press, and pour in 1/4 cup cold non-fat milk.
3. Place the strainer back into the French press, just above the milk.
4. Add 1 heaping tsp Green Tea Powder over the strainer,
5. then add 1 heaping Tbsp Rose Honey, again, over the strainer.
5. Start plunging the strainer, shallow at first,
6. then gradually all the way.
7. Continue plunging until a nice, thick froth as formed.
8. Now, pour the green tea foam over the prepared hot milk and serve.

Notes:

  • Although we used a slender glass in the video, you may prefer to use a wider vessel in order to get a nice ratio of milk and froth as you sip.
  • Because most French press strainers do not reach the very bottom, it's important to add the green tea powder and honey over the strainer in order to ensure they get incorporated with the milk froth.
  • This recipe works just as well as a cold latte.

-
Weed, weed… Goose!

October 27, 2020

While our green tea trees grow wild among weeds, insects and various abundant wildlife, making them stronger and more robust, how did we manage to naturally ensure their growth during their birth and early years when they were yet delicate and in danger of being smothered by weeds?  That’s right: Geese!  

The farm’s organic geese had always enjoyed eating the various sprouting weeds throughout the property.  One day, when they happened to wander into the green tea field, the farmers noticed that while they continued grazing for weeds, they showed no interest in the young green tea plants.  They realized this was the perfect solution to getting rid of the weeds in the most natural way without any human interference, and certainly without chemical repellents.

Thus, the farm’s geese helped maintain our green tea fields for those first few years, even helping to fertilize the soil with their poop in the process of their duties, until the trees were big and strong enough to thrive alongside their natural weedy neighbors.