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How to Choose Fresh Green Tea Leaves

Benefits of Green Tea, Green Teas, Tea Leaves

By now you’re probably familiar with the incredible range of health benefits green tea has to offer. Although you can buy green tea packaged in bottles, the health benefits of pre-prepared, bottled green teas may be significantly less due to the lower levels of catechins. To assure that you’re getting the maximal health benefits of green tea, brewing your own green tea at home is the best option from a health standpoint. You can also realize a significant cost savings brewing loose, fresh green tea leaves in your own kitchen.

If you decide to brew your own green tea, how can you be assured you’re getting fresh green tea leaves that will give you the best taste? While some people purchase loose green tea leaves online, you can’t be assured that you’re getting the freshest, highest quality product when you buy by mail or by computer. If you have a local tea or coffee store in your area, visit and spend some time breathing in the scent of fresh green tea leaves to determine their odor. Another place to find loose leaf, fresh green tea leaves is at some natural food markets.

When you buy loose leaf tea from tea stores, you may be offered the opportunity to smell the leaves before purchasing. The best way to do this is to close your eyes and take a deep breath to inhale the full aroma of the tea leaves. You should be able to characterize the aroma as sweet or grassy in nature. If you detect no aroma at all, chances are the tea leaves are old and you’ll want to avoid buying them. You nose can be an excellent indicator as to the freshness of green tea leaves.

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An even better indicator of whether you’re dealing with fresh green tea leaves is taste. If you’re buying your tea from a tea or coffee store, you may be given the chance to sample the tea before purchasing. If you’re allowed a sample, check the color of the tea before tasting. Higher quality green teas tend to be a light green in color. If the tea you’re considering brews up golden or brown in color, you know you’re dealing with a lower quality green tea. But don’t rule it out based on color. Some people enjoy the more robust flavor of green teas of lesser quality.

When you taste a green tea sample, the tea should taste clean. The best green teas usually strike a balance between grassy green undertones and astringent qualities. Higher quality green teas should taste light and clear, not bitter. The more green teas you sample, the more skilled you’ll become at detecting their quality and freshness.

Choosing fresh green tea leaves can make an enormous difference in how your cup of tea tastes at home. Try to buy only the freshest product when possible and you’ll develop an even greater appreciation of this remarkable drink.