Green tea has a reputation for being a super-healthy, nutrient rich drink and that reputation is well-deserved.
- Green tea is a powerhouse of vitamins, antioxidants and caffeine.
- Scientifically known as Camellia sinensis, green tea can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease as well as improving brain function and preventing the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- As it boosts metabolism and burns fat, you’ll find you have more energy, and it’s detoxifying qualities will result in a clearer complexion.
It really is one of the best true teas in the world. But don’t just take our word for it. Read on…
The best form of Green Tea in Australia
Since green tea has been around for so long, there are many different forms available including green tea extract and green tea tablets. However, studies have shown that some cheaper teas or more processed forms of tea can contain chemicals such as fluoride which minimise the effectiveness of the beverage.
Pure green tea is the most effective way to obtain all the health benefits it offers.
On its own, loose leaf tea has a light, delicate flavour which can be spoilt if brewed too long. Depending on the type of green tea, the taste can vary from sweet and floral to bitter and earthy. This is why blended loose-leaf teas offer the greatest combination of flavours.
Drinking Green Tea in Australia
When it comes to consuming green tea in Australia, there are lots of options.
The most common commercial forms of green tea are extracts, tablets and tea leaves. Another form of green tea which has found popularity in recent years is matcha.
Scientists have successfully extracted most of the benefits of green tea and put them into tablet form. These tablets can be found at most health food stores and may also be stocked under the name ‘Super Greens’. They are generally mixed with other healthy food substances such as spinach, mint and kale extract.
- On the whole, tablets contain fewer vitamins as the chemical process to manufacture them destroys some of the nutrients.
However, these tablets can be taken quickly and conveniently, so you’ll still get most of the benefits of the original green tea.
Green tea extract can either be used in its liquid form and added to smoothies, drinks and food, or it can be contained within a capsule.
- The capsules are similar to the tablets in terms of convenience for on-the-go nutrition and can be a good addition to a healthy diet.
The liquid droppers can be added to almost any drink and are very useful for people who do not like the taste of green tea, or are looking for a caffeine-free option. However, the potency and effectiveness of the ingredients will be diluted by adding the extract to other foods and drinks because the digestive system will not be able to extract all the benefits of the tea.
Matcha is basically a powdered form of green tea. The bushes are grown in the shade meaning the plant produces more chlorophyll, producing the bright green colour you see in the leaves.
The powder can be added to most drinks and contains as much caffeine and has a similar taste to regular green tea. Some matcha is formulated to contain more nutrients than green tea.
- Because matcha takes longer to make, it is much more expensive than normal green tea for no real health or taste benefit.
There is more than one way to enjoy green tea. You can purchase tablets, although a lot of the valuable antioxidants and vitamins are destroyed in the manufacturing process. There are also extracts, but they can lose potency when you add them to drinks and food. Tea is obviously the best way to reap the benefits of green tea, due to the lack of processing. Matcha is also a sensible option because it is a stronger version of green tea.
Green Tea Leaves
Drinking green tea is easily the most efficient way to get the benefits of the leaves. Additionally, the act of sitting down with a cup of tea is more relaxing and enjoyable than popping a pill.
- Unlike other teas which can be grown at home, green tea should be purchased after being heat treated.
You can buy special blends of green tea such as our Immunitea Cannelle Du Midi blend, which are formulated to bring out delightful flavours as well as including the benefits offered by the other ingredients. For example, our Fat Burning Matinee Tea blend is formulated specially to help increase your metabolism and boost your weight loss journey.
However, if you want to make green tea recipes at home, we’ve broken down the most popular recipe for you here.
NOTE: Boiling water can scorch green tea leaves and ruin the flavour, leaving it bitter. It can also kill a lot of the beneficial antioxidants and vitamins.
- Bring one cup of water to the boil on a stove or in an electric kettle. Once the water has boiled, let it cool for 2 minutes.
- Once the water has cooled, add 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves. Next, add 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, the juice of 1 lemon, a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of cinnamon. Finish by stirring in ½ a teaspoon of honey and if you’re feeling spicy, add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little kick.
- Let this mixture steep for a maximum of 3 minutes. The smaller the tea leaves, the less time they will need in the water as their flavour is extracted faster than larger leaves.
- Once the mixture has settled, strain out the tea leaves. Sit back, sip and enjoy!
Because loose leaf tea is the closest thing you will get to fresh leaves, it is by far the best option. When buying green tea as part of a blend you get the added health benefits of the other ingredients. It is best if you don’t add boiling hot water to green tea as you will destroy the antioxidants and vitamins.
How green tea differs from other teas
- Green tea differs from other teas because the leaves are heat treated after picking to stop the fermentation process.
The heat ensures all the goodness is locked into the leaf. Different methods of applying heat such as roasting or steaming, and for different lengths of time, give the different teas their distinct flavours.
The benefits of drinking green tea
- Because green tea is heat treated to prevent fermentation, all the vitamins and minerals are sealed inside the leaf so when you steep them in water, you get all the goodness in your drink.
The tea itself is used around the world to help alleviate a wide range of illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and various heart conditions.
The catechins in the tea have been proven to help fight obesity as well as treating type 2 diabetes. Catechins, which are naturally found in all teas, react with cells to prevent the storage of fat in the body.
Green tea in particular contains a powerful catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which makes up as much as 20% of the leaf’s weight. When ingested, this catechin spreads throughout the body preventing fat build-up, decreasing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. Just by drinking green tea you can lower the risk of developing diabetes by as much as 42%!
Catechins are also effective at preventing oxidization of cells (cell damage). Cell damage causes signs of premature ageing on the skin such as fine lines, wrinkles and dull, saggy skin. Drinking green tea can literally prevent this from happening by stopping this damage and protecting healthy cells.
And who doesn’t want to look younger?
There are multiple health benefits to drinking green tea including the prevention of high blood pressure, the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and even cancer – especially breast cancer. It can help you lose weight and detoxify your body with the probable result of a clearer, more youthful complexion.
The caffeine in green tea
Green tea contains a surprising amount of caffeine. However, unlike coffee it also contains a compound called L-theanine, which has anti-anxiety properties.
- By drinking green tea you’ll get all the improved focus, reaction time, memory and energy of coffee, without the jittery after-effects.
And it isn’t a short-term boost. It can improve your brain function over many years.
The polyphenols found in green tea have been proven to have a neurological effect on your brain so diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are likely to have less severe symptoms, as well as occurring much later in life – if at all.
In addition, green tea has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce pressure on the brain, minimise stress and prevent the brain from ageing as quickly as it normally would.
One of green tea’s biggest claims to fame is its ability to help prevent cancer.
- Green tea contains powerful antioxidants which have been proven to protect cells from oxidative stress and degeneration.
These damaged cells are prone to inflammation and can lead to the development of cancerous cells. Drinking green tea can help protect cells so they never get to this stage.
While this can help prevent most types of cancer, green tea has been specifically linked to helping prevent breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, as well as colorectal cancers.
One study found that women who regularly drank green tea were as much as 30% less likely to develop breast cancer.
- It can help fight against recurring breast cancers. Multiple studies have found that the antioxidants in green tea can reduce your chances of getting colorectal cancer by almost half.
Lots of teas contain cancer-fighting antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients, but studies have found that diluting tea with milk, specifically cow’s milk, can result in a weakening of these effects on the body.
Because green tea is more regularly drunk on its own, or in some cases with lemon and herbs, it is considerably more effective than other teas with similar levels of antioxidants.
Side Effects of Green Tea
Sticking to the recommended dose of a generous 3 cups a day is the best way to avoid any unpleasant side effects.
While green tea contains an abundance of nutrients and vitamins, which can seriously improve your health, like all good things - it should be taken in moderation.
- In Australia, the recommended amount of green tea is around 3 cups a day; 4 is the maximum.
This is because green tea contains lots of caffeine and too much caffeine in your system can cause irregular heartbeats, nervousness, anxiety, headaches and dizziness.
As well as the potential side-effects caused by too much caffeine, green tea can affect the stomach. Green tea may also prohibit your body from absorbing the iron in the food you eat. Anyone with an iron deficiency may struggle to get enough iron in their body if they drink too much green tea. This in turn can lead to weakness, fatigue, headaches, breathing problems and chest pains. It can also worsen the symptoms of anaemia.Another side effect of green tea is diarrhea.
- Because green tea is so effective at helping the body digest food, excessive amounts of green tea can lead to bowel problems and even vomiting.
It can increase the amount you need to pee as your body flushes out your digestive system. In milder cases, this can be part of a successful detox, however, in more extreme cases, it can lead to nutrient deficiency and dehydration.
Additionally, the extra stress on your internal organs can lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
While some of the side effects of green tea can sound very severe and serious, they are also very rare. 5 cups a day will not produce any major reactions.
The recommended amount of green tea is 2-3 cups a day, with an absolute maximum of 4. More than that can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhoea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, headaches and even irritable bowel syndrome. However, these symptoms are rare, and almost non-existent if you remain under 4 cups a day.
Green Tea FAQs
When is the best time to drink green tea?
Ideally, green tea should not be drunk on an empty stomach because the catechins can affect your liver function. If you have a nutrient deficiency, it should also not be drunk with a meal.
Around an hour or two after breakfast is an ideal time.
Can green tea really help with weight loss?
Yes, absolutely. Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties and can help prevent fat storage, reduce cholesterol and improve heart health.
This means drinking green tea can help shift weight which may have been difficult to move with exercise, as well as helping prevent weight from returning to haunt you in the future.
What does it taste like?
Different green teas in Australia have different tastes depending on how they were produced. The taste can vary from very light and floral to heavier, earthier tones.
However, green tea should not be bitter. If your tea is bitter this is because the tea itself is cheap, badly produced and has excess tannins which are responsible for the bitter taste.
Alternatively, it could mean you are brewing the tea with boiling the water that has burnt the leaves.
I’ve had a baby and I’m breastfeeding. Can I drink green tea?
While green tea is full of nutrients which can help support both mother and child, it also contains caffeine. This means pregnant women and women who are nursing should avoid drinking an excess amount of green tea. Unless a doctor recommends something different, 1 or 2 cups a day is the maximum amount to get the health benefits of the tea without consuming too much caffeine.
How much green tea can I drink?
As green tea does contain caffeine, it is not recommended that anyone drinks more than around 4 cups per day as a maximum. 2 to 3 cups every day will give you lots of health benefits without any side-effects.
Will green tea really help my brain?
Yes! Drinking green tea can help reduce anxiety and stress, and prevent your brain cells from degenerating. This means your brain won’t age as fast and is less susceptible to neurological diseases associated with old age.
I can’t drink caffeine. Can I have green tea?
If you can’t consume caffeine then green tea is not the right choice for you. Green tea actually contains a fair amount of caffeine. However, there are green tea extracts without caffeine available. Most tablets contain caffeine unless specifically stated that the caffeine has been removed.
Our conclusion about the best green tea in Australia
Green tea is one of the healthiest teas available in Australia.
The major claims surrounding the drink have scientific backing.
- Any drink which can help stop the ageing process, help you lose weight, fight cancer and cell degeneration, prevent the early onset of neurological diseases, and promote clear skin is a very impressive drink indeed! Almost magical!
Green tea provides the most health benefits of any beverage you can consume on a daily basis.
For anyone looking to kickstart a health and fitness programme, or anyone who wants to improve their life, green tea should definitely be on their shopping list. Our Fat Burning Tea Matinée blend is one of the most popular teas in Australia and is perfect for anyone looking for a shortcut to a healthier body.
High quality herbal teas
Because Black Leaves teas are 100% organic and specially formulated, you can be sure you are getting high quality tea with all the benefits and a great taste.
Which is for you the best green tea in Australia at the moment?
Have you noticed a difference?
We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.