For centuries, Eastern medical practitioners have used this grassy-tasting tea as a stimulant, diuretic, astringent, and digestive aid. More recently, multiple studies have suggested that its polyphenols — free-radical-fighting antioxidants — may also protect brain neurons.
Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee and has been shown to improve cognitive function, enhance mood and reaction time, and boost memory. Brewing green tea, however, can take a bit of practice. Here are some simple tips for getting it right.
1. Choose a quality loose-leaf tea variety. Japanese Sencha and Chinese Gunpowder are popular options.
2. Measure up. For a 6-ounce cup, start by placing 1 teaspoon of leaves into an empty teapot or infuser. Adjust the quantity as you discover your taste preference.
3. Find the right temp. Whether you choose tap, filtered, or spring water, start with fresh water that hasn’t been previously boiled. Heat the water to just shy of boiling — between 160 and 180 degrees F.
4. Watch your steep. Pour 6 ounces of water over tea leaves and cover the teapot or cup. Ideal steeping time depends on tea type and personal preference, but one to three minutes is typically recommended (if you like more bitter tea, steep longer).
5. Drink up. Remove the infuser or pour the tea through a strainer into your favorite cup. Enjoy!