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Green Tea: Warrior Fuel
Green tea is among the most ancient of beverages. Quaff essential knowledge from Groupon’s guide to green tea.
For a beverage produced from a single, simple plant (Camellia sinensis, the same plant that yields black tea), green tea takes on a dazzling variety of disguises. There’s Chinese gunpowder tea, whose greyish leaves curl into tiny pellets, and powdered Japanese matcha, which, during traditional tea ceremonies, is beaten into froth with a bamboo whisk. Other varieties are defined by whether they’re shade-grown or exposed to direct sun, as well as by region and processing method. But despite the variation, they do all have this in common: they undergo minimal oxidation (although they are rolled and dried), leaving them with a distinctive grassy flavor and a lower concentration of caffeine than black tea.
Green tea has been enjoyed in Asia for more than four millennia—in modern times it’s even found its way into snacks such as Kit Kat bars—and in the United States, it’s recently gained a reputation as something of a superfood. In fact, the health benefits of green tea have long been a topic of discussion: one of the earliest books on tea, written by a zen priest in 1211, recommended it as a cure for indigestion and fatigue, helping seal the beverage’s place at the lips of Japan’s samurai-warrior class. Today, however, you’re more likely to hear that green tea can help reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and even cancer. Green-tea leaves are rich with antioxidants called polyphenols, which may intercept the free radicals that can attach to cells and interfere with their function, potentially helping prevent age-related diseases. Some scientists also claim green tea can boost the metabolism to speed up weight loss, though studies remain inconclusive.