Sunday

My Tea Tastes Like Lawn Clippings!!

Hope you folks liked my first "Superfoods" article. This series has been challenging to write due to the sheer amount of research needed to intelligently discuss the subject matter at length. However, it has been a lot of fun. I can hardly wait to unveil my next chapter to you, but I wanted to share an experience and a bit of history with you as well.

I recently had the opportunity to try out some pure green tea at an authentic Chinese teahouse. I noticed right off the bat that the tea was quite unique in flavor. It tasted like grass.




I'll admit, I have had green tea before, but this was VERY grassy and floral. A friend that I was with explained some history about green tea (I hope I have recalled it accurately. I will gladly accept any feedback if my recollection has failed me).

According to Chinese legend, green tea was invented by an emperor who was in the forest, and had simply boiled a kettle of water on his campfire. Suddenly, a freak gust of wind put out his fire and blew leaves from a nearby tree into the emperor’s hot water. When he came back, the emperor was upset, however, he was still determined to drink the water – only to find that it now tasted wonderful. Realizing what had happened, he took some of the leaves from the tree home with him, and thus invented tea.

Whether that’s true or not, there's no doubt that this tea includes a long and noble history in China and many other Asian countries. It's has been consumed as far back as the ninth century in Japan.

The distinction between green tea and Western black tea isn’t that they're completely different plants – they're each made from camellia sinesis, the tea plant – but that the leaves are treated differently once they're picked. Black tea is initially dried out and then fermented therefore that it will last longer, while green tea’s treatment stops after the drying stage, while the green color of the leaves is still present. Whereas this means that green tea doesn’t keep fresh for long, it also means that it has a  fresher taste than black tea, and many believe that it's abundantly healthier for you.

This explains why first time you taste green tea you will most likely assume that it somehow tastes ‘green’, or grass-like. The best method to decide whether you’ll like it or not is to just give it a go.

As always, your comments are welcome.

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