1. Health Benefits:
Green tea is one of my greatest loves. A long time morning ritual, this gorgeously green elixir is chock full of nutrition. One of the stars being the amino acid, L-theanine which increases dopamine and the production of alpha brain waves. These are known to boost creativity and reduce depression. Studies show that caffeine + L-theanine can have a harmonious effects working together to improve overall brain function. Because of the L-theanine and lower dose of caffeine, green tea can have a more mellow effect and a subtler 'buzz' than coffee. I find it sustains me throughout the day without the crash. It's just the right balance of zing to soar through my day inspired!
2. Because it's Delicious:
It's fun for me to try new variations and distinguish the various subtleties in the realm of green teas. My all time favorites are from Japan. Particularly Organic Nishi Sencha (pictured) bright, smooth and vegetal - it is everything that delights my palette in the morning. I also love Matcha. The whole tea leaf is processed and ground into a fine powder. This can be mixed with hot water or non-dairy milk and a swirl of honey for a 'Matcha Latte'. And a mix of the two, Matcha Super Green. More earthy and with a denser body, this blend of Sencha + Matcha is a medium bodied and enlivening.
3. Presence Inducing:
Thich Nhat Hanh said it best...
“Tea is an act complete in its simplicity.
When I drink tea, there is only me and the tea.
The rest of the world dissolves.
There are no worries about the future.
No dwelling on past mistakes.
Tea is simple: loose-leaf tea, hot pure water, a cup.
I inhale the scent, tiny delicate pieces of the tea floating above the cup.
I drink the tea, the essence of the leaves becoming a part of me.
I am informed by the tea, changed.
This is the act of life, in one pure moment, and in this act the truth of the world suddenly becomes revealed: all the complexity, pain, drama of life is a pretense, invented in our minds for no good purpose.
There is only the tea, and me, converging.”
Tea time is me time. To arrive in the Here and Now. The colors, textures and pure beauty of the process instantly allow me to soften and arrive unto myself. For this I am eternally grateful. How simple things can make the biggest of positive ripples in our daily lives when practiced with presence.
4. Some Particulars: One steeping note if you're new to green tea that will improve flavor profile and keep it from becoming too bitter...remember to soak the loose leaf tea leaves in about an inch of room temperature water for 1-2 minutes before pouring with the hot water (170°F) and steeping for an additional 1 minute. Strain and enjoy.
A Few Favorites:
- Nishi First Flush Sencha - Rishi Tea & Botanicals
- Matcha Super Green - Rishi Tea & Botanicals
- Organic Matcha - Hibiki-An