Love. L-O-V-E Mango. M-A-N-G-O
“If a man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.” – Japanese Proverb
“A cup of tea would restore my normality.” – Arthur Dent, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Get ready! Get ready for a master class in Green Tea. It’s about to go off.
Alright, maybe not a master class. I really don’t have much of an idea about the intricacies of tea leaves and the subtleties of the various types of indigenous teas, or about the major differences between sun tea and shade tea. I know what I like though, and I know that Green Tea is amazing for the mind, body, and spirit, and I’m all about the mind, body, and spirit. I’m basically made of, like, 95% mind, body, and spirit. I did the math. It checks out. The other 5% is dryer lint. So get ready for a really solid understanding of the basics of Green Tea and its great benefits.
If you are here, right now, reading this post on this blog, I probably don’t need to explain the imperative of eliminating soda from your diet. I’m gonna take that as a given. Let’s also throw juice and juicing into that equation as well. If you want health benefits from fruit, then eat the fruit. All the good stuff is in the flesh. Juice is just the flavored sugar water that comes out of that flesh. I fully intend to eat this mango as soon as it’s done lending its delicious mango flavor to this green tea I made. Most of you are drinking soda and juice every day, though. It’s a problem. Here are the only two options you should consider when choosing a beverage:
Water and Green Tea
Surprisingly, most studies regarding the legitimacy of green tea’s effects on the human body are all over the place. None of them agree, and none of them ever find exactly the same conclusions. Finding similar conclusions and results over several controlled studies is kind of a big deal for science. So many of the claims surrounding Green Tea’s healing properties are purely observational. Observational studies are even worse. However, Green Tea is an exception to the rule, I think, when we consider how unreliable observation is. The reason is, we’ve got about 4,000 years worth of observing the benefits of Green Tea throughout multiple cultures starting in China in 2737 B.C. I’m willing to trust that amount of solid observation. Here is a quick list of the believed benefits of Green Tea.
- Reduces risk of cancer from an abundance of antioxidants in tea
- Contains lower levels of caffeine than a cup of coffee
- L-Theanine in tea combined with the lower levels of caffeine produce a calming effect on the mind and body, and a more sustainable source of energy throughout the day without the coffee crash
- Improves cognitive capacity and brain function
- Reduces levels of stress. Reduction in stress means lower levels of cortisol release in the body, and therefore, tea may indirectly aid in fat loss.
- Natural oils found in green tea can have antiseptic properties which means fresher breath and a brighter smile.
- Decreases risk of heart disease and diabetes
This is the case for why you should be drinking Green Tea. One more reason I love using Green Tea is that it goes unbelievably well as the liquid part of your protein shakes. It’ll add a whole new level of flavor to them. Going forward I will be featuring many recipes for protein shakes on Eat and Lift, and most of them will start with a base of Green Tea.
Loose Vs. Bagged Teas
If we strictly want to know which is better, then it is without a doubt loose leaf. The stuff that comes in the bags is not the same as what you purchase loose. Loose leaf tea is the highest in quality and the highest in nutrient value. After the best tea leaves are collected and used for the loose leaf product, most companies will then take the leftover dust and burned bits and throw it into a bag. It doesn’t have the same power or health benefits that loose leaf tea does. The taste difference is also night and day. Bagged green tea is slightly bitter and very astringent. Loose leaf tea is much sweeter, smoother, and has a much greater, almost nutty, flavor profile. Your best tea is made by going for the higher quality product. However, one of our goals at Eat and Lift is to teach and cultivate good nutrition habits without it costing an arm and a leg. Loose leaf tea won’t break the bank by any means but bagged tea is far more budget friendly. So, if loose leaf isn’t in your budget, then by all means go for the bagged teas. They’ll still get the job done, just not as well.
Hot Vs. Cold Brewing
You can decide which you like better, I suppose. Get out your thermometer and your stop watch. Heat water in a small pot to exactly 175°. Place your loose leaf tea into a tea bag and steep the tea in the hot water for 45-60 seconds. No longer! If you are an evil genius, you may have done it right and gotten a pleasant cup of hot and sweet tea. Otherwise, you are like the rest of us and probably steeped it too long, or at the wrong temperature and now you’ve got a cup of tea that is like drinking a nice cup of tea while also french kissing your cat in between sips.
Or you can just throw some tea leaves in a pitcher of water and let it sit in the fridge over night.
Cold brewing your tea is fool proof, and actually makes it a breeze to brew up a large batch of amazing Green Tea for all the different ways you might want Green Tea throughout the week. It ends up being a huge time saver, and you get all the antioxidant and stress reducing power without the bitter tannins of hot brewed tea.
So you decide. I’m done convincing you. Let’s make this mango tea, dammit.
3 Quarts Water
3 Heaping TBS Tea Leaves
1 Mango, Chopped
We’re going full mango in this tea. For cold brewing purposes it seems to be a overwhelming consensus that 1 big heaping Tablespoon per 1 Quart of water is the perfect ratio for great cold brewed tea. The one thing I don’t like about cold brewing tea is that most people just throw the leaves into a pitcher and fill it with water. Now I’ve got all these leaves floating around my tea and it’s kind of a pain to strain. So I picked up this fruit infuser pitcher that has a slotted tube suspended in the center. It’s perfect for this purpose:
Now just stick the pitcher in your fridge and let it sit and soak for 8-12 hours. Even if you left it in there up to 24 hours its still good. Like I said, fool proof. When it’s ready I recommend using the tube to give the whole thing a quick stir. Remove the tube, but don’t toss the mango or the leaves just yet. Use the mango however you like. Eat it. Blend it up and use it in a shake. Take the leaves and save them in a plastic baggie. They are good for one more brewing at least.
Now you have an amazing and delicious alternative to water, especially when you are craving more flavor. Instead of succumbing to more juice or soda, you just make some of your own flavored green tea. Mango Green Tea is incredibly simple, but there are infinetly more flavors to try. Watermelon Mint? Cucumber Jalapeno? Whiskey? Alright, that last one isn’t a flavor. It’s just whiskey. I love whiskey.
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