If you’re already a green tea lover, you are likely aware of the many benefits you enjoy every time you drink it. While ingesting this brewed drink is usually what comes to mind when we think of taking in some green tea goodness, there are actually a variety of other ways to get the most out of this ancient, mighty tea leaf. In fact, we were so impressed with this superstar by the name of Japanese Green Tea, that we compiled this *amazing* article about the benefits and uses for this powerful leaf.
Even though green tea in general is easy to find, we want to put you on to the good stuff. That's why in this blog post we’ll be exploring the best kind of green tea, the realest kind of green tea, the most scrumptious kind of green tea – you get it, we're going to tell you all about the greatest green tea out there.
Sit back, and enjoy soaking up all of our Japanese Green Tea knowledge. You’ll be glad you did.
What it is
Contrary to popular belief, green tea can be quite complex. Believe it or not, there are several different types of Japanese green tea. And here’s the mind-blowing part: they all come from the same plant: camellia sinensis. Even the popular and trendy matcha powder, which to the naked eye may seem unlikely to come from this plant, does!
What’s the real difference between all these Japanese Green Teas?
Well, think of it this way. The same way you’re willing to sometimes pay a bit more for a bottle of wine (think buying vintage vs. nonvintage), some people really pay up for their teas. And this is because there are different grades to green tea, much like so many other delicious food and drinks we love to consume.
So what are you really getting into when you start minding the kind of green tea you’re sipping on? Just keep reading to find out!
Below we’ve broken it down simply, so you can sound like an avid green tea leaf connoisseur the next time you’re chatting up your local barista.
Japanese Sencha Green Tea
First on our list is a classic that we highly recommend to anyone who is trying to get their healthy tea collection started.
Sencha green tea is known for its grassy yet sweet flavor, with delicious fruity undertones. It is the most popular green tea in Japan, so much so that it accounts for 80% of the country’s tea production. That's a lot of tea.
This type of green tea is prepared by steeping its loose leaves, and less by way of a regular tea bag purchased in store. The longer you steep it, the darker it becomes. With longer steeping time, this tea develops an earthy and robust flavor - perfect for those who prefer a stronger character brew.
Matcha Green Tea
Ahh the beloved matcha green tea. This bright green powder truly is magic in a cup. This type of green tea is almost always served in latte form. And pro tip here: it pairs absolutely beautifully with almond milk.
Matcha in itself has several different grades ranging from culinary (best used for baking recipes) all the way up to ceremonial grade (the crème de la crème in matcha world).
Matcha has a wide range of unmatched benefits. Which makes it no wonder why so many of its lovers flock to it for sustained energy and a healthy dose of antioxidants.
Genmaicha Green Tea
If you’re a coffee loving babe, you’ll love this green tea the most. Rich and full bodied, genmaicha green tea originated centuries ago by Buddhists.
This satisfying type of green tea has all the benefits of the other kinds of tea we’ve touched on in this article. However, it tastes just a little better according to the masses. It helps balance blood sugar levels, decreases bad cholesterol, and may even lower cancer risks.
If you're looking for a way to transition from your regular java fix to Japanese green tea, we highly recommend giving genmaicha green tea a shot.
Dragon Well Green Tea
This one is regularly called “the tea of Emperors”. And we kinda love that. Dragon Well green tea has one of the highest levels of antioxidants that can be found in this powerful leaf.
It is also remarkably high in vitamin C, making it a great choice of tea to consume on a daily basis. This scrumptious green tea has a nutty, chestnut aroma, and it is best served hot.
Now, we’ll be honest here. We’ve only touched on 4 popular types of green tea above, but IRL there are tons of others. Interested in having a look at a comprehensive list? Click here and browse to your heart’s content.
So now that we’ve covered a variety of delicious green teas you can consume in drink form, let’s expand our horizons.
We’ve gone ahead and researched all the ways in which you can use and benefit from the powerful Japanese green tea leaf. And that means, we uncovered reasons to love this tea without ingesting it. And believe us, there are plenty.
Japanese Green Tea for Dark Circles & Puffy Eyes
Before you go throwing out that green tea bag, hold on a second! When it comes to Japanese green tea, the benefits and uses of this powerful leaf go far beyond sipping it. Keep your tea bags and let them cool. We love placing them in the fridge for a few minutes to really make this next trick effective. Place the cooled bags over your eyes, and let all those tannins work their magic.
This beauty hack will not only reduce pesky undereye swelling. It will actually tighten the skin around your eyes for a youthful and refreshed look.
Just trust us, you'll love these results and *instantly* regret throwing away all those teabags you only used for drinking purposes all these years.
Relieve Redness & Irritation with this Powerful Leaf
Another benefit and use for the powerful Japanese green tea leaf is to relieve redness or irritation on your skin.
By still using the tea bag topically, you can apply these little guys to an area of your skin that needs love for a few minutes, and watch it calm right down.
Another way to use this method is to soak a small cloth with green tea, and apply it as a compress. This is an especially great trick for those pesky bug bites we get stuck nursing during the summer.
Boost Your Oral Health
Green tea can have excellent effects on your teeth, and overall oral health. This is thanks to the antimicrobial properties found in Japanese green tea.
Now we always stress that too much of a good thing can be not so good. So in this case, downing multiple cups a day will of course have a staining effect on that beautiful smile. With that being said, just be careful to avoid over consuming, and to never neglect your brushing and flossing schedule!
Make a Face Scrub or Mask
If there’s anyone out there who was going to give you the down low on creating a face scrub out of Japanese green tea, you know it’s us babe.
We know this might sound bizarre. But girl does it ever work! The green tea in this mix acts as a brilliant skin tightening agent, and will totally revitalize your skin.
All you need to do is get your hands on some loose leaf green tea (or matcha powder), organic sugar, and water. Simply crumble up your tea leaves until you’re comfortable with the consistency, and then add the two other ingredients. Just create a paste that is smooth enough to apply, and you’re ready to go. Scrub gently, rinse, and there you have it – an effective, natural, skin-tightening face scrub or mask!
Japanese Green Tea for That Annoying Sunburn
This is one natural remedy we really love in this list. We want to share how to use the benefits of the powerful Japanese green tea leaf for sunburns.
Green tea is a champ at protecting exposed skin cells from harmful damage. Now don’t get it twisted, this leaf is hard working but it does not protect against UV rays. In spite of this, soaking a cold compress with green tea can take away that sunburn pain. Just apply it to where your skin is burnt and enjoy some serious relief.
So if you thought you could only ingest those glorious antioxidants, think again. You can topically apply them to where your skin needs to regenerate itself and benefit from some impressive results.
Take a Foot Bath… No seriously, Use Green Tea for Foot Odor
You read that right! If you ever struggle with foot odor, consider a green tea foot bath. Green tea is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, so it really does wonders for eliminating bad smells.
First off, brew a hot pot of your green tea of choice. Then simply transfer the tea into a container or bowl fit to soak your feet in. Give yourself about 10-15 minutes to relax and voilà. Just be sure to throw out those old slippers that may have been the culprit to your foot scent issue.
Japanese Green Tea for Anxiety Relief
Ok we cheated a little here. You do have to ingest a cup to reap this last advantage on our list of benefits and uses for the powerful Japanese green tea leaf. But we couldn’t help it, we had to mention this interesting fact.
Most of us can agree that sipping a warm cup of tea is soothing in itself. But Japanese green tea is specifically proven to help alleviate anxiety. That's thanks to a little amino acid called “theanine” , which is found in this brew. Theanine has a tranquilizing effect on the body, therefore it can absolutely help you zen out.
Of course, there's other simple ways to make any cup of tea relieve some stress. If you couple your mug with a scented bath and some gratitude – that doesn’t hurt either.
We could go on but …
The benefits and uses of the powerful Japanese green tea leaf have to end somewhere, right? At least for this article they do! But for real, there are even more cool tips and tricks out there on all there is to know about this ancient, healthy drink.
We are totally in love with this mighty leaf and all that it brings to the health and beauty table. We'll admit we can’t resist sipping on a cup of green tea, iced or hot. However, using it to brighten and tighten our skin is arguably our favorite way to appreciate all of what this powerhouse ingredient has to offer.
We hope you learned something new! And as always, we can’t wait to let you in on what we uncover next. All of this of course, in the spirit of consistently bringing you the latest on what’s always healthy for you, and what’s always natural. Love ya beautiful!