Green tea is full of natural flavor, ranging from bright, grassy citrus to warm, woody, and almost nutty.
As green tea becomes more and more popular for its health benefits, people are searching for ways to incorporate it into their day in new ways.
If you’re experimenting with different types and flavors of tea, you may have come across jasmine tea and wondered:
What is the difference between green tea and jasmine tea? Green tea is a broad category of teas made with unoxidized Camellia sinensis leaves. Jasmine tea is typically a subtype of green tea that has been flavored and brewed with jasmine flowers. However, jasmine tea can also have black or white teas as a base.
In this article, you’ll learn exactly what green tea is and why it is such an enjoyable and healthy addition to your day.
You’ll also discover the slight differences between green tea and jasmine tea. With some helpful recommendations, you’ll be ready to taste test some of the best green tea and jasmine tea options available to you.
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea is a moderately caffeinated type of tea made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, also known as the tea plant. This makes green tea a “true tea.”
Many herbal teas are not true teas because they aren’t made from the tea plant itself. In many cases, tea has become a catch-all term for hot water flavored with various plant leaves and blossoms.
Green tea, oolong tea, and black tea are all made of the same plant. However, the drying process differs between the three types of tea, creating unique flavors.
Green tea is dried immediately or very soon after harvesting, creating a fresh, grassy flavor. Green tea leaves and buds are left unoxidized – unlike the leaves that make black and white teas – and are generally the least processed tea leaves.
There are many different types of tea plants, creating a variety of flavors. Japanese green tea is known for its citrus notes, whereas Chinese green tea tends to have a woodier flavor, with sweet undertones.
Depending on the type and quality of green tea, the blend may be made exclusively with leaves or it may also include some of the stems for a more woody flavor in the tea.
Green Tea Benefits
Green tea is rapidly gaining in popularity because the more it is studied, the more health benefits are connected to it. Of course, quality makes a difference.
The healthiest teas will be organic and made without preservatives or artificially added flavors.
Some of the benefits attributed to drinking green tea regularly include:
- Improved focus and alertness
- Increased metabolism
- Anti-inflammatory response, reducing risk for nearly every chronic disease
- Oral health care improvement
- Heart health, such as lower blood pressure, balanced cholesterol, and a reduced risk for stroke and heart disease
It is important to note that, however healthy for you, green tea is only helpful for all of the above and is not meant to be a sole treatment or supplement.
How to Make Green Tea
Green tea should never be prepared with boiling water, as the heat can damage the antioxidants, decreasing the health benefits. Instead, allow your water to cool to 150-180°F after it has boiled.
Each type of green tea will have slightly different steeping times, so it’s always best to refer to the instructions on your specific tea. Some are ready to drink within 30 seconds, whereas others develop the best flavor after 3-4 minutes.
Green tea will turn bitter if it is left to steep too long, so unless you enjoy bitter tea, it’s best to follow the instructions for optimal brewing.
For an even cleaner flavor, make your tea with filtered water. There’s no need to add cream or sugar, though some people enjoy a hint of honey or a spritz of fresh lemon juice.
You may also enjoy adding some fresh ginger or lemongrass to your tea.
What Is Jasmine Tea?
Jasmine blossoms are small white flowers from the jasmine plant, a type of vine in the same family as olives.
The plants are typically grown for the potent fragrance of the flowers, which is a unique combination of floral and musky.
The blossoms can also be used as a flavoring agent, though even in food and beverages, the aroma is more apparent than the taste.
Jasmine adds a subtle, sweet, floral taste that would be easily overshadowed if it wasn’t for its matching fragrance.
Jasmine blossoms are most commonly used to scent green tea, though you can also find white tea, black tea, and oolong tea enhanced with jasmine.
Jasmine scented tea doesn’t usually have actual jasmine blossoms in it.
Instead, the tea leaves themselves have been infused with the scent of the flowers, either by close proximity in the drying process or by using essential oils, extracts, or artificial flavoring.
Jasmine Green Tea Benefits
Because it is only the scent that is truly involved in most jasmine teas, the health benefits are no different from the tea itself.
For example, jasmine green tea will have the same benefits and risks as the green tea itself. The same is true for oolong, black or white tea as well.
Some studies suggest the fragrance of jasmine may be relaxing, similar to lavender. This can be useful for stress-relief, though, if it’s paired with a caffeinated tea, it still may not be a good idea for inducing sleep.
The other benefit comes from simple enjoyment. If you love the aroma of your jasmine green tea, you’re more likely to drink more of it and therefore enjoy the health benefits of the green tea itself.
How to Make Jasmine Tea
Jasmine green tea is made essentially the same way as green tea, preferably with water that is less than 200°F.
Jasmine tea requires more careful timing than plain green tea. It needs time to develop the floral aroma to its full potential, but if you steep it too long, not only will your tea be bitter, but the floral fragrance may become overwhelming.
Follow the instructions on the package closely and use your nose to decide when the aroma is full enough. The flavor will follow.
As with green tea, you don’t need to add cream, but you may also want to stay away from adding citrus or any other elements, as jasmine stands well on its own.
Common Myths About Green Tea
Because many are turning away from processed foods and looking for natural treatments and solutions to health problems, there is a lot of sensationalized marketing surrounding natural green tea.
We want to be clear that green tea is not a miracle cure for cancer or heart disease, nor a guaranteed weight loss solution, despite what certain online sources might have you believe.
Green tea and many other teas have been shown to have some effect on metabolism, but this is usually in conjunction with a healthier diet.
Many people consider this a weight loss benefit, but it’s also important to avoid drinking too much green tea on an empty stomach, as it can negatively affect your blood sugar levels if you’re not careful.
Green tea is also quite acidic, which can cause indigestion in some people. In general, however, green tea is considered safe and healthy for everyone when consumed in moderation.
Does Jasmine Tea Help You Sleep?
The scent of jasmine is very relaxing and is often used in aromatherapy to help calm, soothe, and relax. The fragrance may help you sleep, yes.
It’s important to remember, however, that most jasmine tea is caffeinated, which can awaken your brain instead of lulling it to sleep.
You can find decaffeinated tea or you may be able to find dried jasmine blossoms that can be used to make an herbal tea.
Does Jasmine Green Tea Have Caffeine?
Jasmine green tea does have caffeine, yes.
Each brand will have slightly different amounts, but on average, the amount of caffeine you’ll consume in a single cup of jasmine green tea will be between 20-30% of what you would have in a standard 8-ounce cup of coffee.
There are also compounds in green tea that alter the way your body responds to caffeine. Many people who are highly sensitive to coffee can drink green tea without getting the jitters or feeling the effects of caffeine to any great degree.
How Much Green Tea Should I Drink?
There is no specific amount of green tea recommended for daily consumption. How much you drink depends on your lifestyle, biological individuality, and your reasons for drinking green tea.
Many people drink green tea as a way to reach their weight loss goals. The best results seem to be achieved by those who drink between 2–6 cups a day, but the studies are not consistent or highly supported.
For other health benefits, such as the reduced risk of diabetes and improved heart health, three to four cups a day seem to be enough to see benefits.
It is important to note that if you are drinking green tea to help with weight loss, you may also want to switch to a healthier diet for the best results.
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