Preparation of Different Types of Green Tea and Health Benefits

Green tea benefits are endless, but how does one really know if they are getting the same amount of antioxidants in the bagged tea compared to loose leaf tea? Most people just assume that loose leaf is better for you (i.e. has more antioxidants) because they aren’t getting the tea leaf stems and other such ingredients often mixed in a tea bag.

There are many things t hat affect a tea’s antioxidant capacity and thus health properties, such as the way it is prepared or environmental effects. Green tea can be prepared by steaming, drying, chopping before put into a package and sent to your local store. The composition of tea can also be influenced by additional factors that will also contribute to it’s downstream health benefits. These can include, the season the tea leaves were picked, the age of the leaf, climate, horticultural practices and a bit less by the effect of locality.

One study published in the Journal of Food Research International found interesting results that are worth sharing about different types of green tea. Their study looked at different extraction conditions [(1) water temperature (2) time (3) multiple extractions (i.e. if you use a tea bag more than one time) and (4) storage conditions] on the the polyphenol and methylxanthine (antioxidants and caffeine) content of tea samples. Specifically, they looked at powder (Matcha), loose leaf (Gyokuro) and bagged (Twinings of London) green teas.

Among the teas tested, bagged green tea was recognized as the richest source of phenolic antioxidant compounds (surprising!), which reached there maximum values when the water was heated to 100 degrees Celsius. Note though that this study only involved 3 different brands of green tea and had only one in each category.

The two main things to take away from this study are:

(1) Water at higher temperatures (80-100 degrees Celsius) extracted higher phenolic and flavanoid antioxidants (i.e. Bagged green tea 3585 mg/L versus. 2865 mg/L)

(2) From a “green tea and health perspective” It is not a good idea to reuse a tea bag since most of the health enhancing compounds (flavanoids) decompose.

Perfect Green Tea Blend Before Bed – High Antioxidants & Low Caffeine

If you are like me and enjoy having a cup of tea in the evening before bed, but don’t want to be wired and up all night, I have found a solution.

If I were to recommend a tea to you before bed that has reduced caffeine and still enough of the catechin antioxidants for the health benefits to still be there, I would say Salada Decaf Green Tea. It isn’t a super popular green tea, but it is great because I read a study that compared caffeine in green tea to catechin (antioxidant) concentration, and of all the decaf green teas, this one had one of the lowest caffeine contents (3.8mg/100mL) AND surprisingly it still maintained some of it’s antioxidants. This is great considering most decaf green tea’s don’t have the same antioxidant effects.

If you don’t care about the antioxidant effect and are just looking at which green tea has the absolute lowest amount of caffeine, I would recommend Celestial Seasoning Decaf Green Tea, as it only contains 0.7mg/100 mL of caffeine.

Keep in mind that regular, non-decaf green tea has between 20-80 mg/100mL of caffeine, so both of these options are great alternatives.

Caffeine in Green Tea

Caffeine in Green Tea vs. Coffee

Most people drink coffee in the morning because it tastes good and it has more caffeine to give you a more effective kick-start when compared to to green tea. Yes, it is true that coffee has more caffeine than green tea, and that one would have to drink three cups of green tea to equal the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee, most avid tea drinkers find that it has a bit “too” much caffeine. Personally, coffee makes me jittery in the morning and I find tea has just the perfect amount of caffeine to wake me up…but that’s just me, you may be different. If anything, green tea has a more “refreshing vibe” to it, and is better after a meal to enhance digestion. Also, green tea is perfect in the evening for calming, without the harsh side effects on your sleeping patterns.

Did you know eight ounces of green tea contains about 35mg of caffeine? This is about half the amount of caffeine found in regular, black tea. However, this is still more significant than decaf tea, which has between 2 to 10mg of caffeine per cup. Even iced green tea has caffeine, about 15mg in a 16 oz. container. But many popular iced teas also have added sugar and calories.

Type of Caffeine in Green Tea

We are asking ourselves the wrong questions about “Caffeine in Green Tea”. Instead of asking “HOW MUCH caffeine is in green tea compared to coffee or black tea”, we should be asking “what kind of caffeine is in green tea” ? After all, people don’t find drinking coffee everyday effects their weight like they do when having green tea everyday for an extended period of time…this is partially attributed to the type of caffeine in green tea.

The caffeine in green tea is classified as methylxanthines. If you want me to get all science savvy on you, these caffeine methylxanthines can be broken down into two minor isomeric dimethylxanthines” called bromine and “thoephylline”. One study, published in the Journal of Frontiers in Bioscience (1), even found these two isomeric dimethylxanthines (fancy term for the type of caffeine in green tea), a mild stimulant attributed to the type of caffeine in green tea.

Caffeine in Green Tea and Health Benefits

Select studies even describe the use of caffeine in green tea to enhance mental activity, running performance and to treat apnoea and micraine headaches. I even came across a study that showed caffeine in green tea to implement this chemical called theophylline and theobromine in asthma and bradycardia treatments. How neat is that?!

Nature truly does provide us with everything necessary to live a long and healthy life. The benefits of green tea are just endless.

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(1) Anaya, A. L., Cruz-Ortega, R., & Waller, G. R. (2006). Metabolism and ecology of purine alkaloids. Front Biosci11, 2354-2370.

Green Tea Benefits

What makes green tea’s benefits so special compared to other teas? Green tea’s benefits have known to help with skin, allergies weight loss, cholesterol, antibacterial, cancer…you name it!


Green tea benefits are thought to stem from its antioxidants called polyphenols. These polyphenols include flavanols, flavandiols, and phenolic acids which can account up to 30% of the dry weight. However the best green tea benefits are attributed to it’s polyphenols called catechins, which account for up to 10% of the dry weight.

Look for EGCG on Labels

When you buy products with green tea extract in them, most often what you find on the label is the word “EGCG“, which stands for epigallocatechin gallate. EGCG is a catechin antioxidant and has been studied quite extensively in science for its known benefits for weight loss. There are five other main catechin antioxidants that are found in green tea products also known to display biological activity to also look for. These include: (+) catechin (C) ; (-)-epicatechin (EC); (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-gallocatechin gallate (GCG), (-)-epigallocatechin allate (EGCG) and (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG).

One study in a journal called Endocrinology found that amongst green tea antioxidants, EGCG demonstrated the most benefits because it significantly reduced food intake, body weight, blood levels of testosterone, estradiol, glucose (sugar in blood), cholesterol as well as the growth of the prostate.