According to the U.S. tea market statistics, tea is the second-most consumed beverage in the world. Just in 2018, the global tea production amounted to 5.8 million metric tons. But, amidst all the produced tea, green tea is considered one of the healthiest.
Native to China and India, green tea has been consumed for centuries now. Out of the 78% of the tea consumed globally, only 20% of it is green tea.
Every form of tea is made from Camellia Sinensis leaves. The level of processing is what determines the type of tea.
Green tea is one of the least processed teas that is made from the unoxidized leaves. It is the reason why the level of antioxidants and polyphenols is the highest in green tea.
Breakdown of Green Tea Processing
Knowing that green tea is extracted from Camellia Sinensis leaves is never enough. Knowing the process is what gives you a better outlook at health benefits and understand why it is touted as a health drink.
- The processing starts with hand-picking the tea leaves. Once a favorable amount is collected, the leaves are then heated using the process of steaming or pan firing.
- Quickly then, the leaves are dried to prevent further oxidation that could alter the scent and taste of the leaves.
Depending on the drying (pan firing or steaming), the taste and flavor of the tea vary. The pan-fired ones have a very toasted flavor while the steamed ones have a sweet and vegetal taste to it.
While the popularity of green tea is mainly around China and India, it is drunk worldwide now. According to legends, green tea was discovered by Shennong, the Emperor of China, who thought this to be of medicinal benefits.
Nutritional Breakdown of Green Tea
The main reason why green tea is such a popular tea is because of its health benefits. And, of course, these benefits have to draw from the nutritional components, right?
Well, let us break it down for you.
Compared to black tea and coffee, green tea has very little caffeine content. It has 20-45 mg caffeine per 8 ounces of a brewed cup. But, it is also true that the caffeine amount depends on the steeping time and the amount of green tea used for the infusion.
Caffeine content aside, green tea has zero calories in it.
The best part of nutrition comes from a wide range of antioxidants and polyphenols present in it. Green tea contains up to 45% of polyphenols in it, out of which around 80% of it is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Dividing into Facts and Stats
With the general meaning and origin story of green tea, we now talk about the facts and statistics behind this herbal tea.
Facts about Green Tea
- Green tea was used as a natural form of medicine in China and India back in history.
- Green tea has L-theanine in it, which helps relax and improve one’s mood.
- The majority of the green teas aren’t green in color; some of them are bright green while some steep to leave a pale yellow color.
- Green tea is consumed more by young people than older adults.
- Over 6 metric tons of green tea is exported from China every year.
Stats about Green Tea
- Around 87% of young adults prefer green tea in comparison to older people.
- Over 600,000 tons of green tea is consumed every year.
- Around 50% of the world’s green tea consumption is by Chinese people alone.
- Reports from Global Industry Analysts suggest that the green tea market will amount to $8.1 billion by 2025.