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Which Tea has the most catechins?
You may now have read about the benefits of tea catechins and want to know which tea has the most of them so you can use it as a daily supplement. Let's make a few things clear first:
How to choose teas for better health benefits: a Balance
However, not all green and white teas are created equal. Younger leaves hold the most catechins, (click <here> read more about this), as well as the most amino acids. That is why the most tender of first flushes is often sold as the most premium of a variety, because the plant has stored a whole winter's worth of nutrients to fuel the first round of growth. In the natural world, successfully growing healthier, larger, most spread out leaves immediately after winter means survival for the plant. The first tiny buds therefore have most stored in them for the job.
Therefore, choose younger leaves that are first flushes.
We'll list some samples of green and white tea with relatively higher catechins content. Before that, we'd like to remind the shopper to watch out for the quality of their prospective purchase: the decency and intact of the leaves, which reflects the quality of storage; and the protectiveness of the packaging. As mentioned earlier in this article, catechins, as most other quality substances in tea, can easily deteriorate caused by factors in their immediate environment. You don't want to waste time and money on things not as good as they originally should be.
The reader has to be reminded that catechins are generally bitter in taste, adequate portion of them adds depth to the taste, too much of them will be a little off. In another word, the most delicious green teas are less likely listed high in the list.
tea list in descending order of catechins level
Some examples of finer green and white tea with higher content of catechins(2) (in descending content amount):
On a budget? Go for generic whole leaf green/white tea from any region, as long as the taste is right (not grassy, thin or tannic, better yet, flowery, nutty, or fuller bodied), a spring harvest and quite fresh, they are as good as most in the list if catechin amount is your primary concern.
One last point:
Don't ever be fooled by labels on tea drinks, instant mixes, and teabags. They may have similar or even the same names as original whole leaf teas, but the absolute majority of these products are incapable of carrying the salutary contents. <Read more>
1. There are many papers which conclude on that, here is an example, and interesting one on fat cell control: J Söhle at al, White Tea extract induces lipolytic activity and inhibits adipogenesis in human subcutaneous (pre)-adipocytes, Nutrition & Metabolism May 2009, 6:20
2. Green and white teas maintain the most of the catechins in the fresh leaves. However, slight variations in processes, packaging for quality maintenance and employment of variations of cultivars would result in products of very similar taste and appearances but of different quantity and proportion of catechin contents. We have compile this short list basing on the amount of catechins found in the fresh young leaves of the cultivars usually employed for the kind of tea varieties. Lower quality products of the same names or products produced using different cultivars or different practices will be different.
3. This is one of the lowest catechins content green tea there is. Produced from a special cultivar of the same name, the total average catechins content is 10.7% of dried weight. Contrast that with Zhenghe Baimudan, 28.2%, or Longjing 18.6%. However, Anji Baicha is one of the most sought after green tea and a most expensive one, with very limited annual production. In terms of taste, it provides a unique sweet, ummami, and smooth infusion with an orchidy aroma. Never bitter or grassy, a quality very rare in green tea. Some people like it for that. How real tea helps fight cancers and other diseases is so complex that the scientists are yet to understand anyway, why not drink tea to enjoy rather? We'll review this exquisite tea in a later article. Click <here> to subscribe for all future updates.