Gyokuro tea’s valuable health effects come from the abundant antioxidants occurring in the green tea (camellia sinensis) plant.
Gyokuro tea is a high-grade type of green tea that comes from Japan. It is typically grown under a shade cover, in contrast to most green tea types which are grown fully exposed to the sun. It is also only produced once a year. As the young tea leaves develop, these are protected from the rays of the sun for about three weeks. The gyokuro tea leaves have high chlorophyll content and so it has a deeper shade of green. It also has higher theanine amino acid content and a lower tannin content which contributes to its milder and mellow taste.
The name “gyokuro” roughly translates into “jade dew” which may refer to its rich green color and its pleasant taste. This mild and pleasant flavor is the reason why gyokuro tea is more prized, and hence more expensive than the regular green teas.
Gyokuro tea is usually taken as an after-dinner tea in Japan due to its fine flavor and fresh, floral aroma.
Gyokuro tea is brewed in relatively cooler temperatures than other types of green tea. It is usually brewed in the range of 50°C to 60°C (122°F to 140°F) rather than the typical 65°C to 75°C (149°F to 167°F) for sencha green tea. Gyokuro tea connoisseurs may even suggest pre-heating the pot and cup to maintain the warmth of the tea. Gyokuro tea is recommended to be drunk very slowly in order for the drinker to relish its unique flavor.
Like most green tea types, most of gyokuro tea benefits come from the EGCG antioxidant that imbues the leaves with tremendous health properties.
Here are some possible health benefits derived from Gyokuro tea:
- Believed to enhance the immune system and may help protect the body from viruses and bacteria.
- Claimed to possess anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
- Thought to help reduce blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels which may help protect against cardiovascular diseases.
- Can aid against diseases associated with inflammation.
- May help burn fat and may help in weight loss efforts.
- Could protect brain functions and may help defend against
- Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
- May help blood sugar level reduction and thus assist with diabetes.
- Said to combat acne and many other skin problems.
- May support the battle against tooth decay.