Most of us love the energy spike that coffee provides. Unfortunately, overuse of caffeine can result in excess cortisol which over time causes significant health consequences. Cortisol controls blood sugar levels and thus regulates metabolism, acts as an anti-inflammatory, influences memory, and controls salt and water balance. Excess cortisol can lead to depression, anxiety, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension and weight gain.
Green tea offers a safer and more therapeutic alternative to coffee. Green tea has about 1/3 the amount of caffeine compared to coffee. Moreover, green tea is rich in antioxidants and contains the lovely amino acid, L-theanine. L-theanine naturally lowers cortisol, improves mood, and reduces stress and anxiety. I love that green tea both provides an energy boost while simultaneously relaxing the nervous system. It's the perfect balance.
Recently, Sugimoto Tea's Japanese Kuki Cha became my personal favorite. It got on my radar because the company went to the effort to test its various tea strains for L-theanine content. They found the Kuki Cha to be the highest in L-theanine. The flavor is delicate and smooth and it's by far my favorite green tea I've tried.
You can prepare a cold tea by steeping it for 10-15 minutes. For hot tea, it's important not to use boiling water, as it'll burn the tea and cause a bitter flavor. Use a meat thermometer to get to about 175 degrees. Steep just 1-2 minutes. Because it is loose leaf, you'll need a strainer. You can re-use the tea for a second cup if desired.
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