Green Tea health
January 16, 2008 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Can green tea be blended? I empty a pack of green tea leaves into my morning smoothie, so my question is.. do the leeaves have to be immersed in hot water for me to absorb the benefits of it? Or do I get the same benefits as long as the leaves are inside my body and being digested? It's much simpler to simply empty a bag into a smoothie rather than wait for water to boil and steep it. I want to know if I'm sacraficing any antioxident absorbtion.
posted by princeofpersiaxz to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
If you want to just blend the tea, I would recommend powdered Matcha. It doesn't require straining and is used in ice cream and other desserts.
posted by Alison at 12:05 PM on January 16, 2008

I'm pretty sure you'll get all the stuff out of the leaves if you blend them, but I'm not sure it's wise to do so. I know that'd upset my stomach something fierce if I did that.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:07 PM on January 16, 2008

What if you brew a whole bunch of really concentrated tea, kept it in the fridge, and then poured a bit into your smoothie?
posted by bassjump at 12:11 PM on January 16, 2008

I would second matcha.
posted by GuyZero at 12:14 PM on January 16, 2008

Matcha is amazing stuff. So flavorful. I'm not sure if it has the same health benefits as tea leaves, though.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:18 PM on January 16, 2008

Matcha is the same as premium green tea, just with the stems and veins removed. It should have the same health benefits, just avoid the kind with added sugar.
posted by Alison at 12:22 PM on January 16, 2008

Or you can take the extract capsules which are easier and have been shown to be more effective than drinking the tea.
Link to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition paper
posted by wolfkult at 12:38 PM on January 16, 2008

I have read that adding milk to tea decreases it's benefits. I have also read that have cold tea vs. hot decreases the benefits as well. With some quick googling, I found this.
posted by hazyspring at 12:45 PM on January 16, 2008

Going one step further from what bassjump said, what about brewing strong tea, letting it cool, then making that into ice cubes for the smoothie?
posted by radioamy at 2:24 PM on January 16, 2008

Rishi has Sweet Matcha in 3 flavors! Great in smoothies! Great on ice cream (REALLY great on vanilla bean ice cream). Great in hot milk!
posted by spec80 at 3:37 PM on January 16, 2008

Since we're dealing with dead leaves, isn't it important to submerge the tea in boiling water to kill all the bacteria?

I've heard bad things about "sun tea" (i.e. iced-style tea left to brew in the sun) and bacteria. I don't know if your smoothie would replicate those problems.
posted by HeroZero at 3:41 PM on January 16, 2008

I've had my fair share of sun tea without any ill-effects. I'm not sure much harmful stuff can grow in dried tea leaves, it's not exactly a very friendly environment for bacteria growth.

I don't see why tea leaves would be harmful to you if you ground them up and ate them... they might just be added fibre, which of course has well-documented, generally positive effects. I say go for it.
posted by glip at 4:00 PM on January 16, 2008

Nothing wrong with eating tea leaves. The amount of antioxidants you'd ingest would be very high. Maybe lots of L-theanine too. I'm guessing it would be better to stick to organic tea though, and best to stay away from tea from China. I'm not that confident about the kind of chemical pesticides they throw at tea plants in China these days.
posted by Schmucko at 7:36 PM on January 16, 2008

You can eat green tea, no problem.
posted by misozaki at 8:25 PM on January 16, 2008

I'm not that confident about the kind of chemical pesticides they throw at tea plants in China these days.

This is a bit of a cause celebre in Korea these days. Most people in the know avoid Chinese teas like the plague (or Chinese produce of any kind, to be honest). It's not an easy thing to do, unfortunately, and is more expensive.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:47 PM on January 16, 2008

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