Cook's Hideout: Chinese Green Tea

July 17, 2006

Chinese Green Tea

During my visit to China, there were two things I absolutely wanted to buy: Chinese green tea and something made with Jade.
I am not a big tea drinker, may be once in a while. Before leaving as I was googling for things that I can buy from China, I found out that China is the birthplace of tea and produces the world's finest green teas. The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression.
Green Tea contains a particular type of polyphenol - EGCG which is a very powerful anti-oxidant: it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue and is also effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots.
Green tea has the greatest benefits compared to other Chinese teas like Black or Oolong. All of them come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), but green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. By contrast, black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves, which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.
For more information read here and here.

With this information in hand, I couldn't come back without Green tea. I bought a bag of Chinese green tea from a local store in Shanghai. The lady in the store even put a pamphlet with the instructions to make the tea, of course written in Chinese (Not sure what made her think I can read that ;-) ).

Back in the States, I made my first ever green tea, not the regular Chinese style, but "Kashmiri Kahwa" style. This is Tarla Dalal's recipe with Kashmiri green tea, I replaced it with the Chinese version. This Chai helps to relieve headache and maintain fluid levels in the body.

Kashmiri Green tea - 4 tsp
Cinnamon - 1" stick
Cardamom - 2 pods crushed
Cloves - 2
Ginger - 1" piece
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Water - 3 cups
Saffron - pinch (mixed in water)
Almonds - 8 blanched and chopped

  • Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamom to water and bring to a boil.
  • Pour water over the tea and leave to infuse over a very low flame for about 10minutes. Add sugar and mix well.
  • Strain the tea and add saffron water along with chopped almonds.
  • Serve hot.

I have never had Kashmiri Kahwa before, so I can't say if Chinese green tea matches up to its taste. But it was definitely refreshing and you can taste all the different flavors going on in the tea.


  1. Vijay loves Kashmiri green chai with almonds etc. For me... it is little bit acquired taste, isn't it?:)

    Hope you had wonderful time in China.

    So, did you buy jade?:)

  2. I just love the spice you used in tea!
    I'm not a big fan of green tea (sort of lack of "body"... that's why I love you adding spice!), but it is way too popular in the States, interesting!

  3. Hi Indira,
    I agree with you that Green tea with almonds etc., is definitely acquired taste.
    I had a good time in China. Thank you for asking.
    I bought two jade bracelets. Will post a picture soon.
    Thank you.

    Hi Gattina,
    Thank you for your comments.



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