Green Tea May Boost Your Working Memory...

By Dr. Mercola
Aside from pure water, green tea is arguably one of the healthiest beverages around, with research pointing to impressive health benefits for your heart, bones, weight, vision, and even your brain.
Tea comes from the evergreen plant called Camellia sinensis. It's the processing that gives it its color and taste. For green tea, the leaves are unoxidized (not exposed to oxygen), and this minimal processing may help to keep the beneficial antioxidants intact.
If you're interested in improving your health, and specifically your brain health, green tea is definitely worth considering.
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Green Tea Boosts Brain Health

In a new study of 12 healthy volunteers, those who received a beverage containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract showed increased connectivity between the parietal and frontal cortex of the brain compared to those who drank a non-green tea beverage.1
The increased activity was correlated with improved performance on working memory tasks, and the researchers believe the results suggest green tea may be useful for treating cognitive impairments, including dementia. According to the study authors:2
"Our findings provide first evidence for the putative beneficial effect of green tea on cognitive functioning, in particular, on working memory processing at the neural system level by suggesting changes in short-term plasticity of parieto-frontal brain connections.
Modeling effective connectivity among frontal and parietal brain regions during working memory processing might help to assess the efficacy of green tea for the treatment of cognitive impairments in psychiatric disorders such as dementia."
In this case, the researchers also suggested that the effects might have been strengthened if the volunteers had consumed a pure green tea extract, as opposed to a green tea-fortified beverage. And that is one of the great things about tea – if you don't enjoy it as a beverage (or if you only drink it on occasion), you can still get the health benefits by consuming it in supplemental extract form.
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How Else Might Green Tea Benefit Your Health?


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Your brain is only one part of your body that might benefit from green tea, which is recognized as an abundant source of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a catechin polyphenol, and other antioxidants. So what else is green tea good for?
Reduced Mortality and Chronic Inflammation
Drinking green tea is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes, as well as mortality due to heart disease. Research also shows holistic benefits to green tea consumption, including lower blood pressure, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation.
Heart Health
Green tea improves both blood flow and the ability of arteries to relax, with research suggesting a few cups of green tea each day may help prevent heart disease.
Type 2 Diabetes
One study found people who consume six or more cups of green tea daily had a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who consumed less than one cup per week.
Weight Loss
There is some evidence that long-term consumption of green tea catechins is beneficial for burning fat and may work with other chemicals to increase levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis. According to research in Physiology & Behavior:
"Positive effects on body-weight management have been shown using green tea mixtures. Green tea, by containing both tea catechins and caffeine, may act through inhibition of catechol O-methyl-transferase, and inhibition of phosphodiesterase. Here the mechanisms may also operate synergistically.
A green tea-caffeine mixture improves weight maintenance, through thermogenesis, fat oxidation, and sparing fat free mass… Taken together, these functional ingredients have the potential to produce significant effects on metabolic targets such as thermogenesis, and fat oxidation."
Bone Health
Green tea polyphenols combined with a form of vitamin D called alfacalcidol could boost bone structure and strength, according to a new study in mice. The mixture may reverse damage to bones caused by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced chronic inflammation, which could in turn reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Green tea is a relative newcomer in the bone-health arena, but previous studies have also found that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a component of green tea, blocks the activity of two molecules, IL-6 and cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), which play a role in breaking down bone.
Vision Health
Catechins in green tea could help protect you against glaucoma and other eye diseases, as research found that the compounds travel from your digestive system into the tissues of your eyes. During the study, the catechins found in green tea were absorbed into various parts of the eyes anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours after rats were given tea.
Cancer
Green tea components have been shown to downregulate the expression of proteins involved in inflammation, cell signalization, cell motility, and angiogenesis, while an association between green tea intake and decreased risk of cancers (including ovarian and breast8) has been reported.
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REAL Fresh Green tea helps to prevent cancer and extend life....



Could there be anything less offensive than a cup of green tea? This simple refreshment – easy to make, pleasing to the taste, easily available and inexpensive – is consumed daily by millions of people around the world. But, there’s nothing ordinary about this amazing beverage’s constituents, and what this tea can do to improve your health.

Studies have shown that drinking green tea is linked with a longer life; in addition, there is an inverse relationship between drinking green tea and cancer. Researchers have found that people who drink green tea daily seem to have less chance of developing disease than those who don’t. Animal and test tube studies support green tea’s ability to help prevent many types of cancer, including lung, prostate, stomach, colon, bladder, pancreas, esophagus and skin cancer.


What gives green tea its cancer-fighting potential?



Some Green Tea Contains Hardly Any EGCG - Buyer Beware!



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If you're drinking green tea hoping to increase your antioxidant levels, you should know that some green tea brands contain very little antioxidants. An analysis of the strength and purity of more than 20 green tea products by ConsumerLab.com found that EGCG levels in bottled green tea can range from just four milligrams (mg) per cup to 47 mg, while brewable green tea (from tea bags, loose tea or a K-cup) contained levels ranging from 25 mg to 86 mg per serving.10

One variety, bottled Diet Snapple Green Tea, reportedly contained almost no EGCG, while Honest Tea Green Tea with Honey contained only about 60 percent of the 190 mg of catechins claimed on the label.11

Green tea brewed from loose tea leaves appeared to offer the most potent source of antioxidants like EGCG. 


One variety, Teavana, contained 250 mg of catechins per serving; green tea sold in bags from brands like Lipton and Bigelow contained lower levels, although represented a more cost-effective alternative. The different tea brands also varied significantly in the amount of caffeine the products contained. While some contained virtually none, others contained 86 mg per serving, which is similar to the amount of caffeine in a regular cup of coffee.


You Need to Be Careful About Pollutants in Green Tea

Similar to the problem with seafood (where the beneficial nutrients are all but cancelled out due to high levels of pollution), tea may also contain an inordinate amount of toxicants. Green tea plants are known to be especially effective at absorbing lead from the soil, which is then taken up into the plant's leaves. Areas with excessive industrial pollution, such as China (where nearly 90 percent of the world's green tea is produced),12 may therefore contain substantial amounts of lead.13

According to the ConsumerLab.com analysis, tea from brands like Lipton and Bigelow contained up to 2.5 micrograms of lead per serving compared to no measurable amounts in Teavana brand, which gets its tea leaves from Japan. While the lead in the tea leaves is not thought to leach very effectively into the tea you end up drinking, if you're consuming Matcha green tea, one of my favorites, it's especially important that it comes from Japan instead of China. Matcha tea contains the entire ground tea leaf, and can contain over 100 times the EGCG provided from regular brewed green tea. You just need to be sure that the radiation levels of the product are checked.

That said, because you're consuming the entire leaf, you want to be sure it comes from a non-polluted, high-quality source. The best green tea comes from Japan and is steamed, rather than roasted or pan-fried. As a result, the green tea retains all the nutrient-rich value possible from the tea leaf, without additives or contaminants. Both black and green teas are naturally high in fluoride, even if organically grown without pesticides. This is because the plant readily absorbs fluoride thorough its root system, including naturally occurring fluoride in the soil.

According to fluoride expert Jeff Green, there are reports of people who have developed crippling skeletal fluorosis from drinking high amounts of iced tea alone.14 If you live in an area with fluoridated drinking water, as the majority of Americans do, then you could be getting a double dose of fluoride when you drink tea. When selecting tea of any kind, it should preferably be organic (to avoid pesticides) and grown in a pristine environment because, as mentioned, tea is known to accumulate fluoride, heavy metals, and other toxins from soil and water, so a clean growing environment is essential to producing a pure, high-quality tea.



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Green Tea Facts and Benefits...

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In the ancient China, green tea was used for medicinal purposes, to ease the feeling of depression and to treat headaches. Today this tea is popular around the world because of its refreshing and healing properties. Read about numerous claims and facts about green tea.

What is Green Tea?
Green tea is the most popular type of tea from China. It is more than just a tasty, hot beverage. Its healing properties are still being studied today.

Does green tea burn fat?
There are popular claims, that drinking green tea regularly will increase our metabolism and help burn fat naturally and safely. But does green tea really help with fat burning?

Green Tea Benefits
Drinking of green tea represents one of the nature’s most beneficiary ways of protecting your body from various illnesses, ranking from protecting your teeth to fighting diabetes, stroke, heart diseases and cancer. Here you can find out more about healing properties of this incredible drink.

Green Tea Side Effects
One of the oldest and best known teas in the world, Chinese green tea, has in addition to many of its benefits some very important side effects that can seriously impact your health. Here you can find out everything about them.

Green Tea Myths and Facts
Green tea has been present in our history for thousands of years, and during all that time people from all around the world have used its potent abilities for stabilizing our metabolism and health. However, during that time many myths surfaced, and here you can separate them from true facts.

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Green Tea - Even a Few Cups a Day Is Healthy

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Even a Few Cups a Day Is Healthy


There is a misconception that it takes pot upon pot of green tea to add up to any significant benefits. In reality, much of the research on green tea has been based on about three cups daily, which is easily attainable for most people. A cup of green tea will give you anywhere from 20-35 mg of EGCG, so three in a day will supply you with 60-105 mg. 


There are some studies that have used much higher doses than this -- upwards of 1,500 mg a day -- but as of now there's clear-cut evidence of exactly how much is best.


If you're new to tea brewing, you'll discover it's a bit of an art, just like brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Many enjoy using loose tea leaves, which ConsumerLab.com found may offer even more antioxidants (while also avoiding potential toxicants in tea bags). Once you find your "sweet spot" you may never go back to bagged tea again. Here are a few simple guidelines for making the "perfect" cup of tea:

  • Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle (avoid using a non-stick pot, as this can release harmful chemicals when heated). 
  • Preheat your teapot or cup to prevent the water from cooling too quickly when transferred. Simply add a small amount of boiling water to the pot or tea up that you're going to steep the tea in. Ceramic and porcelain retain heat well. Then cover the pot or cup with a lid. Add a tea cozy if you have one, or drape with a towel. Let stand until warm, then pour out the water. 
  • Put the tea into an infuser, strainer, or add loose into the tea pot. Steeping without an infuser or strainer will produce a more flavorful tea. Start with one heaped teaspoon per cup of tea, or follow the instructions on the tea package. The robustness of the flavor can be tweaked by using more or less tea. 
  • Add boiling water. Use the correct amount for the amount of tea you added (i.e. for four teaspoons of tea, add four cups of water). The ideal water temperature varies based on the type of tea being steeped: 
  • White or green teas (full leaf): Well below boiling (170-185°F or 76-85°C). Once the water has been brought to a boil, remove from heat and let the water cool for about 30 seconds for white tea and 60 seconds for green tea before pouring it over the leaves 
  • Oolongs (full leaf): 185-210°F or 85-98°C 
  • Black teas (full leaf) and Pu-erhs: Full rolling boil (212°F or 100°C) 
  • Cover the pot with a cozy or towel and let steep. Follow steeping instructions on the package. If there are none, here are some general steeping guidelines. Taste frequently as you want it to be flavorful but not bitter: 
  • Oolong teas: 4-7 minutes, Black teas: 3-5 minutes, Green teas: 2-3 minutes 
Once the desired flavor has been achieved, you need to remove the strainer or infuser. If you're using loose leaves, pour the tea through a strainer into your cup and any leftover into another vessel (cover with a cozy to retain the heat).


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Toxic Pesticides in Green Tea from China; Always choose Japanese green tea!


Along with being the world’s largest producer of tea, China is also the world’s largest user of pesticides. The excessive use of dangerous pesticides in green tea farming is having a real impact on the safety of tea in the global market.

The main global producer and exporter of tea is China. Whether it is green tea, oolong tea, jasmine tea or any other tea, odds are it comes from China.

Around 35% of the world’s tea is farmed and processed in China. They currently produce over 80% of the world’s green tea and are the top exporter. They dominate with 78% of the export market.

And every year there are more plantations and more output.
What are the pesticides in green tea from China?

In a study done by Greenpeace in early 2012, researchers took 18 samples of medium-grade tea from 9 different tea manufacturers in China. They sent these samples to a third party lab to test for pesticides. What they found is shocking!
All 18 samples had no less than 3 different types of pesticides.
12 of the 18 samples had traces of banned pesticides.
14 contained pesticides that the European Union believes may impair fertility, cause harm to unborn children or cause heritable genetic damage.
Dangerous chemicals

All the samples gathered for this study had a cocktail of pesticides detected. In total, there were 29 different pesticides found in all of the 18 samples of tea. A third of the samples had traces of at least 10 different kinds of pesticides.

Of the 18 samples, 12 had residue of pesticides banned by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture for use on tea plants. The banned pesticides found were methomyl, endosulfan and fenvalerate.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified methomyl as highly hazardous. This poison is rated as having an acute toxicity, which means that the adverse effects may occur within days of ingesting the substance.

Endosulfan is banned globally! This dangerous chemical is difficult to breakdown naturally, meaning it stays around for a long time.

Why is this important?

You probably wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them in hopes that it will remove any harmful residue. Odds are you don’t wash each individual tea leaf before brewing a cup. So when you steep your green tea, that toxic residue washes right off into your drink.
So what’s the solution?
No matter the reason, it seems like a good idea. I’m not sure how much poison it washes off the leaves, but I’d rather dump that bit than drink it.
Avoid Chinese tea


Another solution would be to do what I did. Stop drinking Chinese green tea altogether and move over to only drinking Japanese green tea.

Contrary to common belief, these two countries are not the same! China is overcrowded, polluted, unorganized, and corrupt. It is fraught with dubious business men and women that are willing to pay bribes in order to pass product inspections.

Japan, on the other hand, is a first world country with very strict regulations on farming. Their regulations on pesticides are more strict than those of the European Union. So you can be sure there are fewer pesticides in Japanese green tea.

Also, farms in Japan are kept small and are owned by individual farmers. Since these farming families have a limited amount of land, they take extra care of what they put on their soil and crops. It wouldn't be beneficial for them to use extremely toxic pesticides that could potentially ruin their land.

My advice is to know the origin of your tea. 


Choose Japanese green tea if you can. When in doubt, rinse the tea with hot water before brewing your first cup.

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Sources:

www.green-tea-guide.com/

Sources added after the comment below from Robbie Green. Thank you for your suggestion.

Currell, D., & Davis Bradley, T. (2012). Greased palms, giant headaches. Harvard Business Review, 90(9), 21-23.

Greenpeace (2012, April 11). Pesticides: Hidden ingredients in Chinese tea. Retrieved from http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/publications/reports/food-agriculture/2012/pesticides-chinese-tea-report/

Wedeman, A. (2013). The dark side of business with Chinese characteristics. Social Research, 80(4), 1213-1236.

Green Tea Extract Benefits for Cancer: Can Antioxidants Help Combat Cancer?



Green tea is being studied by the medical community to determine its impact on fighting cancer, with initial studies finding that extracts from the tea may slow cancer growth.

The American Institute for Cancer Research said studies have shown that antioxidants in green tea, including polyphenols and flavonoids, and specifically a type of flavonoid called catechins, may be cancer-fighting agents.

Laboratory studies found that green tea, which has three time the catechins as black tea, slowed or prevented cancer development in several types of cancer, including liver, breast and colon cancer, AICR said. Those studies have not been replicated outside the laboratory, but additional research is being done.

Another possible cancer-fighting component of green tea is epigallocatechin gallate, abbreviated EGCG. A 2014 study found that EGCG changed the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells.

“The study is significant because there is a widely held belief among scientists that to treat cancer you have to use molecular mechanisms. Now there is a new possibility — change the metabolic system,” Medical News Today said.

"By explaining how green tea's active component could prevent cancer, this study will open the door to a whole new area of cancer research and help us understand how other foods can prevent cancer or slow the growth of cancerous cells," the study’s researcher Dr. Wai-Nang Lee told Medical News.

Other studies cited by Medical News found that EGCG, taken through an IV that introduced the component directly to tumors, caused “two-thirds of them to shrink or disappear within one month.”

The National Cancer Institute pointed out that while studies of the effects of antioxidants extracted from green tea are promising, many have only shown efficacy in the laboratory and are inconclusive when applied to people.


“More than 50 epidemiologic studies of the association between tea consumption and cancer risk have been published since 2006. The results of these studies have often been inconsistent, but some have linked tea consumption to reduced risks of cancers of the colon, breast, ovary, prostate, and lung (6, 25–57),” the Cancer Institute said. “The inconsistent results may be due to variables such as differences in tea preparation and consumption, the types of tea studied (green, black, or both), the methods of tea production, the bioavailability of tea compounds, genetic variation in how people respond to tea consumption, the concomitant use of tobacco and alcohol, and other lifestyle factors that may influence a person’s risk of developing cancer, such as physical activity or weight status.”

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.


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Health Benefits of Green Tea - No 2



With diabetes reaching what some consider to be epidemic proportions in the western world, this potential benefit of drinking green tea is definitely and attention-grabber.

 It is believed that green tea helps to regulate glucose levels in the blood, which means it may help to prevent diabetes.


"Green tea is good for people with diabetes because it helps the metabolic system function better."


Suzanne Steinbaum, DO

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A 2013 research review published in the Diabetes and Metabolism Journal outlined the potential benefits of tea when it comes to diabetes as well as obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. It highlighted a Japanese study that found that people who drank 6 or more cups of green tea a day were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than were people who drank less than a cup of green tea a week. 

It also reported on Taiwanese research that found that people who drank green tea regularly for more than a decade had smaller waists and a lower body fat composition than those who weren't regular consumers of green tea.

Drinking Green Tea for diabetes is such a good idea because tea contains substances called polyphenols, antioxidants found in every plant. “Polyphenols help reduce oxidative stress and cause vasodilation (widening of the arteries), which decreases blood pressure, prevents clotting, and reduces cholesterol,” Dr. Steinbaum says. All of these activities reduce the risk for heart disease, which is elevated in people with diabetes. Polyphenols in green tea can also help regulate glucose in the body, helping to prevent or control diabetes.


Drinking Tea for Diabetes: Green Tea or Black Tea?

When it comes to drinking tea for diabetes, Steinbaum says benefits are tied to all teas, but that green tea is the clear winner.


 "For one, when you drink green tea for diabetes, you will get a higher level of polyphenols than you would get in black,” she explains. 

It’s the polyphenols in fruits and vegetables that give them their bright colors. So, having more color means that green tea is richer in polyphenols. “Of the black teas, the more orange the color, the higher the polyphenols,” she adds.

Besides its color, green tea also contains higher polyphenol levels because it's prepared from unfermented leaves, "so it is really pure,” Steinbaum says. Black tea, on the other hand, is made from leaves that are fully fermented, which robs it of some nutrients. “Plus, black tea has two to three times more caffeine than green, which isn’t good in excess,” she says. 

Source: everydayhealth.com

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Health Benefits of Green Tea...No. 1

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1. Weight Loss

Yeah, this one is a biggie. Anything that claims to help people lose weight is going to get loads of attention, and green tea is certainly not an exception. 


It is believed that green tea helps to rev up your body’s metabolism, which results in increased weight loss. 

Ask anyone who has had to deal with hyperthyroidism. 

Increased metabolism almost always equals weight loss.

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Source: http://thinkingabouthealth.com/

With diabetes reaching what some consider to be epidemic proportions in the western world, this potential benefit of drinking green tea is definitely and attention-grabber.

 It is believed that green tea helps to regulate glucose levels in the blood, which means it may help to prevent diabetes.


"Green tea is good for people with diabetes because it helps the metabolic system function better."

Suzanne Steinbaum, DO


2013 research review published in the Diabetes and Metabolism Journal outlined the potential benefits of tea when it comes to diabetes as well as obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. It highlighted a Japanese study that found that people who drank 6 or more cups of green tea a day were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than were people who drank less than a cup of green tea a week. 

It also reported on Taiwanese research that found that people who drank green tea regularly for more than a decade had smaller waists and a lower body fat composition than those who weren't regular consumers of green tea.

Drinking Green Tea for diabetes is such a good idea because tea contains substances called polyphenols, antioxidants found in every plant. “Polyphenols help reduce oxidative stress and cause vasodilation (widening of the arteries), which decreases blood pressure, prevents clotting, and reduces cholesterol,” Dr. Steinbaum says. All of these activities reduce the risk for heart disease, which is elevated in people with diabetes. Polyphenols in green tea can also help regulate glucose in the body, helping to prevent or control diabetes.

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Boost your cognitive powers with Green Tea

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A 2014 study performed at the University of Basel in Switzerland associated green tea extract with a boost in overall cognitive function, including working memory. The researchers hypothesize that green tea could be used to prevent and potentially improve cognitive conditions such as dementia.
The study authors wrote: “Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain.”

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Japanese Premium HIGH QUALITY "Low Caffeine PURE "HOJI-CHA" LEAF TEA

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 Crafted from roasted green tea, "hojicha" offers a visually stimulating medley of stem and leaf. 
Young grassy notes  mingle with a taste that is effusive and toasty. 


It is an ideal tea for relaxing and appealing for its low caffeine content - see Picture.

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Fukamushicha Green Tea - Why is it the best?

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Fukamushicha (深蒸し茶, deep-steamed tea) is a green tea that is initially steamed for a longer time than what it’s considered to be usual. It’s commonly produced in the prefecture of Shizuoka.
Normally, the steaming process for green tea runs for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, and the resulting tea is called futsuumushicha (普通蒸し茶, normal steamed tea).  In contrast, fukamushicha is steamed for longer than 1 or 2 minutes.
Another term, although not as common, is asamushicha (浅蒸し茶, light-steamed tea). This tea is steamed for less than 30 seconds.

What tea leaves are used in the fukamushi process?

Leaves from senchagyokurokabusecha and even bancha can be deep-steamed. When this happens, the name gains the fukamushi prefix, for example fukamushi genmaicha (深蒸し玄米茶).
However, most of the time it’s fukamushi sencha (深蒸し煎茶), and sometimes people say fukamushicha to refer to deep-steamed sencha.
By the way, tea leaves that undergo the kamairi process can’t be steamed, because they are already pan fried.

What are the advantages of deep-steaming?

The steaming process makes a big difference in the flavor of green tea. The main advantages of using the fukamushi process is that the astringency is suppressed, while gaining more body and sweetness.
The longer steaming time makes the leaves very soft, and during the rolling process the tips often break. This small particles make the fukamushicha look like if it was a lower-quality tea, but it really isn’t. When brewed it also has a darker color, with sediments on the bottom. One would think that it’s a very bitter tea, such as funmatsucha.
The appearance of fukamushicha is a disadvantage, although as a bonus, the small particles means that the health benefits increase. How come? Just as  with matcha and funmatsucha, when drinking the small solid particles you’ll get more of the nutrients found in green tea (such as catechins), plus the ones that aren’t water-soluble like fiber, some vitamins, and chlorophyll.
Fukamushicha Green Tea is also a little harder to brew. If your infuser has openings that are too wide, the particles won’t be filtered. The infuser should also have a large surface area, because fukamushicha can quickly clog a surface that’s too small. For this reason, it is recommended to use a kyusu (Japanese teapot) especially designed for brewing fukamushicha.

History of fukamushicha

The fukamushi process became popular in the 1960s, which is quite recent. The starting point, however, is credited to Tozuka Toyozou (戸塚豊蔵) in the Meiji period.
Tozuka developed a rolling process by hand, which he refined and later proposed in a tea industry’s convention. Until then, most of the green tea in Japan was made from steamed leaves that were dried in the sun. The rolling process greatly enhanced the taste and appearance of the tea.
As a result of those new standards, the variations in steaming time were studied as well. This led to the modern fukamushi process.