- What is it? Green tea is made by lightly steaming freshly cut leaves of Camellia sinensis. It is higher in catechins (polyphenols) such as EGCG than black tea. It is sold in many forms such as tea bags, loose teas, matcha powders, bottled teas, and as supplements containing extracts with high concentrations of catechins. Green tea also contains caffeine — about half as much per cup as in coffee. (See What It Is).
- What does it do? Health benefits are generally associated with catechins in green tea, most notably EGCG. Benefits include a modest reduction in LDL cholesterol, reduced growth of uterine fibroids and associations with lower risks of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. These benefits are generally associated with consumption of 3 or more cups per day. Studies with green tea supplements typically provide 200 mg to 300 mg per day. The evidence regarding weight loss and memory benefits is mixed and may relate to the caffeine in green tea. (See What It Does).
- Best products? Our tests (see What CL Found) found that amounts of EGCG in products vary widely: Supplements provided 46 mg to 500 mg per daily serving. Brewable teas (e.g., bags) provided 27 mg to 79 mg per cup. Matcha powders provided 73 mg to 119 mg per teaspoon (2 grams). Bottled green tea provided 20 mg to 59 mg per cup. (Click on each to see our Top Picks).
- Problems with products? Four products failed our tests. One contained only 55% of its listed EGCG and three others contained significantly less caffeine than claimed on their labels. Although green tea leaves can accumulate toxic lead, none of the products were found to provide significant amounts of lead.
- Cautions: Green tea can interfere with a range of drugs. Liver toxicity is a concern with high doses of EGCG from green tea supplements. Avoid excessive green tea when pregnant. Excessive tea consumption can make bones and teeth brittle. Don't drink very hot tea due to an association with gastric cancer. (See Concerns and Cautions).
Green Tea Review: Supplements, Brewable, Matcha, and Bottled
Find the Best Green Tea and Matcha, Including Supplements and Drinks. CL Tests Find Amounts of EGCG in Green Tea Products Vary Widely
Green tea supplements, brewable teas, matcha, and bottled drinks compared in this review
Celestial Seasonings Green Tea (K-Cup)
Solgar Green Tea Leaf Extract
NOW EGCg Green Tea Extract
Life Extension Mega Green Tea Extract
Honest Tea Green Tea with Honey
Harney & Sons Organic Green
Swanson Superior Herbs Green Tea Extract
Lipton Green Tea
Bigelow Green Tea - Decaffeinated
Davidson's Organics Gunpowder Green
GNC Herbal Plus Green Tea Complex
Green Foods Organic Matcha Green Tea
Ito En Oi Ocha Unsweetened Green Tea
Jade Leaf Organic Japanese Matcha
Kirkland (Costco) Green Tea A Blend of Sencha/Matcha
Kiss Me Organics Organic Matcha
Kroger Green Tea
Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green
Organic Kenko Tea Matcha
Organic Matcha DNA
Pure Leaf Unsweetened Green Tea
Salada Green Tea Naturally Decaffeinated
Spring Valley [Walmart] Green Tea
Superfoods by MRM Raw Matcha Green Tea Powder
Trader Joe's Specialty Teas Decaffeinated Green Tea
Twinings 100% Organic Pure Green
Vitacost Green Tea Extract
Whole Foods Market Green Tea
Zhou Green Tea Extract
- ConsumerLab's Top Picks for green tea supplements, brewable teas, matcha powders and bottled green teas based on quality, value, and even taste
- Which products passed or failed our tests and why
- How much EGCG, total catechins, and caffeine is in each product
- Why contamination with lead, cadmium and arsenic is a concern, and what our tests showed
- Price comparisons showing how to get a green tea product with EGCG at the lowest cost
- Clinical information about the efficacy of green tea and dosage
- Cautions and potential side effects for green tea -- including drug interactions, concerns with plastic tea bags, a warning for women who are pregnant or nursing, liver toxicity, and effects on bones and teeth
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