My Daily Green Tea Ritual

By Minji

  • In Seoul, people love to drink green tea after lunch - I'll tell you about my favorite kind!
  • Green tea can boost metabolism and is also beneficial for your skin
  • Drink green tea daily for its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants and also use the tea bags later as an under eye mask

Similar to how there’s a morning coffee ritual in the U.S., in Seoul, we have an after lunch green tea ritual.  People love to drink green tea after a meal – typically lunch (especially if caffeine is an issue for you and sleep).  I’ve been hooked on this habit ever since I became old enough to drink caffeine.  About 30-45 minutes after lunch, I meticulously prepare myself a cup of hot piping green tea.  Carefully choosing between the various options - jasmine, genmai, matcha and other various many lovely flavors to choose from!  

For me, the initial motivator was related to green tea’s ability to boost metabolism.  Studies have shown people who drink green tea burn up to an extra 70-100 calories per day due to the antioxidants called catechins in the tea.  In Seoul, people use to say the reason Chinese people are generally slim despite all the fried food in their cuisine is because of this green tea tradition.  I’m not sure that the Chinese would agree that this is true, but I believed it when people around me would say it and I started drinking green tea religiously in hopes of getting a daily fat burning boost.    

These days, I have come to appreciate green tea more for the benefits it has on my skin.  Green tea provides not only hydration necessary for glowing skin but also has anti-inflammatory properties. It's jam packed with a richness of antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients, which can have powerful benefits for your overall health and skin.  Green tea's antioxidant properties can even help protect skin from environmental stressors like pollution, UV rays, and cigarette smoke and keep skin glowful and healthy.    

My favorite blend of green tea is called “wedding green tea” and massively popular in Seoul.  It’s a floral-mix green tea with hints of yellow marigolds, pink roses and blue cornflowers.  It smells amazing (ah – I can smell it now as I write this!) and looks pretty on the eyes too.  Apparently, it was named “wedding green tea” because of how the tea leaves mixed in with the floral ingredients makes it look like a wedding bouquet. 

After I drink my green tea, I sometimes save the tea bags in a zip lock bag and store them in the freezer to later use as an under eye mask.  On those days where I wake up puffy or with massive under eye bags, I take a couple of tea bags out and thaw for a while, then put the cold tea bags under my eyes for 5-10 minutes.  It’s really effective in calming your skin and getting rid of swelling. 

Have you tried incorporating green tea into your daily diet and skincare routine? If not, maybe you can start exploring all the different varieties out there and find the perfect blend and use for you.  It will benefit your skin and perhaps even add a hint of coziness and nourishment to your afternoon!