With more and more reports linking green tea to weight loss, extolling its skin care, anti-infection, immune-boosting, and cholesterol-lowering benefits, and citing its potention to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and tooth decay, the green tea product boom is in full-force. An Asian staple, recent green tea inventions of the East include a Kit-Kat (pictured above right) and the Japanese crisp rice-and-white chocolate bar called Krunky (available for $2.25 from J-List). Now, mainstream examples, like Starbucks' Green Tea Frappuccino (long available in Asia, it debuted in the U.S. last year), are becoming widely available in the West. Check out some of the more unique green tea products, including pillows, gummy candy, and perfume, that recently won our favor after the jump.
Green Tea Pillow
Made in Thailand and soon to be available in the U.S., these pillows are stuffed entirely with green tea leaves and emit a heady, stress-soothing aroma. Allergy-sufferers will appreciate the anti-bacterial qualities of carefully-selected tea leaves and the sunlight easily revives the refreshing smell.
From the makers of CH favorite Ito En's 6.4 oz Sencha Shot packs in five times the catechins, which is just about the amount that studies have shown to reduce prostate cancer and increase metabolism, among other benefits. A case of 30 is $45 from Ito En and many retailers like Whole Foods carry them as well.
Green Tea Gummy Pandas
From St. Louis based Bissinger's health-oriented Spa line of confections, these chewy treats feature real green tea and a spicy peach flavor. Three bags cost $11.75 from Bissinger's.
L'Occitane Green Tea with Mint Candle and Eau d'Toilette
In southern Mediterranean countries the tradition of sharing green tea with hosts is a symbol of hospitality. L'Occitane adds a Moroccan feel by dosing green tea with mint. The result is an invigorating scent that's fresh, uplifting, and balanced by ingredients like bitter orange, jasmine, cedar, and thyme. Using mint and green tea essential oils, the candle (currently on sale for $11.20 from L'Occitane comes in a tin well-suited for travel and the Eau d'Toilette ($40 from L'Occitane) is equally fitting for men and women.
Sencha Green Tea Mints
Just three of the leaf-shaped organic green tea Sencha mints have as many antioxidants as one cup of green tea. They also naturally inhibit bad-breath causing bacteria, preventing halitosis at the root. Available in original, lemongrass, and pear flavors, they might not be the most tantalizing option, but they're a convenient way to get your daily dose.
Recchiuti Pearl Mint and Spring Jasmine Tea Chocolates
Green tea chocolates pack a double dose of anti-oxidants and are, of course, delicious. San Francisco-based chocolatier Michael Recchiuti is well-known for his first-rate ingredients and unusual flavor combinations. The Pearl Mint features spearmint and peppermint while Spring Jasmine includes delicate jasmine flavors. Both come in Recchiuti's eight-piece green box, available here.