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Every day, I get questions about green tea. Some of these customers are seasoned green tea drinkers looking for something specific, but more often, it's people who are new to green tea and want to try it because they have heard about its health benefits. If you're new to the world of green tea, you've come to the right place! In this article, we'll give you a brief overview of what green tea is and explain the differences between the different types.
Stay tuned for our next article, where we'll delve into the health benefits of green tea and why it's a great choice for your daily cup!
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea, like all true teas (black, white, oolong, puehr, etc.), comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference between these types of tea is the level of oxidation they undergo. Green tea is the least oxidized, while black tea is fully oxidized.
Now, let's get a little science-y. Oxidation is a process where a substance loses electrons and starts to break down. This is what causes an apple to turn brown or metal to rust. Tea makers use oxidation to chemically alter the tea leaves, which changes their taste, color, and aroma. Green tea, on the other hand, is not oxidized, which is why it retains its green color and certain beneficial chemicals that other teas may not have.
What Is The Difference Between Chinese and Japanese Green Tea?
While both Chinese and Japanese green teas share similarities, there are also some key differences in terms of their processing methods, flavors, and cultural significance.
Firstly, Chinese green teas, such as Dragonwell, Gunpowder, and Jasmine Pearls, are typically pan-fired to stop oxidation and preserve the natural green color of the leaves. The leaves are then shaped by hand, resulting in long, flat, and narrow shapes. Chinese green teas tend to have a nutty or vegetal flavor with a slightly sweet aftertaste.
In contrast, Japanese green teas, such as Sencha and Matcha, are steamed to stop oxidation and enhance their umami flavor. The leaves are then rolled and shaped, resulting in needle-like shapes. Japanese green teas have a grassy and vegetal flavor with a slight bitterness and astringency.
The Cultural Differences Between Chinese And Japanese Green Teas
Another difference between Chinese and Japanese green teas is their cultural significance. In China, green tea has a long history and is a part of daily life. It is often served to guests as a sign of hospitality and is consumed throughout the day. In Japan, green tea is deeply ingrained in their culture and is associated with the tea ceremony, a traditional ritual that emphasizes harmony, respect, and tranquility.
What Is The Best Way To Brew Green Tea?
Make sure, no matter what, that you don't overbrew green tea, or the bitter flavors will completely overwhelm the delicate nutty, sweet flavors that are so distinctive to green teas.
We recommend using 1 tsp of loose-leaf tea for every 1 cup of hot water and setting a timer for 2-3 minutes. If you want to learn more about brewing times for tea, check out Why Does My Tea Taste Bitter?
Which Green Teas Do We Carry?
We carry Chinese green teas, Dragonwell, Gunpowder, and Jasmine Pearls and Japanese green teas Sencha and Matcha.
Our most popular green tea blend is Ginseng Green Dragon, a carefully crafted blend of green tea and 2 adaptogenic stress-reducing herbs. This energizing blend contains all the benefits of green tea, plus the benefits red ginseng and jiaogulan. Learn more about the blend's health benefits here.
Another crowd favorite is Lady Ginger, an organic blend of green tea lightly scented with goodness and bergamot, to which we add the exact perfect amount of ginger and hand crushed cardamom pods.
I hope this helps you understand green teas a little better. Try a few varieties, and taste them side by side in order to really appreciate the nuances in flavor.
Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed, make sure to check out 6 Reasons You Should Drink Green Tea to learn about the health benefits of this awesome tea.