Most teas — including green, white, black, and oolong — are all harvested from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. It is the differences in their processing that result in various kinds of teas. Green tea is unwilted and unoxidized.
Green tea is steamed, rolled and dried immediately after harvest. The leaves of the plant are dried but not fermented, giving it that grassy, fresh flavor it’s known for. This process halts the oxidation process, allowing the leaves to retain their green color.
Green tea originates from China, where it was historically used in Eastern medicine to help control bleeding, heal wounds, and promote digestion.
There are more than one variety of green tea. Below are some of the more popular varieties of green tea. Remember when brewing to steep green tea varieties for under three minutes.
- Dragonwell: a famous variety of green tea from China’s Hangzhou region that’s pan-fried. This process prevents fermentation from naturally occurring.
- Genmaicha: a blend of green tea leaves and toasted brown rice.
- Gunpowder: This Chinese tea gets its name because the leaves are rolled into shiny pellets, resembling gunpowder. This method prevents the leaves from being damaged, allowing them to retain their flavor. Gunpowder green tea has a smoky, almost peppery flavor to it.
- Jasmine green tea: this is a combination of green tea and jasmine flowers. It’s a common flavor combination. The resulting tea is flowery, almost like a perfume.
- Matcha: the leaves are finely milled, resulting in a bright green powder. This tea is used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, as well as to flavor and dye foods like mochi.
- Sencha: whole tea leaves are steamed, then roasted in sencha, resulting in a very delicate, crisp, clean flavor. This Japanese variety is typically enjoyed as both a hot and cold beverage.
Go enjoy a cup of healthy and flavorful green tea today.