Green Tea

History of Green Tea

Although no one knows for sure when green tea originated, some say that it dates as early as 4500 years ago. That being said, one of the earliest records of tea appear in 600-900 AD in "Tea Classic" written by Lu Yu in China. Green tea trees was brought from China to Japan by  Buddhist monks Saicho and Kukai who were studying abroad in 800 AD.

It may seem like green tea has only recently become a new health trend, but East Asian countries have been drinking green tea for it's health benefits far longer than the west has been drinking black tea.

Silk Dragon Jasmine Green Tea

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea appears to have a higher amount of polyphenols than other tea families. This is because of the dehydration method used in processing green tea. Green tea's antioxidant properties could prevent certain forms of cancer. Green tea contains more iron, vitamins, and catechins than black tea. It is also said that green tea can enhance intellectual performance.

Types of Green Tea

Japanese Green Teas 

Japan flag

Name

Description

Sencha leaves

Sencha

Most popular green tea in Japan. The leaves are steamed and rolled, which is the most common processing method.

fukamushi sencha leaves

Fukamushi Sencha

Processed by being steamed approximately twice as long as regular sencha. This makes the taste stronger. It also allows the active components of tea to be absorbed into the body even if it has not been dissolved in water.

gyokuro leaves

Gyokuro

Tea plants are covered 20 days prior to harvest. Reducing the amount of sunlight makes the flavor richer and less “grassy”.

kabusecha leaves

Kabusecha

Teas plants are covered about 1 week before harvest. Also has a more full body flavor in comparison to sencha.

matcha powder

Matcha

Matcha is Tencha that is stone-ground before shipping. The tea leaves are fully consumed. A type of matcha is used for the Japanese traditional tea ceremony. It is also used in confectionaries and other dishes.

tencha leaves

Tencha

Used as the main ingredient for matcha. It is grown covered for a longer period of time than Gyokuro. After the leaves are steamed, they are dried without rolling. The veins and stems are removed and the leaf flecks become Tencha.

genmaicha leaves

Genmaicha

Steamed brown rice that is roasted and popped is added to Sencha or any other type of green tea at a 50:50 ratio. Because brown rice is added and the amount of tea is reduced, the amount of caffeine is decreased as a result.

hojicha leaves

Hojicha          

Made by roasting Sencha or any other tea. The roasting process reduces caffeine from the tea and also makes it taste less bitter. It is typically roasted at a temperature of 200 °C.

shincha leaves

Shincha

Means “new tea” or first picking of the season. Key characteristic is the refreshing and invigorating scent of new leaves. Shincha has a higher content of amino acids, which give it a full body flavor and sweetness

Chinese Green Teas

China flag Name Description

 gunpowder tea

Gunpowder Most popular green tea in China. Gunpowder green tea is rolled and shaped like little pellets and open up when being brewed. Look for shiny and smaller pellets when buying this tea. The taste is described as thick and strong with a smoky flavor. It has a slight grassy (astringent) flavor to it as well.

Dragon Well Tea

Long Jing
(Dragon well)
Known as Dragon Well in North America. When processed the leaves tend to be flat and jade in color. It is one of the highest quality teas on the market and is highly sought after. The taste is an excellent balance between sweet and strong.

bilouchun tea

Biluochun
(Green Snail Spring)
Green Snail Springs are somewhat rare tea. Grown among plum, apricot, and peach trees. Because they are grown among fruit trees, the tea picks up the fragrances of the blossoms from these trees. They have a more fruity taste and floral aroma.

snowy mountain jian tea

Snowy Mountain
Jian
Snowy Mountain Jian is grown at a high altitude in the Yunnan Province. The leaves are longer than regular green teas. The taste is more full bodied more closely resembling  a black tea than a green tea due to more unique processing method.
 hyson lucky dragon tea Hyson
Lucky
Dragon
Lucky Dragon is a premium hyson tea. Hyson tea in general is considered a lower or mediocre tea, but Lucky Dragon is not. The leaves are greenish yellow and has a more full bodied and pungent taste than other green teas.
 kai hua long ding tea Kai Hua
Long Ding
Kai Hua Long Ding tea leaves are characterized as being stocky (short and thick). It has a minty aroma and slightly peachy taste.
 tian mu qing ding tea Tian Mu
Qing Ding
The leaves of Tian Mu Qing Ding are very fine and delicate. It has a very light and sweet taste and difficult to over steep.
 xin yang mao jian tea Xin Yang
Mao Jian
Xing Yang Mao Jian is also known as "green tip". It is characterizes by its leaves being very fine. It has a very thick and bold flavor and aromatic scent.
 taiping houkui tea Taiping
Houkui
Taiping Houkui is also known as "Monkey Tea". It is known for two straight leaves clasping the enormous bud with white hairs or "two knives and one pole". The leaves absorb the flavor of surrounding orchids thus giving it a floral aroma and taste.

Korean Green Teas

South Korean Flag Name Description

 ujeon tea

Ujeon /

Woo-Jun

Referring to being plucked before the grain rains, is comprised of tender leaves and buds. The taste is delicate sweet, soft, and subtle. It is very similar to Japanese Shincha.

sejak tea

Sejak /

Sae-Jak

Sejak is also comprised of tender leaves and buds, but is plucked after the grain rains, but before summer advent. The leaves are typically the size of a sparrow's tongue. It has a very smooth and bold taste with a mild astringency.

junkjak tea

Junjak /

Joong-Jak

Junjak is similarly comprised of tender leaves and buds, but is plucked after summer advent for about 2 weeks. The leaves are a little larger than Sejak. It has a fresh green aroma and a smooth astringency with gentle sweet roasted notes.

daejak tea

Daejak /

Dé-Jak

Any tea that is being plucked after Junjak is called Daejak. They are the largest leaves being plucked in the season. It has the aroma of toasted corn and an edgy grassy taste.

Green Tea Brewing/Steeping Instructions

For 1 cup (~200 mL - 250 mL)
1.5 tsp of loose tea leaves

For 1 pot (~1 L)
2 tsp of loose tea leaves

Water should be heated to 71°C - 82°C (160°F - 170°F)
Add water to tea leaves and cover.
Let it brew/steep for about 2-3 minutes

Note: You can reuse the tea leaves (re-steep) typically 2-3 times and the flavor of the tea will change per steep. You may even find that you like the tea better after steeping it once or twice before.

 


 

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