What is Green Tea?
Green Tea is a less fermented version of Black Tea and more popular than white tea. Green tea is made from the Camellia Sinensis leaves and buds. There are two basic green tea types- loose leaf and powdered green tea.
This beverage is known for its test and good flavor profile like malty, fruity and roasted. It has less antioxidants than white tea but more than black and oolong tea.
History of Green Tea
The essence of green tea was first originated in 2737 B.C in China, during the rule of Emperor Shennong and from the very beginning it has become an indispensable part of Chinese agriculture and medicine.
Since the beginning, green tea was consumed in some parts of China in a leaf form. The people used to chew it. It is only by 5th-century drinking tea became a social culture in ancient China, and the process of brewing tea leaves developed.
‘Tea Classic’, written by Lu Yu of Tang Dynasty of China and ‘Kissa Yojokai’ written by Japanse Zen priest Eisai in 1191 are two important books of green tea history which reveal the medicinal values of green tea and how to grow and the methods of green tea making. Zen priest Eisai was the father of Japanese tea culture and the path founder of the tea cultivation in Japan.
Green tea benefits
This type of tea consists of 450 chemical components, which has been proved to be beneficial for good health. One cup of green tea has innumerable good effects to our body’s system in a real sense. As it is loaded with antioxidants and lots of vitamin and minerals, so it works effectively in improving our skin, hair and immune system as well.
Green Tea Manufacturing Process
The process of making this beverage is quite same as white tea. While making green tea, the process of withering and oxidation are not employed. These processes are used to make oolong and black tea.
The tea leaves are plucked from the tea plant and then undergo heat treatment- either by pan-firing or by steaming and then dried to block the higher oxidation rate to occur as too much oxidation would turn the leaf brown and would change the flavor.
The process of steaming is very important in the production of green tea as steaming prevent the leaves from being enzymatically oxidized and the green tea leaves remain natural green in color. Later on, in the 18th century, the Japanese tea makers discovered some mechanical process to fix the green color in Green tea.
So, in short, we can describe Green tea is a type of tea that is entirely made out of tea leaves, un-oxidized to keep it as natural as possible regarding the aroma and color. The color does not remain green after brewing; it looks pale yellow or straw color.
Chinese green tea vs. Japanese green tea
China and Japan are top two countries in production and export of green tea. There are different types of tea in the present day market depending upon the harvesting style and production process. But Japanese and Chinese green tea types are more famous as they give unmatched taste and aroma than the other types of teas from other countries.
The main difference between Chinese and Japanese types of teas is Chinese green teas are pan-fried while Japanese green teas are steamed.
Popular Chinese green tea types
- Gunpowder tea: This tea gives a slightly smoky flavor and comes in the form of small pellets which resembles gunpowder.
- Longjing tea: It is a pan-fried Chinese green tea also known as ‘Dragon Well’ tea. Longjing tea is produced mainly in Zhejiang province.
- Chun Mee tea: This tea is very popular outside China and gives plumy flavor while brewing.
Popular Japanese green tea types
- Sencha: It is the most widely consumed green tea in Japan. This is well known for Vitamin – C.
- Gyokuro: This type of tea is very popular for its qualities like smoothness and sweetness. It is the most expensive green tea in Japan.
- Matcha: It is a powder green tea and contains more antioxidants than other tea varieties in the world. The tea plants are shaded for few weeks before plucking the buds and leaves to make matcha tea powder. This type of tea shading protects the plants from direct sunlight and helps the leaves to increase the chlorophyll and amino acid content.
Other popular green tea types are
- Darjeeling green tea
- Assam green tea
Green tea is the perfect choice for health conscious people. Drink green tea, be healthy.