Essentials of Tea: Green Tea
The health benefits and qualities of green tea has made it as popular, if not more popular, than black tea. But what makes a tea green? Unlike black teas, green teas undergo a kill-green process where the oxidation process is halted. As a result of this process, the tea leaves preserve their green color and undergo very little oxidation. Green teas can be grassy, buttery, and often have an umami taste. Umami is both a flavor and a quality in a tea that can be described as savory or “brothy.” Green tea is lauded for being anti-oxidant rich, aiding digestion, containing anti-aging properties, and much more.
There are many benefits to drinking green tea, but in my opinion the greatest part of green tea is its taste! Green teas are magic, but like with any magic you have to be careful. I personally think green teas are the most delicate in terms of brewing and storing them. For most green teas I recommend brewing the first steep at 175 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 minutes. The second steep can be 185 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes. Always err on the side of caution with green tea because while you can steep it for longer to pull out more flavor you cannot make your tea un-bitter. If you have ever tried adding water to reduce the astringency you will know that this, unfortunately, does not work. I also recommend drinking your green tea within 6 months of purchasing as they are the quickest to lose their magical qualities (perhaps due to the freshness of the tea).
I sometimes joke about how the world of tea is like a rabbit hole because there is so much history, culture, and variety. I think that it’s not possible to dislike any type of tea, because there is so much within that type that you are bound to find something you actually like. Not surprisingly, there are many varieties of tea that fall under the category of green tea. For example, Chinese green tea and Japanese green tea are very different. Some of the popular types of Japanese green tea are Matcha, Gyokuro, Hojicha, and Sencha. Some popular Chinese green teas are Dragonwell, Jasmine Pearl, and Gunpowder. Green tea is also used as the base for many blended teas.
Interested in trying more green teas? Our Gunpowder green is an exemplary Chinese green tea with a bold flavor. We also offer a Japanese Sencha if you’re looking for a grassier green tea. If you’re just dipping your toes in the world of tea I recommend our Jade Blossom, which is a fruity green tea with pomegranate and blackberry undertones. Green teas are delicious! I promise you will find one you enjoy J