Green Tea

Wikipedia: Green_tea | Teaviews: green-tea 
Updated: Mar. 9, 2015 

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Browse Green Tea (1108)Read Reviews (485)Brands of Green Tea

Table of contents:
About Green Tea | Varieties of Green Tea | Best (Top-Rated) Green Tea

About Green Tea

Loose-leaf green tea
Loose-leaf sencha, a typical Japanese green tea. Adapted from a photo by André Helbig, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Green tea is a type of tea that has been processed to stop oxidization (contrasting with black and oolong teas). The oxidation is halted by heating, usually by steaming, pan-firing or baking, which destroys the enzymes that lead to oxidation, thus preserving the green color of the tea leaf.

White tea is less processed than green tea, but tends to be more oxidized, and can have a darker leaf color. This same process also preserves the vitamin C content of the tea leaf, making green tea the only type of tea with appreciable vitamin C levels.

Green tea is widely consumed in East Asia, especially in China, and in Japan, where nearly all tea consumed is green tea. China and Japan are the origins of most varieties of green tea. With a few exceptions, the rest of the world consumed little green tea until recently. Interest in green tea is surging due both to its purported health benefits and increasing interest in loose-leaf artisan teas.

Chinese vs. Japanese green teas

Green tea is produced in many different regions, but the main two traditions of green tea production are Chinese and Japanese.

A cup of green tea in a ceramic teacup
A cup of sencha, a typical type of Japanese green tea. Public domain photo.
China tends to produce pan-fired green teas, whereas Japan tends to produce steamed varieties, although there are exceptions to both these rules, like kamairicha. Virtually every region that produces tea produces some green tea, although outside of southeast Asia, green tea constitutes only a small but increasing portion of total production.

Flavor and aroma

Because of its diversity, the flavor and aroma of green teas are difficult to describe in general terms. Many green teas have a more vegetal aroma, with grassy or herbaceous tones. Some of the pan-fired green teas have a smoky aroma, and some steamed teas have an aroma suggestive of seaweed.

Brewing green tea: water temperature

In contrast to black tea, which usually tastes best when brewed with boiling water, many green teas taste best when brewed with water substantially below the boiling point, ranging from 160-180F (71-82C). Our pages about brewing temperature for tea and brewing tea go into more depth on this topic.

Caffeine content of green tea

Many websites and other sources claim that green tea has less caffeine than black tea. This is not necessarily true; the caffeine content of teas varies widely both between different types of green tea and between different types of black tea. Both green and black tea can be higher or lower in caffeine.

Other green "tea", herbal teas processed similarly to green tea

The processes involved in the production of green tea have also recently been extended to herbal teas--teas made out of plants other than the tea plant. Examples are green rooibos and honeybush. Green yerba maté, however, is not produced similarly to green tea--that term refers simply to the unroasted form.

Further Reading:

1. U. Maryland's Reference on Uses of Green Tea in Complementary Medicine - Well-referenced with numerous citations to recent scientific studies.

Varieties, Kinds, or Types of Green Tea

Best Green Tea

The notion of the "best" Green Tea is subjective, because different people have different tastes. We present the most often-rated and highest-rated teas in this category, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Most Often-Rated Teas

Picture of Tamayokucha

Tamayokucha

Brand:Two Leaves Tea
Style:Guricha
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
9
8 Ratings
Picture of Green Tea - Classic

Green Tea - Classic

Brand:Bigelow Tea
Style:Green Tea
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
3
8 Ratings
Picture of Gunpowder Green Tea - Temple of Heaven

Gunpowder Green Tea - Temple of Heaven

Brand:Numi Organic Tea
Style:Gunpowder Green Tea
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
67
6 Ratings
Picture of Green Tea

Green Tea

Brand:Lipton Tea
Style:Green Tea
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
22
6 Ratings
Picture of Jade Cloud (aka Green Jade)

Jade Cloud (aka Green Jade)

Brand:Rishi Tea
Style:Green Tea
Region:Hubei, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
76
6 Ratings

Top-Rated Teas

Picture of Top Leaf™ Green Tea

Top Leaf™ Green Tea

Brand:Mellow Monk
Style:Sencha
Region:Kumamoto, Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
99
5 Ratings
Picture of Wild Snow Sprout Tea

Wild Snow Sprout Tea

Brand:Wild Tea Qi
Style:Green Tea
Region:Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
98
3 Ratings
Picture of Bi Luo Chun Green Tea (Pi Lo Chun)

Bi Luo Chun Green Tea (Pi Lo Chun)

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Bi Luo Chun
Region:Jiangsu, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
97
4 Ratings
Picture of Huang Shan Mao Feng Green Tea

Huang Shan Mao Feng Green Tea

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Mao Feng Green Tea
Region:Anhui, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
97
3 Ratings
Picture of Liu An Gua Pian Green Tea

Liu An Gua Pian Green Tea

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Lu An Melon Seed
Region:Anhui, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
94
4 Ratings

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