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Green Tea

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

About Green Tea

Loose-leaf green tea with dark green, flat leaves, slightly broken, and a few stemsLoose-leaf Sencha, Japanese Green Tea, Crop of Photo by André Helbig, 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.

Bright green tea in ceramic cup, on wooded table with slatsCup of Sencha, Japanese Green Tea by Christian, Public Domain.
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.

Recent Green Tea Reviews — RSS rss icon

35 / 100
Picture of Japanese Green Tea

Japanese Green Tea from Wei-Chuan

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan
Oct. 7th, 2018

Wei-Chuan has several different tiers of tea and this one is on the low end.

The tea bag smells very faintly of hay. Adding the water doesn't really bring out any extra aroma. The flavor's almost as weak as the tea smells. While hot, the flavor is practically nonexistent. When it cools down, a little flavor appears ...

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90 / 100
Picture of Premium Grade Dragon Well Green Tea (Long Jing)

Nutty and umami. I don't have much to say about this, but it really is a great tea even though I rarely drink Chinese greens.

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84 / 100
Picture of Matcha Green Tea Traditional

Matcha Green Tea Traditional from ITO EN

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan
Sep. 12th, 2018

This is my sushi tea. It complements the flavor of nori well, and it's quick to brew and clean up because it's a teabag. Despite the name, this mostly tastes like sencha. It has a creamy, seaweedy, umami flavor. There is a very slight bitterness, which sencha always seems to have and I actually like in the same way tha...

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87 / 100
Picture of Seikoen Tea Factory Aged Yukimuro Sencha

I don't have a lot of experience with brewing Japanese green tea, so I probably didn't brew this as well as it deserved. I brewed it in my gaiwan, figuring that shouldn't be too much different from brewing it in a shiboridashi. I ended up with a lot of small pieces of tea in my cup because I didn't have any kind of fil...

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77 / 100
Picture of Purple Majesty

Purple Majesty from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Green Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya
Aug. 21st, 2018

While periodically ordering our regularly consumed teas from Murchie's, I'll sometimes go after a small sample of a new tea, just to try something different, since they do have a huge selection. The name intrigued me (purple tea?), as did the origin, in some of the highest-elevation tea-growing areas of Kenya.

Unl...

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Most-Rated Green Tea

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Green Tea - Classic

Brand:Bigelow Tea
Style:Green Tea
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
27
12 Ratings
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Gunpowder Green Tea - Temple of Heaven

Brand:Numi Organic Tea
Style:Gunpowder Green Tea
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
84
10 Ratings
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Emperor's Clouds and Mist Green Tea

Brand:Teavana
Style:Clouds & Mist (Yun Wu)
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
83
8 Ratings
Picture of Tamayokucha

Tamayokucha

Brand:Two Leaves Tea
Style:Tamaryokucha (Guricha)
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
31
8 Ratings
Picture of Premium Grade Dragon Well Green Tea (Long Jing)

Premium Grade Dragon Well Green Tea (Long Jing)

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Dragon Well (Long Jing)
Region:Zhejiang, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
88
7 Ratings

Top-Rated Green Tea

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
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Top Leaf™ Green Tea

Brand:Mellow Monk
Style:Sencha
Region:Kumamoto, Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
97
5 Ratings
Picture of Huang Shan Mao Feng Green Tea

Huang Shan Mao Feng Green Tea

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Mao Feng Green Tea
Region:Huangshan, Anhui, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
96
5 Ratings
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Bi Luo Chun Green Tea (Pi Lo Chun)

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Bi Luo Chun
Region:Jiangsu, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
96
5 Ratings
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Liu An Gua Pian Green Tea

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Lu An Melon Seed
Region:Xiuning, Anhui, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
95
4 Ratings

Varieties, Kinds, or Types of Green Tea

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