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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

40 / 100
Picture of Organic Gunpowder

Organic Gunpowder from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Gunpowder Green Tea – Region: China
Feb. 13th, 2019

Fairly bland Chinese dark green tea. Being organic is not always enough, apparently.

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84 / 100
Picture of Oi Ocha Green Tea with Wakame Wakakuki

Oi Ocha Green Tea with Wakame Wakakuki from ITO EN

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan
Feb. 7th, 2019

I ended up overnight in the Detroit suburbs for work and found this tea in a Japanese grocery store.

The dry leaves are broken up into much smaller pieces than the Japanese senchas that I'm used to. It's very pungent, though, smelling of cut hay and alfalfa.

Adding the water releases just a ton of aroma. The colo...

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61 / 100
Picture of Premium Green Tea

Premium Green Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????
Feb. 1st, 2019

This tea somewhat flummoxed me from before I poured the first drop down my esophagus, to the last aftertaste. For starters, what is it? There's no "Premium Green Tea" available on Bigelow's main website, just something called "Green Tea (Certified Organic)". Then on RateTea, there already was an "Organic Pure Green ...

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80 / 100
Picture of Japanese Sencha (Sachets)

Japanese Sencha (Sachets) from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan
Jan. 28th, 2019

A colleague left this on the "freebie" table at work, so naturally I indulged some. One of the best green teas I've had so far, this offering competes well with a couple of bagged generic (unbranded) green-tea specimens containing a little matcha powder that my daughter brought back from her honeymoon in Japan.

D...

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75 / 100
Picture of Special Grade Temple of Heaven Gunpowder Green

A good inexpensive Chinese green. Fairly sharp and peppery on the palate. The earthy, leafy aroma is quite nice. You could certainly do worse at this price.

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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
1
13 Ratings
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Gunpowder Green Tea - Temple of Heaven

Brand:Numi Organic Tea
Style:Gunpowder Green Tea
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
89
11 Ratings
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Tamayokucha

Brand:Two Leaves and a Bud
Style:Tamaryokucha (Guricha)
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
34
8 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
88
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
92
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
99
3 Ratings
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Top Leaf™ Green Tea

Brand:Mellow Monk
Style:Sencha
Region:Kumamoto, Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
99
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
98
5 Ratings
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Lungching Green Tea

Brand:Foojoy
Style:Dragon Well (Long Jing)
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
98
4 Ratings
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Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea

Brand:Teavana
Style:Gyokuro
Region:Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
98
7 Ratings

Varieties, Kinds, or Types of Green Tea

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