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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

84 / 100
Picture of Long Mei Yunnan Green Tea of Zhenyuan

This was a robust green tea that was challenging to brew, but rewarding when I got it right. Thank you to Dewey for sharing this one with me!

The leaf is beautiful, wiry, slightly curly, and diverse in color, from dusty dark green to silvery-gray with a yellowish tinge. It has a potent fragrance, with a hint of camp...

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61 / 100
Picture of Organic Green Tea

Organic Green Tea from Trader Joe's

Style: Green Tea – Region: Nilgiri, India
Sep. 2nd, 2021

Landing at a Trader Joe's store in Tucson while on a photography road trip out thataway, I bought a box of this, as a presumably acceptable substitute for some of the truly terrible, off-brand and store-brand (here's looking at you, Great Value) bagged green teas offered at motels and campgrounds. It was, but still fa...

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77 / 100
Picture of South Korea Seogwang Sencha (No. 591)

Half-litre cup at home, made from organic Sencha leaves. Pours clear pale olive green / lemon juice yellow (against white china) with no sediment. Mild aroma of Sencha leaves. Ditto flavour, with delicate malty notes. Mildly astringent aftertaste with leafy and malty touches. Well, a very decent Sencha, I suppose, alth...

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77 / 100
Picture of South Korea Seogwang

South Korea Seogwang from TeaGschwendner

Style: Green Tea – Region: Jeju, South Korea
Aug. 31st, 2021

Half-litre pot at home, made from wiry green leaves. Pours clear light olive green (against white china), with no sediment. Clear aroma of green tea, with malty touches. Delicate leafy flavour of green tea, with touches of malt and very mild fruity hints. Slightly astringent palate with a malty and leafy aftertaste. A ...

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42 / 100
Picture of Steep Organic Pure Green Decaffeinated Tea

After my experiences with other teas in the Steep line, I'm a little disappointed in this tea. It's not terrible, though.

The dry tea smells like dusty hay, vegetal, but otherwise nondescript.

The brewing tea smells grassy, but the aroma is a bit weak. There's also a sort of "shrimp" note that I've detected in ot...

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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
7
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
70
11 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
76
8 Ratings
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Tamayokucha

Brand:Two Leaves and a Bud
Style:Tamaryokucha (Guricha)
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
10
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
23
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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Bi Luo Chun Green Tea (Pi Lo Chun)

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Bi Luo Chun
Region:Jiangsu, China
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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Liu An Gua Pian Green Tea

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

Brand:Teavana
Style:Gyokuro
Region:Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
95
7 Ratings

Varieties, Kinds, or Types of Green Tea

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