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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

79 / 100
Picture of China Green Tips Filterbag

Even though this isn't a Stash tea, it was well stashed—just a couple packets jammed discreetly in the middle of a bunch of bags of Bigelow Green at a conference, and only the first morning. Fortunately I noticed and grabbed them: one for there, one to bring home.

I'm not much for detecting subtleties, and pro...

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78 / 100
Picture of China WuYi Mountain Tea

China WuYi Mountain Tea from Organic Herbie

Style: Green Tea – Region: China
Dec. 4th, 2018

After being disappointed with Organic Herbie's other teas, I was a bit apprehensive about trying this, but I turned out to like it a surprising amount. I also notice an inconsistency in the marketing: the description says it is grown in the Wuyi mountains, which are located in Fujian province, but the website says that...

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75 / 100
Picture of China Green Tips Filterbag

The dry tea in the bag is chopped quite fine, but smells really nice. Once the water's added, the aroma of the young tips comes through very clearly, smelling very similar to silver needle white teas.

The first taste is surprisingly sweet with a strong vegetal finish. The flavor is strong even while hot, but there's...

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82 / 100
Picture of Gunpowder Green Tea - Temple of Heaven

This tea has a mild roasty and vegetal aroma which I enjoy. The flavor is pretty good and also has a kind of roasted quality to it. I enjoy this green tea because it is very smooth and is definitely less astringent than many other green teas I’ve had. It still does have a slight astringent aftertaste in my throat but...

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67 / 100
Picture of Cui Ya

Cui Ya from Unami

Style: Green Tea – Region: Anhui, China
Nov. 24th, 2018

The first time I made this tea, I didn't get much flavour out of it, so this time I used more leaves than I usually do for green tea - at least, I tried to. The leaves are large and twisted into irregular shapes, so it's not very dense. I think I could have used even more.
The liquor is rather light but it's a really ...

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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
4
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
60
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
44
8 Ratings
Picture of Tamayokucha

Tamayokucha

Brand:Two Leaves Tea
Style:Tamaryokucha (Guricha)
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
8
8 Ratings
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Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea

Brand:Teavana
Style:Gyokuro
Region:Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
71
7 Ratings

Top-Rated Green Tea

Picture of Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea

Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Taiping Hou Kui
Region:Huangshan, Anhui, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
93
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
89
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
83
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
83
4 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
79
3 Ratings

Varieties, Kinds, or Types of Green Tea

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