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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

80 / 100

Kona-cha from Maeda-en

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan
Aug. 27th, 2020

This was a very interesting tea. If you don't know what kona-cha is, it is the dust and tea leaf pieces from tea processing. It is technically a byproduct, but the tea industry has repurposed it as a tea product. It's better quality than the pieces of leaves one might encounter in a tea bag, because the tea leaves used...

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88 / 100

Everyday Houji-cha Roasted Green Tea from Maeda-en

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan
Aug. 27th, 2020

I was very impressed by this tea. The only other hoji-cha I've tried was from YamaMotoYama, and I enjoyed it. But, this had a more toasty, well-rounded scent to it. The leaves differed more in their shape and appearance, which made it look more natural. The tea also had a more nuanced flavor.

It wasn't that expensi...

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80 / 100

Everyday Kukicha Twig Tea from Maeda-en

Style: Kukicha – Region: Japan
Aug. 9th, 2020

I liked this tea. I decided to get it because I wanted something that wasn't roasted or aged, that would still be more subdued in caffeine. I prefer naturally low-caffeine teas over ones that have had caffeine removed through some chemical (or other) process. Because kukicha is the twigs, with some leaf pieces (which y...

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70 / 100

Kokyu Sen-cha Green Tea (2020) from Maeda-en

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan
Aug. 9th, 2020

Update:
I found a way to brew it better. 80ºC water, 110ml water per 2 tsp of tea, 20 seconds for the first cup, 20-25 seconds for the second cup... The tea is very, very grassy. It's more grassy than any other sencha I've ever had (or any green tea, for that matter). It's not buttery. It's more like brewing a nice, ...

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85 / 100

I was surprised at how good this was. I took a chance because Maeda-en really has terribly short descriptions of their teas on their site. I really didn't know what I'd get. The tea, in terms of the type of leaves, length of them, scent, and color, actually reminded me more of Shin-cha than other Fukamushi. The leaves ...

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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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Tamayokucha

Brand:Two Leaves and a Bud
Style:Tamaryokucha (Guricha)
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
10
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
76
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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