Green Tea – About Tea

Green tea is the leaves of camellia sinensis plant steeped in water. Generally green tea is not oxidized.  Green tea is the least oxidized of all teas.

How Green Tea is made

Leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant are picked and then heated to stop oxidation and fermentation. There are different methods of heating the leaves but the most common are withering (laying them out to dry in the sun), steaming, frying (done in a large wok) or baking. This process seals in the freshness of the leaves. Next, the tea goes through a series of rolling, shaping and more drying and heating steps to make the final product which should have only 5% of it’s original moisture left. The process varies by country, region and individual producers to produce a wide variety of green teas.

Varieties

Green Teas from China

Bi Luo Chun Green Tea
Gunpowder Green Tea
Long Jing (Dragonwell) Green Tea
Snowy Mountain Jian Green Tea
Hyson Lucky Dragon Green Tea
Kai Hua Long Ding
Tian Mu Qing Ding
Xin Yang Mao Jian
Hou Kui

Green Teas from Japan

Gyokuro Green Tea
Sencha Green Tea
Bancha Green Tea
Matcha Powdered Green Tea
Houjicha Green Tea
Kukicha Green Tea
Genmaicha Green

Green Tea History

  • Green tea has been around for more than 4000 years and is one of the oldest herbal drinks in the world.
  • Between 220 – 589 AD the popularity of drinking green tea in China increased greatly and changed from being a luxury to a readily available drink for most people.
  • During the Tang Dynasty in China (600 – 900 AD), Lu Yu wrote a very important book called Cha Jing or Tea Classic. In it, he detailed how green tea should be prepared and served. During this time, drinking green tea became an important part of everyday culture and tradition across China. The art of tea ceremonies started during this period.
  • In the Song Dynasty, tea was a part of every day life for all people in China. In this period tribute teas were produced and presented to the emperor, this spurred innovation and the quality and varieties of green teas increased.
  • During the Ming Dynasty another period of innovation happened. The process of roasting the tea to stop oxidation became popular during this time and remains the most popular way to make green tea.