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What's Green Tea
Green tea refers to tea that has undergone minimal oxidation. Green tea is a popular tea in China and Japan, and has also gained international prominence in recent years.
Generally green tea has a fresh,light taste. Some varieties have a taste reminiscent of grass. The name,green tea,comes after the dried green leaves. Green tea usually has a yellowish infusion when brewed. The tea may have a yellow-greenish infusion during first brewing.
Green tea is commonly processed by pan-firing or steaming after withering to stop the oxidation process to preserve its freshness.
Varieties of green tea
There are many varieties of green tea. Its seems a formidable task to just figure out how many varieties of green teas on earth there are in China but most of green tea in the world is mainly produced in China and Japan.
Chinese green tea varieties
Chun Mee, a green tea from the Zhejiang and Anhui provinces. It has a dusty appearance and an acidic taste.
Gunpowder Tea, a green tea that is known for its pellet-like appearance and mint-like taste.
Longjing Tea,The most well-known Chinese tea produced in Hangzhou,traditionally listed among the Ten Most Famous Chinese Tea. It is a pan-fired tea with a distinctive flat appearance. Falsification of Longjing is rampant due to its celebrity status.
Long Ding Tea,another fine green tea,literally translated as dragon mountain,produced in Kaihua County,Jiangxi Province,an area seen as part of Chinese renowned golden triangle of tea.
Tunlu Tea(Twankay tea), referred to green tea produced in Huangshan mountainous areas mainly including She county,Xiuling county,known for its mellow taste and long-lasting aftertaste.
Japanese green tea varieties
Bancha,This is lower grade of sencha,made from coarse leaves and stalks harvested as a third or fourth flush tea between summer and autumn. The size of rolled tea leaves is also larger than sencha. Aki-Bancha (autumn Bancha) is not made from entire leaves,but from the trimmed unnecessary twigs of the tea plant.
Houjicha,This is lower grade tea, made from bancha by roasting over charcoal for a few minutes. Houjicha is brown in color and has a unique roasted scent and when it is steeped, it has a light golden beer color.
Kamairicha,Kamairicha is pan-fired instead of undergoing the common steaming treatment of Japanese tea and does not have the characteristic bitter taste of most Japanese tea. The tea is made only in the district of Kyushu.
Tamaryokucha(Guricha),Tamaryokucha has a tangy, berry-like taste, with a long almondy aftertaste and a deep aroma with tones of citrus, grass, and berries. It is produced in the Kyushu area.
Gyokuro,This is the finest tea in Japan,and its taste is a tender sweet astringency and characteristic flavor. This tea is cultivated in the shade for about 2 weeks. .
Matcha (Tencha),a green tea that is used primarily in the traditional tea ceremony. Matcha tea leaves have had all stems and veins removed before being grounded into a fine powder. The tea bushes are also shaded away from sunlight for three weeks before harvesting,sweetening the taste of the tea.
Sencha,The first and second flush of green tea, which is the most common green tea in Japan made from leaves that are exposed directly to sunlight. The first flush is also called shincha. Fukamushicha is the other type of sencha, which is produced from leaves steamed for a longer time. The color of liquor is deep green and its taste is bitterless.
Genmaicha,This is a mixture of bancha(sometimes Sencha)and popped genmai(brown rice). It is often mixed with a small amount of Matcha to make the color better.
Last Update: 2014.7
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