Green tea is an unoxidized tea made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia Sinensis plant. After the leaves are plucked, they are laid out thinly to dehydrate for 1-2 hours. Green tea is set out for a shorter period so that they do not oxidize and lose their green color. When the moisture evaporates, they transition to the heating process for cooking and curling. The heating methods can vary due to techniques and region. Chinese green teas take the pan firing approach where the tea is pan or wok roasted, leaving them paler in color. The Japanese method is to deep steam the teas, which gives them a brighter green color. The last step is to roll, curl, or twist the tea leaves by hand to wring out any excess water or sap. This part of the process also helps define the different tea types.
Tea Types (From China):
*There are way more types of green teas than the ones I have listed below. These teas are my favorite and the ones that you will most likely come across.
Gunpowder: It is the most popular type of Chinese green teas, grown in the Zhejiang Province of China. Gunpowder gets its name because the tea leaves are rolled into tiny pellets and give off a smoky flavor.
Dragonwell (Long Jing): Like Gunpowder, this tea grows in the Zhejiang Province of China. The tea leaves are flat, have bright jade hue, and has a clean and mellow flavor.
Yun Wu (Cloud & Mist): This tea is grown in the higher altitudes of the Zhejiang Province mountains. Due to the higher elevations, the tea leaves get hovered by clouds resulting in tea flavor that is light and sweet.
Tea Types (From Japan):
Sencha: The most common green tea from Japan and one that is often regarded as an "everyday tea." This tea is directly exposed to sunlight and is processed using the boiling (decoction) method, which gives it a bright grassy flavor.
Jade Dew (Gyokuro): This tea is highly sought after in Japan. The leaves are flat and pointed and unlike Sencha, are grown in the shade. Jade Dew has high levels of chlorophyll and brews a tea that is bright green in color and sweet in flavor.
Matcha: This is a powdered green tea from the Uji region of Japan. Matcha is made from high-quality green tea leaves that grow in the shade. The grinding process of the whole leaves gives the tea a lot of flavor and texture and much more caffeine than a typical cup of steeped tea.