What is Green Tea?

Green tea is known for its powerful antioxidants and honey sweet taste (depending on who you ask). A great option when you wake up in the morning, loose leaf green tea has an earthy flavor, fills the room with a wonderful aroma and offers numerous health benefits.

What is Green Tea?

Green tea is believed to have originated in the Yunnan province of China. Most of the varieties of tea can be found right here in this special province.

Green tea is produced from the same plant species as black tea: Camellia s. It’s the way the tea is processed that really separates black from green tea. While hundreds of hybrids and cultivars have evolved from Camellia sinensis, virtually any type of tea can be made from this single plant species.

So, what makes green tea green tea?

To produce this popular tea variety, the leaves are quickly heated after harvesting through either steaming or pan firing. Next, the leaves are dried to prevent too much oxidation. Leaves usually go through two stages of drying before the process is complete.

Oxidation is what turns green leaves brown (i.e. black tea), and it happens when the leaves are exposed to oxygen. Oxygen alters the plant’s cell walls, changing the color and flavor.

Because the leaves aren’t allowed to oxidize, they retain their green color and light flavor.

What Does Green Tea Taste Like?

The way the leaves are processed and the way you brew your tea will affect its flavor. Still, green tea will typically have an overall similar flavor profile:
  • Grassy
  • Earthy
  • Nutty
  • Toasty
  • Herbaceous

Because green tea has a lighter flavor, it works really well as a base for blends. We love to pair the earthy flavor of green tea with citrus or mint for an uplifting taste.

The Benefits of Green Tea

Most people associate green tea with health, and there’s a good reason for that. Research shows that green tea truly is good for your health. It’s the catechins (antioxidants) in the tea that really deliver the benefits.
Studies show that green tea may help with:

Types of Green Tea

There are many varieties of traditional green tea (not blends), including:

Variety Origin Flavor
Sencha Japan Vegetal, grassy
Gyokuro Japan Umami, subtly sweet
Tencha China Umami, lightly toasted
Matcha China Grassy, nutty, slightly bitter
Funmatsucha Japan Earthy, bitter, astringent
Konacha Japan Mildy sweet, grassy
Shincha Japan Grassy, mellow, smooth
Fukamushica Japan Light, earthy, soothing
Kukicha Japan Mildly nutty, slightly sweet
Bancha Japan Grassy, subtly sweet

How to Drink Green Tea

The time you drink green tea matters. If you want to maximize the benefits of green tea, drink it on an empty stomach except people that have liver or stomach problems. These individuals should drink their tea with or after a meal.*
Want to drink your tea with a meal? Choose a sweet treat, such as cake, or with sushi. Lighter greens, such as Dragon Well have a more delicate flavor and pair well with meals.

Want to try a great loose-leaf green tea? Check out our Jasmine Green tea and Dragon Well.

*This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical professional if you have questions regarding a medical condition.

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