Green Tea Guide

You’ve heard that green tea is healthy. But did you know that it doesn’t have to taste like grass clippings?

Part of the magic of good green tea is in the brewing and part of it is in buying good quality leaves.

All types of tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea gets its name from the emerald green color created when brewing unprocessed, unfermented tea leaves. With origins going back as far as 5,000 years, green tea is commonly drunk and widely grown in the Far East where the health properties are well regarded.

While Green Tea comes from the same type of plant as black tea, oolong tea and white tea. In many tea-producing areas, it’s made from a different variety, which has thinner, smaller leaves and a more delicate flavor. Due to the thinner, smaller leaves, it also brews faster, which is why green tea is more finicky about temperatures and times than black tea.

As you may remember from our post on brewing tea, green tea is best prepared with simmering water (rather than boiling water). A teaspoon tea per cup water works well. And in general, you’ll want to brew for well under four minutes for best results. Check the instructions that come with you tea and you’ll do just fine.

As for the teas, well, we can recommend a few in a moment. But first, let’s talk about what green tea is (and isn’t).

Different types of green tea

The difference between green and black tea results from the manufacturing process. Unlike black tea, green tea is NOT oxidized before it’s heated and dried. This means that it’s quite similar to the fresh leaf in terms of color and flavor. Black tea undergoes fermentation which transforms its color and flavor, whereas green tea remains unprocessed and retains its color. Green tea is grown in higher altitudes, more specifically the mountainous regions of East Asia.

Sencha is the most popular of Japan’s green teas. There are numerous grades which can affect the price and quality. Sencha leaves are first steamed and then shaped. Sencha tea produces a clear yellow/green tea with a sweet, grassy but slightly astringent flavor.

Matcha is made from green tea leaves grown in the shade. The leaves have a higher chlorophyll content which makes them a vibrant green color. To make matcha, the entire leaf is ground down into a powder. The powder is mixed with steaming water and gently whisked before being served.

When buying tea leaves, avoid older leaves. This is the same principle as with coffee beans.

There are a lot of health claims out there about green tea. Some of them are absolutely true! But there’s one we’d like to set the record straight on: Green tea is NOT caffeine-free. Just like white tea, oolong tea and black tea, it naturally contains caffeine. However, unlike coffee, sodas and energy drinks this naturally-occurring caffeine is counterbalanced by naturally-occurring L-theanine. The result? You’re less likely to have the jolt-and-crash feeling that you get with colas, energy drinks and even coffee. So, while green tea DOES contain caffeine, it’s not THAT kind of caffeine, if you catch our drift.

OK, so now that you know what green tea is (and isn’t), let’s get into the good stuff… our customers’ favorites! Here are a few of our best-selling green teas:

Nutritional Highlights

Green tea does have more health benefits than black tea which can be attributed to its lack of processing. There are many health claims surrounding green tea from a reduced risk of cancer to weight loss. Green tea is higher in protective polyphenols. The major polyphenols in green tea are flavonoids, the most active of which are catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which function as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to protect the body against disease and are an important part of a healthy diet. Antioxidants can be found in a range of fruits, vegetables and other unprocessed foods. As part of a balanced diet, green tea can be a good source of antioxidants.

Mmm, mmm. Perhaps the only thing we love more than good tea is seeing our customers thrilled by good tea! We hope you love your Nuovo Teas just as much as all our customers do.

Again, if you have any tea questions at all, just hit reply and send me a message anytime! I’d love to help you on your tea journey.

Cheers,
Kathleen and the Nuovo Tea Team

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