Green tea came into fashion during the Ming Dynasty of China, after the earlier practice of grinding tea leaves into powder for powdered tea halted. Though the practice of powdered tea was replaced with steeping style Green tea, the powdered Green tea practice was preserved by the Japanese, called Matcha.
Picking and Processing:
Green tea is known as an unoxidized tea. This means that there is no intentional oxidation methods used in the processing of Green tea. In fact, the processing of Green tea is designed to stop all oxidation from occurring. This is done to preserve the Polyphenols in the leaves in order to maintain the fresh flavors of the tea leaves. However, there is slight oxidation that results simply from the picking of the leaves from the plant, but this oxidation is minimal. In order to limit the passive oxidation that occurs from picking the leaves off the plant hand picking in employed. Hand picking is crucial to harvesting Green tea leaves in order to avoid bruising and therefore oxidizing the leaves. The leaves picked for Green tea are typically the bud and first few leaves of new growth.
Steps of Processing: Fresh leaves are Picked, Withered, Fixed, and Dried.
Mind and Body:
Theanine is the major agent of calming in tea and is especially preserved in Green tea leaves due to the lack of leaf oxidation. Caffeine levels of Green tea depend greatly on many factors as well. However, the Theanine in Green tea does a good job of controlling the negative effects of Caffeine such as jitters.
Green tea in general has a grassy, fresh taste that is savory and bright. It often has a light sweetness and also nutty notes with slight dryness and astringent bitterness. These flavors depend highly on the processing. Japanese Green teas and Chinese Green teas produce different types of Green tea and offer different flavor profiles due to the differences in their processing techniques. Flavors also change with the variety of Green tea and time of year of picking.
If you’re a fan of Green tea, tell us what you’d like to try and we’ll look into sourcing it! Have a favorite flavor profile? Let us know below!
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