Green tea

From Academic Kids

Green tea (绿茶) is "true" tea (i.e. Camellia sinensis) that has undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea is popular in China and Japan, and recently has become more popular in the West, which traditionally drank black tea (a "true" tea made from leaves more heavily oxidized than the white, green, and oolong varieties).

Contents

Chinese green teas

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Twinings_Gunpowder_tea_in_pile.jpg
Pile of Twinings Gunpowder

Grades of Chinese green tea (绿茶 lǜch) include:

  • Longjing (龙井 lngjǐng, "dragon well"; also lung ching) is a famous tea from the town of Longjing, near Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Longjing is further divided into 7 grades: Superior (qiqiang), Special (queshe) and then 1 down to 5.
  • Gunpowder is a basic green tea from China's Anhui Province. The tea takes its name from the grey-green rolled-leaf balls. In Chinese it is called 珠茶 (zhūch, "pearl tea" / "bead tea," not to be confused with Boba tea). This is the tea which is exported to the Maghreb and used in the preparation of traditional North African mint tea.
  • Zhenmei (珍眉茶, zhēnmi ch, "precious eyebrow tea", also chun mee), the most common type in China, is named after the shape of the tea leaves.
  • Hyson is an early-harvested tea whose leaves are twisted in a long, thin style.

Japanese green teas

Japanese Green Tea
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Japanese Green Tea
Green tea (緑茶 ryokucha) is so ubiquitous in Japan that it is more commonly known as "honorable tea" (お茶, ocha) and even "Japanese tea" (日本茶, nihoncha). Types of tea are commonly graded depending on the quality and the parts of the plant used.
  • Gyokuro (玉露, "jewel dew") Gyokuro tea is generally sweet and delicate in flavor. Selected from a grade of green tea known as tencha (天茶), Gyokuro is regarded as the highest grade of tea made in Japan. Gyokuro's name refers to the pale green color of the infusion.
  • Matcha (抹茶, "rubbed tea") is used primarily in the tea ceremony. Matcha comes from gyokuro leaves that have been steamed and dried. The tea bushes are shaded from sunlight for 3 weeks before harvesting, producing amino acids that sweeten the taste. All stems and veins are removed from the leaves. The pure dried leaves (tencha) are then stone ground into a super fine powder that is the consistency of talc. Most high quality matcha comes from the Uji Tawara area, the premier matcha producing region in Japan.
  • Sencha (煎茶, "broiled tea") is the most common type of green tea in Japan. It is made from the young leaves of uncovered plants. Over three quarters of all tea produced in Japanese tea gardens is sencha. The earliest season (first month's sencha harvest) is called 'Shincha'. Later harvests of sencha have more astringent qualities, a more robust flavor and generally less aroma.
  • Shincha (新茶, "new tea") is newly harvested, lightly steamed sencha. It is aromatic but highly perishable, lasting for only about 3 months. Shincha is available in April in the south of Japan, and prized for its high vitamin content, sweetness and superior flavor.
  • Bancha (番茶, "number tea") are a class of sencha harvested as a second flush tea between summer and autumn. While lacking the delicate sweetness of quality sencha it is respected for its well-defined character, vivid yellow colors and refreshing and deep flavors. Bancha's meaning references the coarser grades and heavier, late season crop from which this full-flavoured tea is made. It is milder, cheaper and contains less caffeine than other varieties.
  • Genmaicha (玄米茶, "brown rice tea") is a blend of bancha green tea and Genmai (roasted rice grain). The flavor is a mlange of these two ingredients. The roasted aroma of Genmai teas has the effect of lightening the bitterness of the lower grade sencha. The proportioning of tea to rice is important, the more aromatic Genmai teas have a higher amount of rice.
  • Hōjicha (焙じ茶, "roasted tea") is a pan-fried or oven roasted green tea commonly found in teashops throughout Japan. Both bancha and kukicha are used to make houjicha grades. Hōjicha tends to be a more aromatic tea. It holds very little astringency, has a distinctively clear red appearance and is lower in caffeine.
  • Kukicha (茎茶, "stem tea") is made from stalks produced by harvesting one bud and three leaves. The combined stalk fractions and emerald leaf of gyokuro and sencha blends are then processed. Kukicha is known for its light flavor and fresh green aroma with a very light yellow-green color. The best kikucha has a flavor considered to be as good as highest quality sencha. It contains only a tenth of the caffeine of leaf tea and its flavor is commonly compared to oolong teas.
  • Kabusecha - Unlike most sencha cultivated in unshaded gardens exposed to direct sunlight kabuse-cha sencha requires shading tea prior to harvest. Kabuse-cha sencha has a mellower flavor and more subtle color than sencha grown in direct sunlight.

There are large variations in both price and quality within these broad categories, and there are many specialty green teas that fall outside this spectrum. The very best Japanese green tea is said to be that from the Uji region of Kyoto.

Health Benefits

Many studies have investigated a link between the consumption of green tea and a lower incidence of a range of cancers in populations. More information can be found in the section on green tea in the article Health benefits of tea.

See also

External links

de:Grnteeeo:Verda Teofr:Th chinois ja:緑茶es:T Verde zh:绿茶

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