What is Green Tea?
Green tea, also known as unoxidized tea, is made solely from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. The leaves are plucked, slightly withered, then immediately cooked to preserve the green quality and prevent oxidization. As a result of these methods, green teas have a much higher concentration of chlorophyll, polyphenols and antioxidants than other tea types. The growing conditions for green tea can be broken down between two different types: sun grown and shade grown. The leaves are generally harvested three times a year with the first flush producing the highest quality leaves.
The heating process differs greatly depending on the region and the tea maker’s techniques. Some of the mainstream methods of manufacturing green tea include:
Pan Firing – Chinese green teas are often pan or wok roasted to neutralize the natural enzymes then dried, which generally results in a pale green color.
Steaming – In general, most Japanese green teas are quickly deep steamed resulting in a bright green infusion.
Baking – Other crafting techniques include combining multiple methods such as pan firing first followed by oven roasting to unlock varying flavor notes.
Dry Roasting (via charcoal or wood) – Rolling and roasting methods are often used for teas such as Gunpowder green tea.