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THE HISTORY OF GREEN TEA.
Green tea is widely considered one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. This is because it contains significantly higher concentrations of chlorophyll, polyphenols and antioxidants than other teas.
Some of the health benefits reputed to green tea include improved brain function, lower risk of cancer and fat loss. Many of our customers who have had cancer love our green teas, especially our Blood Orange and Blueberry Fusion.
How Green Tea Is Grown
Green tea is made from the unoxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. In order to preserve the green quality and prevent oxidization, the leaves are plucked, faintly withered and then immediately cooked.
There are two ways of growing green tea, sun grown and shade grown. The leaves are harvested three times a year, with the first flush producing the highest-quality leaves. Unlike black tea, the heating process varies drastically by region, as well as by tea maker. Two of the most common methods used to manufacture green teas are steaming and pan firing.
Steaming: Deep steaming is the method most commonly used to manufacture Japanese green tea. It results in a bright green infusion.
Pan Firing: In China, on the other hand, tea makers roast their green teas in a pan or wok to neutralize the natural enzymes. The leaves are then dried, resulting in a pale green color.
Green Tea Types
Green tea comes in a myriad of variations, defined by everything from processing method and cultivation practices to which parts of the plant are plucked and what kind of heat is applied to stop oxidation. We've tried to cover a few popular options.
Matcha: If you’ve experienced or heard about Japanese tea ceremonies, then you’ve most likely heard of matcha. Made from Tencha leaves that are ground up into powder, rather than being rolled like most teas, this tea is prepared by whisking it with hot water in a ceramic bowl.
Matcha has a natural sweetness, due to high levels of amino acids in the tea. The better the quality of matcha tea, the sweeter and deeper its flavor. Matcha is also gaining popularity as a cooking ingredient. Check out our matcha tea.
Sencha: This is the most common green tea from Japan, making up over 80 percent of the tea produced there. Made from leaves that are steamed and rolled into long, skinny strands, it’s also the base for many of our Grey & Bash crafted blends.
Gyokuro: If you’re looking for the most treasured and sought-after tea in Japan, try Gyokoro. Also known as Jade Dew Tea, this variety’s leaves are rolled into a thin, needlelike shape. In the last few weeks before Gyokoro leaves are plucked, growers shade them to intensify their color and flavor.
Green Tea Types
Gunpowder: This tea gets its name from the way its leaves look. Gunpowder tea leaves are hand-shaped into small spheres that look oddly similar to gunpowder. Expect a nice, brisk and smoky flavor.
Longjing or Dragonwell: These teas have distinctive flat, smooth, sword-shaped leaves and a pan-fired, toasty taste. Browse our range of reliably sourced Dragonwell and Longjing teas.
The Caffeine Content of Green Tea
In general, you can assume that each 8-ounce cup of green tea will yield anywhere from 15 to 48 milligrams of caffeine. How long the tea is steeped will affect this number greatly, however. The longer the steeping, the higher the caffeine. While all of our teas can be steeped multiple times, the caffeine content will lessen each time.