Green tea refers to tea that has undergone minimal oxidation. Green tea is a popular tea in China and Japan, and has also gained international prominence in recent years.
Generally green tea has a fresh, light taste. Some varieties have a taste reminiscent of grass. Green tea rarely brews as green - rather, the name refers to the color of its leaves, which are green. Green tea usually has a yellow appearance when brewed. The tea may have a yellow-greenish appearance when water is first poured.
Green tea is processed by drying, then are usually steamed to stop the oxidation process and to preserve its freshness.
Varieties of green tea
There are many varieties of green tea, separated by country of origin. Most green tea either originates from China or Japan.
Amongst the Chinese green tea varieties are:
Chun Mee, a green tea from the Zhejiang province. It has a dusty appearance and an acidic taste.
Gunpowder Tea, a green tea that is known for its pellet-like appearance and mint-like taste.
Longjing, a gentle and sweet-tasting green tea that is pan-fried to stop the fermentation process.
Amongst the Japanese green tea varieties are:
Gyokuro, a green tea known for its sweet and delicate flavor, and is known as the highest grade of tea made in Japan.
Matcha, a green tea that is used primarily in the traditional tea ceremony. Matcha tea leaves have had all stems and veins removed before being grounded by a fine powder. The tea bushes are also shaded away from sunlight for three weeks before harvesting, sweetening the taste of the tea.
Health benefits of green tea
Green tea can be helpful in the prevention of cancer, as it contains an antioxidant called polyphenols - or tannin - which is known to prevent damage to cells. Damage to body cells is an early sign of cancer. Tannin is known for its ability to help DNA cells reproduce accurately, thus preventing abnormalities from forming.
In particular, green tea has been shown to be beneficial for these types of cancer:
Medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor. Green tea was shown to inhibit its growth.
Prostrate and breast cancers in mice, and also induce regression of these cancers.
Green tea may also prevent or inhibit autoimmune diseases such as lupus and HIV/AIDS.
Green tea may help decrease cholesterol level in blood, may help prevent the build-up of cholesterol which causes blood vessels to narrow. This can therefore protect the drinker from high blood pressure and heart problems.
Information on specific green tea varieties
The following pages contained detailed information on specific varieties of green tea, including health benefits and preparation methods.
Grow your own green tea!
Did you know that you can grow your own green tea plants at home? The website supplies camellia sinensis tea plants and provides information and instructions for harvesting, drying and brewing you own green tea, fresh from the plant!