Green tea comes from the same tea plant as black tea. It is regarded as the “ancient tea” or “original tea”, because it is not fermented. Its history is just as old as its name. According to legend, the Chinese Emperor Shennong discovered the drink tea by accident when boiling water. This tea has been the favourite of many tea drinkers for thousands of years. It refreshes, calms, revitalises and is popular all over the world. Green tea is also particularly important to Eilles Tee, so take the time to browse our offering at your leisure.
Essentially, the caffeine contained in tea is the same alkaloid found in coffee. The major difference is that a physiological effect is triggered in the case of coffee. The caffeine binds with fats, passes into the blood through the stomach and affects the heart. In tea, in contrast, the caffeine is bonded to the tannins and thus reaches the central nervous system via the small intestine. As a result, it keeps you mentally alert for longer. This fact is not wasted on the many monks who often drink green tea before meditating. In addition, each variety of tea has a different effect, which can also be determined by the brewing time and quantity of the green tea.
Unlike black tea, green tea is not fermented. All other production steps are practically identical, and the teas originate from the same plant. After the withering, the leaves for green tea are briefly roasted (Chinese method) or steamed (Japanese method). This preserves many active ingredients and the intense green colour of the leaves. The subsequent drying and later sorting generally corresponds to that encountered in the production of black tea.
There is a huge variety of tastes
Fine, elegant hints, strong aromas or delicate blossoming flavours: green tea offers a wide range of different types and varieties.
Chinese green tea: China is heralded as the country of origin of tea and is home to large tea gardens as well as smaller ones focusing on rare speciality teas. Popular Chinese varieties of green tea include Wulu Cha Yantou and Lung Ching.
Japanese green tea: Japan is the country of green tea. Tea is drunk here on its own, with no added milk or sugar. Well-known varieties of Japanese green tea include Hōjicha, Sencha and Genmaicha (mixed with toasted puffs of rice). The bright green Gyokuro (jade dew) is one of the most exclusive varieties of tea produced in Japan and is harvested just once a year in accordance with what is known as the emperor’s method – the branches are grown in semi-shade and only the top buds picked.
Flavoured green tea: There are a wide range of flavourings which can lend green (or black) tea an exclusive taste. Ingredients can include: spices, pieces of fruit and blossoms, for example as in the delicately fragrant jasmine tea.
Oolong tea: A classic tea from China (and some parts of Taiwan). The tea is semi-fermented, with only the edge of the leaves being oxidised. The flavour varies from malty to fragrant and the colour may be deep orange.
Sencha tea: This green tea originated in Japan and its name means “steamed tea”. It is usually cultivated in sunny spots on the plantation. The production process is particularly gentle and early halting of the fermentation process gives this green tea from Japan its stunning green hue.
White tea: Stimulating, highly effective and a true rarity: White tea is one of the most exclusive teas and was already highly prized as a delicious elixir centuries ago. It is made from unopened buds plucked from the tea bush by hand. The buds have a light, silky casing, which gives the tea its name. The buds are processed gently and dried on racks in the open air in weak daylight. The tea is only mildly oxidised. It contains many polyphenols, which are antioxidants that render free radicals harmless, and also unfurls a stimulating effect.
As long ago as the 12th century, monks brought powdered green tea to Japan. They returned from the great Zen monasteries in China, where they had done their studies. Matcha served as an aid to meditation and as a way to spread Zen.
In conjunction with the Japanese tea ceremony, Matcha today has an important part to play in combining old traditions with the challenges of the new era – a return to the simple beauty of nature and craftsmanship.
Matcha is a ground green tea that can be drunk or used in the preparation of food. Because the tea bushes are shaded before being harvested, the leaves are strikingly dark green. They are steamed, dried and ground to fine powder in stone mills.
Matcha is also used in Japanese tea ceremonies. The preparation of Matcha tea serves to reflect on the simple beauty of nature and craftsmanship.
The preparation takes place in four steps:
“Two leaves and a bud”: that’s the golden rule when it comes to plucking tea leaves. Green tea is known for its delicate leaves, which are usually smaller than those of black tea. Pickers always only harvest the top two leaves and the leaf bud. This guarantees the best quality and an exquisite taste.
The production process determines the result in the cup. The fact that the leaves are not fermented primarily affects the colour and taste of the tea. The tea in the cup has a light yellow to green shimmer.
Generally speaking, tea is always best stored cool and dry in a dark container.
Protect the tea against heat, moisture and direct sunlight. The best place to store it is in a caddy made of porcelain or stainless metal. Do not use plastic and do not use paper containers for long-term storage. Tea should be exposed to as little oxygen as possible. It absorbs foreign smells, so it is also practical if the container is as airtight as possible.
Avoid storing the tea container in the direct vicinity of strong smells, i.e., alongside spices or cleaning products. EILLES TEE also has a wealth of practical tips and great caddies available for tea connoisseurs.
Learn more about black tea