Green tea is said to be tea in the purest form. Its flavour can be described as clear, bright, crisp, fresh, grassy, herbaceous, and vegetal. Green tea has many benefits, and it is extremely healthy.
Production includes the following steps :
1. Hand-plucked buds and tiny leaves of tea bushes selected from healthy tea plants
2. Sorting to remove torn leaf, bits of stem and miscellaneous waste
3. Shaping done by hand or shaping machines
4. Finish-fire over a controlled heat source.
A. The major regions are :
1. China : This country dominates world-wide production of green tea not only by the volume of leaf produced but also by the endless variety of green tea found here. China's best teas are made by skilled workers. Their teas are fresh, delicate and clean.
2. Japan : Japan only produces one major class of tea i.e. green tea. It's famous for its dark, forest green, thin, needle-shaped green teas that are both astringent and sweet in equal measure. Japanese tea enthusiasts are deeply connected to the flavour of their green tea and are rarely attracted to the green tea offerings of other countries.
It was the Chinese that discovered the necessary means required to turn fresh leaf into green tea. The real history of green tea dates back to the 8th Century, when the method of steaming the leaves to inhibit their oxidation was discovered. In the 12th Century, a new frying method of "fixing" the leaves was introduced. With time, it became associated with many cultures in Asia from Japan to the Middle East. Now, it is chosen above black tea in many regions.
1. Green tea being the least oxidised contains very strong, natural oxidants called polyphenols that help in attaining a healthy body, skin and hair.
2. The presence of anti-oxidants makes it a powerful source and hence, reduces the risk of cancer.
3. The catechins present in green tea can kill bacteria which improve the dental health and potentially lower the risk of infection.
Green tea brewing time and temperature varies with individual teas. The hottest brewing temperatures are around 175℉ water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The coolest brewing temperatures for a few green teas are 130-160℉. Low quality green teas are steeped hotter and longer while high quality ones are steeped cooler and shorter.