Green tea belongs to the category of unfermented teawhich goes through the pan-firing process right after the leaves have been plucked. It is now the most common type of tea in China. The infusion of green tea is yellowish green with a fresh aromatic taste.
Green tea undergoes minimal oxidation during processing. Raw tea leaves are heated, rolled and dried without fermentation. This enables the leaves to keep their original color and retain their naturally occurring antioxidants, which according to recent research can help reduce the risk of cancer and slow down the aging process.
With a longer history than other varieties, green tea is the most popular variety of tea consumed
domestically in China.A book written by Lu Yu in 600-900 AD (Tang Dynasty), “Tea Classic” 茶经;is considered important in green tea history.China is the world’s largest green tea exporter, comprising more than 80 percent of the global market.
- Zhejiang Province is home to the most famous of all teas, Xi Hu Longjing (西湖龙井), as well as many other high-quality green teas.
- 龙井 Longjing
- Maybe the most well-known green tea in China; originates from Hangzhou (杭州), the capital of Zhejiang Province. Longjing in Chinese literally means dragon well. It is pan-fired and has a distinctive flat appearance. The tasteless frying oil is obtained from tea seeds and other plants. There are many fake Longjings on the market and in less-scrupulous teahouses around the country.
- 景宁惠明茶 Huiming
- Named after a temple in Zhejiang.
- 开化龙顶 Kaihua Longding
- A tea from Kaihua County known as Dragon Mountain.
- 华顶云雾 Hua Ding
- A tea from Tiantai County, named after a peak in the Tiantai mountain range.
- 天目青顶 Qing Ding
- A tea from Tian Mu, also known as Green Top.
- 平水珠茶 Gunpowder
- A popular tea also known as zhuchá, originates in Zhejiang but is now grown elsewhere in China. This tea is also the quintessential ingredient in brewingMoroccan mint tea, which is brewed green tea with fresh mint.
- Jiangsu Province
- 洞庭碧螺春 Bi Luo Chun
- A Chinese famous tea also known as Green Snail Spring, from Dong Ting. As with Longjing, inauthentic Bi Luo Chun is common and most of the tea marketed under this name may, in fact, be grown in Sichuan.
- 南京雨花茶 Rain Flower
- A tea from Nanjing.
- 金坛雀舌 Que She (Tongue of golden altar sparrow)
- originate in Jin Tan city of Jiangsu Province.
- 太湖白云 White Cloud
- Fujian Province is known for mountain-grown organic green tea as well as white tea and oolong tea. The coastal mountains provide a perfect growing environment for tea growing. Green tea is picked in spring and summer seasons.
- 茉莉花茶 Jasmine tea (Mo Li Hua Cha)
- A tea with added jasmine flowers.
- 毛峰 Mao Feng tea
- Meaning “furry peak”.
- 翠剑 Cui Jian
- Meaning “jade sword”.
- Hubei Province
- 玉露 Yu Lu
- A steamed tea also known as Gyokuro (Jade Dew) in Japanese, made in the Japanese style.
- Henan Province
- 信阳毛尖 Xin Yang Mao Jian
- A Chinese famous tea also known as Green Tip, or Tippy Green.
- Jiangxi Province
- 珍眉 Chun Mee
- Meaning “precious eyebrows”; from Jiangxi, it is now grown elsewhere.
- 狗牯 Gou Gu Nao
- A well-known tea within China and recipient of numerous national awards.
- 云雾 Yun Wu
- A tea also known as Cloud and Mist.
- Anhui Province is home to several varieties of tea, including three Chinese famous teas. These are:
- 大方 Da Fang
- A tea from Huangshan also known as Big Square suneet.
- 黄山毛峰 Huangshan Maofeng
- A Chinese famous tea from Huangshan
- 六安瓜片 Liuan Leaf
- A Chinese famous tea also known as Melon Seed
- 猴魁 Hou Kui
- A Chinese famous tea also known as Monkey tea
- 屯绿 Tun Lu
- A tea from Tunxi District.
- 火青 Huo Qing
- A tea from Jing County, also known as Fire Green
- 雾里青 Wuliqing
- Wuliqing was known since the Song dynasty. Since 2002, Wuliqing is produced again according to the original processing methods by a company called Tianfang (天方). Zhan Luojiu a tea expert and professor at the Anhui Agricultural University who relived its production procedure.
- A medium-quality tea from many provinces, an early-harvested tea.
- Sichuan Province
- 竹叶青茶 Zhu Ye Qing
- Also known as Meng Ding Cui Zhu or Green Bamboo
- 蒙顶甘露 Meng Ding Gan Lu
- A yellowish-green tea with sweet aftertaste.
- 百美绿茶 Baimei Green Tea
- Shaanxi Province
- 汉中仙毫 Han Zhong Xian Hao
- A green tea from the Han Zhong.
Production of Green Tea
Each successive century has provided some refinement in the processing of Green Tea but the process has 3 basic steps:
“Kill-Green” (also known as Fixing”)
Stops the natural fermentation and growing processes within the leaves without damaging them. Steaming the leaves, hand pressing in a hot pan and baking techniques are used. This also sets up the next step for Rolling/Forming the leaves.
Leaves are passed through hot and/or cold rollers to slightly break down the leaves, which establishes the shape of the leaves and intensifies the tea flavour.
Stabilizes the final moisture content of the leaves, stops fermentation, prevents mould growth, removes any grassy leaf taste and develops the tea’s aroma. Sun drying, pan heating and hot air methods are used.
Because Green Tea is exposed to the least amount of processing, this tea retains more of the naturalness of the tea plant than any other tea. More than 85% of the caffeine, 50% of the chlorophyll and most vitamins are retained.
Storing Green Tea
Because Green Tea is exposed to the least amount of processing, the leaves are subject to natural enzymatic breakdown by oxidation just like any other organic material and faster than other teas. Green Tea is best kept in a cool, dry place in an airtight container or even in a refrigerator. We recommend refrigeration which actually improves the taste of the tea, as well as making it last much longer. However, if refrigerated storage is used, the tea should be kept refrigerated at all times as successive warming and cooling will degrade the tea.