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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Green Teas For your Family

Green tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant from which all types of tea are made.  Produced primarily in China and Japan, tea leaves are picked, dried, and heat-treated to stop fermentation of the loose leaf green tea.  The heat treatment for Chinese green tea consists of roasting the tea leaves in a hot roasting pan whereas Japanese green tea is steamed. After moisture is removed through the heat treatment, the tea leaves are typically rolled and dried again before ready for use.  Chinese green tea produces a yellowish green liquor and toasted taste while Japanese green tea is dark green in color and has a grassy taste.  Loose green tea typically has 5-10% of the caffeine in an average cup of coffee.

History of Green Tea

Green tea has been consumed in Asia for centuries. When green tea was first discovered in China, only the wealthy and elite drank the expensive beverage.  By the 1400s, green tea was the drink of choice for Chinese commoners as well. It was essential for seafarers since green tea consumption prevented scurvy.  There are several regions in China that produce some of the finest premium green teas such as Dragonwell Green Tea, Golden Jade Green Tea and Huang Shan Mao Feng Reserve Green Tea.

Green tea was brought from China to Japan in A.D. 803 – 805.  A Japanese monk who had been studying in China planted seeds of the Chinese tea plant at his monastery.  After serving the tea to the Japanese emperor, the emperor ordered for the creation of more tea cultivation sites and eventually different varieties of the green tea were born.  Such varieties include Gyokuro Green Tea and Sencha Green Tea.

The Best Green Teas

Gyokuro is one of the best green teas from Japan. Gyokuro is grown in the shade which boosts the chlorophyll content of the leaves and gives it a unique taste. This loose leaf green tea has a sweet, earthy aftertaste. Gyokuro can be used to make Matcha, the powdered green tea of tea ceremonies.

Of the Chinese teas, Yunnan Emerald Buds Green Tea contains high-quality tea buds that have a slightly smoky and sweet taste. The tiny, delicate silver tipped tea buds has an amazing taste. Dragonwell is one of the best Chinese green teas and was previously reserved for the Imperial Family of China. Dragonwell green tea gets its name after the legend that a monk was sitting by a well during a drought when a dragon joined him.  The monk asked the dragon to rescue the tea crop and the dragon brought the rain.  Dragonwell green tea has a distinctive sweet aftertaste and is good for mental alertness.

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