Green Teas Explained - Explore the Flavours of Green Tea
Friday, 7 October 2016 | Maja Alice
Choose the perfect green tea for you
The British population is embracing green tea. A cup of Earl Grey is no longer the preferred choice in our country. With a rapidly growing interest in fine foods, superfoods and healthy eating, we are steering away from the old classics and venturing into new tea territory. Green teas are the new black (pun intended). But with so many green teas to choose from, how do you find the right green tea for you?
Camellia Sinensis fields
In this blog post, we give a detailed description of each of our many green teas. We also explore the flavours, the health benefits and the history of green tea.
With this guide, you will be able find the perfect green tea for you. This guide will also be helpful to anyone looking to purchase green teas as gift for Christmas 2016.
Let us first explore the history of green tea and find out why it has become so popular in the UK.
Green tea is made from the same Camellia Sinensis leaves that are used for the production of black, oolong and Pu-Erh teas. The difference comes from treatment of the plants during growth and under post-harvest processing. Withering, oxidation a fermentation turns the Camellia Sinensis leaves into the black teas that we have been consuming in Britain for centuries. So essentially, green tea is just a less processed version of black tea. However, the flavour of the green tea brew, as well as its health benefits, are very different from that of black tea.
Left to right: Fresh Camellia Sinensis leaves, Asian green tea market, British afternoon tea service.
Green tea is famously high in healthy antioxidants. The Japanese green tea variety, Matcha green tea powder is exceptionally high in the antioxidant EGCG which can help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by clearing up blocked arteries.
Green tea originated in China, however, the production of green tea has spread through Asia and other parts of the world. China and Japan are historically the largest consumers and producers of green tea. Tea was intruded to Japan in the 9th Century by Buddhist monks who brought back the beverage from travels to China. Since then, green tea has become an integral part of Japanese culture and Japanese cuisine.
‘The Way of Tea’ - the Japanese tea ceremony - was perfected by the tea master Sen no Rikyu who introduced the principals of harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity into the process of brewing tea. Japanese tea ceremonies are a time for peace, reflection, good health and relaxation. In the crowded rush of modern day life in Britain, many people are finding enjoyment in the peace and tranquillity of brewing green tea. Some say that brewing and consuming a pot of high-quality green tea, allows them to take some much needed “me time” and a small breather from the stresses of everyday life.
The Way of Tea - The Japanese tea ceremony
The flavour of green tea is generally mild and tends to have fresh and grassy notes whereas some green teas have a sweeter flavour.
Explore the teas below to find the perfect green tea for your needs.
Chinese Green Teas
Classic Chinese Green Teas
This rare tea is of the utmost, exquisite quality. Our Anji Bai Cha is a green tea produced in Zhejiang Province of China. This tea is harvested in early spring during a very short harvesting period of three weeks. The thin, long tender buds are carefully handpicked and pan dried. Similar to making white teas, our Anji Bai Cha goes through very little processing.
The tea offers a very clean and light liquor with a hint of pale greenish colour. The brew is refreshingly delicate and soothing but imparts a complex flavour with mellow and beautifully mild lemon notes. The tea has a silky mouth-feel and a lingering and subtly sweet finish.
This delicate tea is rich in the healthy antioxidant theanine. A rare green tea from Anji, Zhejiang Province, China.
This delicious Mao Feng green tea is celebrated for its gloriously downy, slightly twisted, leaf buds, which impart a wonderfully smooth and distinct flavour to offer the grandest of daytime teas.
Exceptionally rich in antioxidants, our delicious version of this famous Chinese green tea bestows a gorgeous jade-green cup with a flowery, aromatic fragrance and refreshing taste that lingers beautifully on the tongue.
Imparting a less grassy taste than a typical green tea, Mao Feng is favoured by those who do not usually like green teas.
Huangshan Mao Feng - No. 64
This majestic Chinese tea has the most stunning, bright green leaves. It is lovingly cultivated in tea gardens, which nestle amongst the high peaks of the Huangshan mountains.
The strikingly large, robust leaves and fine, delicate buds are a testament to the famously fertile soil, perpetual mists and cool air of this historical region. Offering a pure and translucent, emerald-green liquor with subtly-sweet nutty notes and a long lasting, delicately floral aftertaste, this mellow, finely textured tea is the perfect accompaniment to desserts.
This tea was first produced in 1875 during The Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in the area around the Huangshan mountains. The teas are grown at altitudes of over 700 meters, and the fertile soil, cool air, and adequate rain makes the tea leaves large and strong which gives Huangshan Mao Feng tea its long lasting aroma.
What distinguishes this tea from other Mao Feng teas is the colour of its leaves. The tea liquor is jade green in colour and has a light flowery fragrance.
The flavour is fresh and mellow with lovely nutty notes and a pleasant floral aftertaste.
Dragon Well tea is a variety of pan-fried green teas that has a distinctive, emerald-green, flat leaf. The tea leaves have a delightful fragrance and a majestic aesthetic appearance.
With extraordinarily high levels of the natural antioxidant ‘catechin’, vitamin C and amino acids, this king of teas provides the perfect pick-me-up at any time of the day.
The tea is distinguished by its exquisite flavour, which is mellow and delicate with a sweet aftertaste. The tea liquor has a beautiful yellowy glow with a pine-green hue that gives it an alluring quality.
The aroma of this king of green teas is fresh and has a strong scent of toasty grass. The brewed tea imparts a fresh umami flavour with nutty undertones and hints of grassy meadow.
This tea contains Vitamin C, amino acids, and - like most fine Chinese green teas - has a high concentration of catechin. The tea grows in Hangzhou West Lake Region, Zhejiang Province, China.
Our Menthos Green Tea is made with high-quality Chinese gunpowder, finest American mint and an intense natural crisp mint flavour to give you a special taste experience.
Aromatic, lively, yet rich, this exciting composition develops an unparalleled aroma and scent.
The fresh flavour really livens up your spirit. This popular classic is ideal for an iced tea on hot days.
Floral Chinese Green Tea
This tea is the epitome of self-indulgence. It is a true treat for all the sense and appeals to those who love adventure and magic. Wonderfully aromatic, delicious to the palate and stunning to observe, flowering teas recall their natural spring blooming, and, just as in nature, there is wide range of flowers and colours to enjoy. Each bundle of flowering tea consists of dried silver needle green tea leaves, wrapped around one or more dried flowers which are skillfully bound to rise and bloom in your teapot.
They are hand-made by skilled Chinese tea artisans and produce a delicately aromatic and flavourful cup of tea. When steeped, the bundle expands and unfurls in a process that emulates a blooming flower. Flowers commonly used in flowering teas include chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, hibiscus, osmanthus, rose bud.
Made for use in a glass teapot, flowering tea is as much a joy to observe as it is to drink. Each bundle offers you a different viewing and flavour experience, making it a wonderful conversation piece for tea with friends and a great topic for your next Instagram video. Try a new type of flowering tea bulb each time you order.
Jasmine Dragon Pearls is an artisan Chinese tea made from luxury green tea leaves and Jasmine flowers. During production, the tea leaves are layered with Jasmine as to allow the oils of the flower to infuse into the tea. The tea leaves are then delicately rolled into beautiful little pearls that unfurl when steeped into hot water.
These perfectly balanced stunning Jasmine Dragon Pearls tea has an intense flowery taste and a beautiful fragrance. The infusion has an elegant champagne colour and a flowery aroma.
The aroma of this beautiful artisan tea is dominated by the fresh floral scent of Jasmine. The brewed tea liquor has a stunning light-yellow, royal, champagne hue. The tea imparts an intense, floral and smooth flavour with a fresh, spring undertone.
Jasmine Dragon Pearls tea is named so because of the pearl shape of the tea. Our Jasmine Dragon Pearls tea grows in the Fujian Province in China. It is the most popular of all jasmine teas. Jasmine Dragon Pearls tea is created by hand rolling specially plucked long silver velvety shoots into little tea balls which are then naturally scented with fresh, aromatic jasmine flowers. To create the highest quality tea pearls, fresh jasmine petals and tea leaves are layered until the jasmine scent is fully merged with the tea leaves. Then, the petals are removed, and the tea is carefully dried again. Each pearl blossoms when put them into hot water.
Jasmine Phoenix Pearls - No. 48
Our exquisitely delicate Dragon Phoenix Pearls hail from the Fujian Province, China, where the wonderful large white buds are meticulously plucked and hand-rolled into perfectly shaped phoenix eyes.
Using the very highest level of craftsmanship, the elegant pearls are then gently perfumed more than five times over with aromatic jasmine flowers.
Offering the most beautifully natural and pleasingly consistent jasmine aroma, this wonderful artisan tea imparts a deliciously mellow taste with lingering sweet notes, which can be enjoyed at any time of day.
Natural Jasmine Green tea is made by mixing Jasmine flowers with Chinese Green Tea until their perfume of the flowers has been absorbed into the tea leaves.
The tea is then baked gently in an oven. The process is repeated several times to ensure a strong fragrance.
Jasmine green tea is very uplifting and aromatic. The tea imparts a beautiful liquor with a bright yellowish green hue.
Jasmine Rings - No. 77
This finest jasmine tea naturally scented with jasmine blossoms has a lovely, subtle jasmine taste.
Made in the Fujian province of China, the tea has been scented with newly blossomed jasmine flower and has a beautiful jasmine aroma.
This is a perfectly balanced tea with a flavour that lingers on the tongue. The liquor has a bright yellowish green hue.
Chung Hao Green Tea - No. 59
This celestial green tea is a specialty tea that was traditionally reserved exclusively for the Chinese Imperial Court. Painstakingly crafted by gently layering the finest Chung Hao green tea leaves with delicate jasmine blossoms, the tea is left until the exquisite fragrance of the flowers has been completely absorbed.
Hailed as one of the finest jasmine teas, Chung Hao green tea has a stunning aroma and the sweetest, most delicate flavour.
Like all green teas, Chung Hao contains healthy antioxidants.
Japanese Green Teas
Loose Leaf Green Teas
Sencha is the most popular tea in Japan, representing about 80 percent of Japanese tea production. The Japanese enjoy Sencha hot in the cooler months and chilled during the months of summer.
This sencha tea from Ise Bay imparts a delicate yellowish-green liquor that has a grassy, sweet and mildly astringent flavour. It is one of the most well-loved teas in Japan and has various health benefits.
The dry leaf has a distinctively sweet and fresh aroma with a subtle hint of grassy meadow and fresh spring air. The brewed tea has a transparent green hue with reflections of sunny yellow and imparts a grassy and sweet flavour with a light, umami astringency.
Ise Bay in Mie Prefecture, Japan has been producing high-quality tea over 800 years.
When producing Japanese Sencha green tea, the leaves are not ground as with other teas. It is slightly steamed to prevent oxidisation of the leaves. Then, the leaves are rolled, shaped, and dried. This step creates the customary, thin and cylindrical shape of the tea leaf which has a very fine and fragile structure. Finally, after drying, the leaves are fried to aid in their preservation and to add flavour.
The flavour of the tea develops during the different season of the year. The First Flush, spring picked Sencha is considered to be the most delicious and fine version of the tea. The flavour also varies from region to region. We work very closely with the producers of this tea and import only the very best quality Sencha.
Sourced from Ise Bay in Mie Prefecture, Japan, this Japanese specialty tea is made with premium quality Sencha, roasted rice grains and popcorn. In ancient Japan, tea was a luxury commodity. Therefore, the Japanese mixed roasted rice with Sencha green tea and created the blend that is now known as Genmaicha. Today, Genmaicha is a luxurious delicacy tea with a very distinctive and delicious flavour.
The tea has a mild flavour and combines the fresh grassy taste of green tea with the aroma of roasted rice. The combination of elements creates a beautifully balanced tea that plays with your senses of taste, smell and sight.
The tea imparts a mild and refreshing flavour with nutty notes and a toasty undertone.
oday, Japanese Genmaicha green tea is consumed in the Western world as a delicacy with an interesting a complex flavour profile. However, in ancient Japan, Genmaicha was actually a peasant’s tea. While the roasted rice and popcorn impart a very beautiful and distinctive flavour to the brewed tea, the original purpose of adding rice was not a culinary innovation but, simply, an attempted to make the green tea last longer. This is why, in Japan, Genmaicha is known as ‘The People’s Tea’.
Genmaicha was also consumed by Buddhist during periods of fasting and by those who did not have regular access to food.
This wonderful green tea is carefully produced by gently roasting the leaves over an intensely high heat. Traditionally left for longer, after the first and second flush, the maturity of the leaves offer a wonderful reddish-brown infusion, which gives way to the most refreshing taste and a deeply rich, nutty aroma.
Imparting an exceptional, caramel flavour, whilst still retaining the creamy undertones is what makes this green tea so special.
Houjicha has less astringency and caffeine, making it the perfect, relaxing after-dinner drink.
This is a premium grade, handpicked, organic Sencha tea from Ise Bay in Mie Prefecture, Japan.
Rich in vitamin C, this healthy tea is excellent alone or with meals.
Organic Sencha is made without grinding the tea leaves. First it is slightly steamed to prevent oxidization of the leaves. Then, the leaves are rolled, shaped, and dried. This step creates the customary thin cylindrical shape of the tea.
This finest quality Sencha Supreme green tea from Ise Bay in Mie Prefecture, Japan is our most revered, award winning tea. The supreme quality of this exquisite tea is delicately cultivated by our exceptionally talented Japanese tea farmers, whose tea expertise has been passed from generation to generation for over 800 years.
Our Japanese Sencha Supreme green tea imparts a mellow sweetness, perfectly balanced by a mild and refreshing astringency and delicate umami notes. The fresh sea breeze of the bay area is reflected in the tea’s complex flavour and intoxicating aroma.
The tea imparts a beautifully mild and refreshing taste with a gently sweet aftertaste and grassy umami notes.
Sencha green tea is the most popular tea in Japan, representing about 80 percent of Japanese tea production. The Japanese enjoy Sencha hot in the cooler months of winter and chilled during the hot months of summer.
We work very closely with our Japanese tea farmers to ensure that only the most exceptional and high quality tea leaves end up in your teacup. Supreme Sencha is grown in full sunlight and is delicately handpicked by skilled tea farmers. When producing Japanese Sencha green tea, the leaves are not ground as with other teas. It is slightly steamed to prevent oxidization of the leaves. Then, the leaves are rolled, shaped, and dried. This step creates the customary, thin and cylindrical shape of the tea leaf which has a very fine and fragile structure. Finally, after drying, the leaves are fried to aid in their preservation and to add flavour.
Matcha Green Tea Powder
Only the finest, shade grown Camellia Sinensis leaves are used for the production of our Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder. These exquisite and luxurious Matcha green teas are meticulously grown, delicately farmed and carefully stone-ground by our exceptionally talented Japanese tea experts from the revered tea district, Ise Bay in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Farmers in Ise Bay have been producing tea for over 800 years and have passed down their ancient knowledge from generation to generation since the 13th century.
Matcha tea has become immensely popular in recent years because of its proven health benefits, fresh flavour and intoxicating vibrant green colour.
Matcha tea is dominated by healthy amino acids which impart and beautifully fresh umami flavour. This exceptionally high quality grade of Matcha has an intense sweetness and a much deeper flavour than standard grade Matcha powders.
Matcha is very popular for use in cooking - mainly to make cakes, sweets and ice cream. Our Matcha tea is perfect for making delicious desserts and for infusing into spicy coconut curries.
Mie Prefecture has been producing high-quality tea for over 800 years. Matcha is made from the shade-grown tea leaves that are also used to make Gyokuro. In order to prevent direct sunlight, the tea bushes are covered circa three weeks before harvest. This slows down growth, and causes the production of healthy amino acids. As a result of this treatment, the fine quality Matcha develops a vibrantly green colour.
Only the finest tea buds are handpicked for use in Matcha production. The buds are stone-ground to a fine powder through the use of specially designed granite stone mills. It can take up to one hour to grind 30 grams of Matcha.
Ceylon Green Teas
Organic Ceylon Gunpowder - No. 62
This skilfully rolled tea is made from hand picked tender buds from the very best organic tea estate, situated in the totally un-spoilt environment of the misty hills of Sri Lanka.
Ceylon green teas generally have a fuller body and a more pungent, malty and nutty flavour characteristic.
Ceylon green tea tend to impart a darker brew, and their flavour is very rich.
This is a rare tea of the most exquisite quality. Hailing from Sri Lanka, the tea is renowned for its distinctive and characteristically pungent flavour. The green tea pellets are skilfully rolled from the most tender, hand-picked buds.
Offering a gorgeous, darkly golden liquor and imparting a captivatingly rich flavour with a delicious hint of oakiness, this is a wonderfully characterful infusion and, with the usual fantastic health benefits of a sublime green tea, it is the perfect pick me up taken at any time of the day.
Fruity Green Teas
This fresh, aromatic and sweet composition is created by mixing invigorating ginger pieces with smooth and sweet blackberry leaves.
The flavour combination of crisp apples and delicately tangy green tea offers a perfect tea indulgence.
This green tea blend with exotic fruits imparts a deliciously sweet and mild flavour.
The brew is wonderfully aromatic and has a distinctive taste of tangerine and coconut.
A perfect tea for those with a sweet tooth.
This vibrant green Sencha blend is a supreme taste sensation.
With a masterful and perfectly balanced combination of fine, golden Sencha leaves, sweet juicy goji berries, tangy pomegranate seeds and lemon grass this exquisite tea imparts a wonderfully refreshing and distinctive flavour.
Bursting with high levels of healthy antioxidants and rich in vitamins, this exceptional blend will revitalise your senses and boost your immune system.
With a sweet lingering, flavoursome taste, you will find it equally delicious taken hot or cold.
This Supreme White Peony is grown in the home of white tea, Fujian, China. The tea is made from the finest and most delicate spring buds.
This deliciously sweet and mellow tea is named after the delicate petals of the White Peony and is characterised by its tender, downy–white leaves. The delicate buds are naturally withered by the sun before they open.
Offering a golden, bright liquor this exquisite white tea imparts a plush, fruity flavour with a smooth, flowery aroma.
Acclaimed for being rich in antioxidants, this tea is perfect for enjoying in the evening.
This beautiful white tea grows in the Imboolpittiya Estate, located in the central hills of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Imboolpitiya Silver Tips are renowned for their outstanding and unrivalled quality.
This velvety silver lined leaf contains a very high level of polyphenols and antioxidant and is low in caffeine.
The wonderfully subtle and delicate flavour is very soothing and relaxing.
These luxury silver tips are rich in fragrance and possess an alluring quality with a hint of natural sweetness.
White Dragon Pearls - No. 49
White Dragon Pearls is one of the highest quality white teas from Fujian, China.
When steeped, every pearl will slowly unfurl emulating a blooming flower.
The flavour of the brew is very mellow and mild whereas the aroma is pure and floral.