The Ultimate Guide To Green Tea (2020)

1 CommentMonday, 2 March 2020  |  The Tea Makers of London

The Ultimate GUIDE TO THE TEA MAKERS' GREEN TEA

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

With this guide, you will be able find the perfect green tea for you.

This beginner's green tea guide will also be helpful to anyone looking to purchase green teas as gift for Christmas 2019.

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 and 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

1) Classic Chinese Green Teas

Anji Bai Cha - No. 72

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.

Fujian Mao Feng - No. 60

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.

Organic Dragon Well No. 54 & Supreme Dragon Well No. 56

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.

Menthos Gunpowder - No.67

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.

 

2) Floral Chinese Green Tea

Flowering Teas

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, jasminelily, hibiscus, osmanthus, rosebud.

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 No. 55

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 Green Tea - No. 53

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.

This is a well balanced, mild and refreshing tea with a wonderful aroma.

Jasmine green tea is very uplifting and aromatic.

The tea imparts a beautiful liquor with a bright yellowish green hue.

 

Japanese Green Teas

 

1) Loose Leaf Green Teas

Japanese Sencha - No. 51

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.

 

Supreme Japanese Genmaicha - No. 52

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.

Today, 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.

Japanese Houjicha - No. 65

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.

Supreme Japanese Sencha - No. 69

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.

2) 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.

 

Fruity Green Teas

 

Sencha & Goji Berry Green Tea Blend - No. 57

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.

White Teas

White Peony Supreme - No. 47

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.

Rare Ceylon Silver Tips - No. 50

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.

Our Silver Tips are made from carefully handpicked, single, unopened buds that are delicately sun-dried in the misty hills of Ceylon.

This velvety silver lined leaf contains a very high level of polyphenols and antioxidant and is low in caffeine.

The brew has a delicate, very light flavour with notes of pine & honey.

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.
 

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Malcolm Dufton
Wednesday, 8 July 2020  |  2:37

I enjoyed reading about the variety and individual characteristics of each tea.
There is a lot to experience and a lot to discover.

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