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Green tea

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Step into the ethereal realm of green tea. Behold the pristine allure of the least oxidized of the teas. It never fails to astonish us how much depth lies within this minimally processed tea. Take a sip and follow the brisk and grassy notes that intertwine with a mesmerizing buttery sweetness. Or, follow the symphony of nutty floral tones when trying briskly pan-fried varieties. Green tea is our go-to choice after a heavy meal or when bringing clarity to the mind before the start of a work day.

At Tea Kulture, we meticulously source the finest hand-picked tea leaves directly from tea farmers in Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Malawi. Each region's distinct terroir infuses unparalleled depth into every brew, ensuring a journey of flavor and discovery with every sip.
What is Green Tea?

Green tea is the least oxidized of all the tea types, meaning it’s the freshest and closest to its original state when it’s still a part of the tea bush. During processing, the tea leaves go through a special process called “kill green,” which prevents oxidation from happening and preserves the leaves’ natural green color. Imagine biting into an apple which starts to turn brown after interacting with oxygen.

Indeed, it is the same for tea leaves. The leaves that are left to oxidize also develop their own beautiful and unique flavors, like in the case of black tea. However, with green tea, the goal is to preserve that brisk grassy spirit.

Want to discover more about the origins of green tea? Read more.

How to Brew Green Tea

Unfortunately, many people don’t get off on the right foot with green tea, believing it to be too bitter and astringent. On the contrary, green tea is incredibly sweet and mellow when brewed correctly! However, green tea does require a little more finesse than black tea, which can easily withstand boiling temperatures and even an extra minute of forgetting about the tea. That’s not the case with green tea, which demands our undivided attention and consideration.

When brewing your tea, carefully calibrate the water temperature, steeping time, and tea leaf-to-water ratio for a blissful brew. For example, Chinese green teas are best brewed at a temperature between 70-80°C, while Japanese green teas favor a slightly cooler temperature, about 65°C.

Green tea is also exceptionally delicious when cold brewed — developing very refreshing yet sweet and almost sappy tones. We encourage everyone to experiment and discover the method that best suits their taste.

Want to discover more about how to brew a delicious cup of tea? Read more.

The Different Types and Origins of Green Tea

Tea originated in China and green tea is no exception. In fact, green tea was the first tea type to ever exist, although at its roots it was slightly different from the green teas we know and love today.

Green tea’s origins trace back to ancient China, where it evolved from rustic sun-dried styles during the Song dynasty (960 – 1279 CE). However, nowadays green tea is widely cultivated in countries like Japan and South Korea and increasingly in Southeast Asia. For example, Japan is widely regarded for its terroir, producing exceptional teas like matcha and sencha. Meanwhile, countries worldwide have joined in on green tea production, with Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malawi, and Myanmar, among others, producing some unique varieties each imparting unique flavors and aromas thanks to their distinctive terroirs.

At Tea Kulture, we are dedicated to sustainability and fair trade. We source tea directly from farmers in Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Malawi, who use natural methods, ensuring fair wages and ethical working conditions. Through direct trade relationships, we offer quality tea leaves without compromising others or nature.

Want to discover more about the origins of green tea? Read more.

Green Tea Caffeine Content

Green tea tends to have the lowest caffeine levels, as it steeps at lower temperatures. While the oxidation of the tea is generally not an indicator of how much caffeine we will intake, the average caffeine content of green tea is typically 20-45 mg/cup. In comparison, an average cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine.

Please note that several factors contribute to the caffeine levels in tea: natural environment, fertilization, the part of the plant that was picked, seasonality, and of course, brewing time.

Want to discover more about caffeine in tea? Read more.

How is Green Tea Processed?

The journey of green tea begins with the careful selection of tea leaves, which undergo minimal oxidation, distinguishing them from other types of tea. The heart of green tea production lies in a pivotal process known as fixing or “kill-green,” when heat is applied to break down the enzymes responsible for the color change. The result is tea leaves that retain their vivid green hue and fresh, grassy scent.

Following fixation, the leaves are artfully shaped into various styles, each with its own distinct character. Japanese Sencha and Gyokuro are rolled into slender needles, Dragon Well (Long Jing) features flat, broad leaves, while Green Snail Spring (Bi Luo Chun) from China is crafted into delicate, snail-like curls.

Furthermore, each green tea type is categorized according to its unique firing method, with some of the most common being:

  • Steamed
  • Pan-fried
  • Oven-bake
  • Tumble-roasted
  • Sun-cured

Common examples of steamed green teas include Japanese teas like Sencha and Gyokuro, which have distinct vivid green colors and incredibly umami-rich notes. On the other hand, we have Chinese pan-fried teas like Long Jing and Bi Luo Chan that are noted for their nutty and floral tones.

How to Store Green Tea

Properly storing tea is crucial to retain its freshness and flavor.

To preserve your green tea leaves, place them in an airtight, opaque container to shield them from oxygen, which may lead to oxidation and compromise their aroma. Store your tea in a cool, dark location, away from sunlight and heat sources, to protect it from temperature changes.

Ensure the storage area remains dry to prevent moisture absorption, which can degrade the tea’s quality. Avoid placing your tea near strong odors to prevent flavor contamination.

By investing in high-quality tea leaves and storing them correctly, you can prolong the retention of their intricate flavors for extended periods.

Want to discover more about how to store loose-leaf tea? Read more.

The Health Benefits of Green Tea: Myths and Realities

The health benefits of tea are a frequent topic of debate. Let’s explore this further. Although tea has a long history of being associated with medicinal uses, today’s wellness trends subject these claims to increased scrutiny.

Green tea, for instance, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its cooling properties and ability to regulate excess heat in the body, temporarily relieving irritability, headaches, and digestive issues. For example, try drinking green tea after a heavy or oily meal and see how you feel. However, can it actually cure conditions like cancer, heart disease, and arthritis? We approach such claims with caution.

Tea does contain beneficial compounds such as polyphenols (antioxidants), L-theanine (an amino acid), and alkaloids, all of which have notable physiological effects. These elements contribute to tea’s potential health benefits, but definitive health outcomes remain uncertain.

At Tea Kulture, we encourage tea lovers to enjoy tea as a healthy habit that offers positive benefits, rather than viewing it as a medicinal cure.

A Few Final Words

Concluding our exploration of green tea, let’s savor its pristine allure and remarkable depth. With each sip, experience the symphony of flavors that dance on your palate, from its complex umami profiles to the mesmerizing buttery sweetness.

At Tea Kulture, our commitment to sustainability and fair trade ensures that every sip of tea tells a story of ethical sourcing and unparalleled quality. Embrace the warmth of each cup, savoring its comforting embrace. Join us in celebrating the artistry of black tea by trying one of our curated varieties.

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