You have most likely have heard of green tea and its plethora of health benefits, but what if you are new to tea and unsure where to begin? We have got you covered in our beginner guide to green tea and will help you make the right choice.
The popularity and demand of green tea has been growing fast in the west and research suggests that it is being driven by Millennials and Generation Z. This is because younger tea drinkers prefer healthier beverages and green tea is leading the way, especially as it can be enjoyed as a hot or cold brew. In fact, if you type #greentea on Instagram, you will see a myriad posts. And it is not just for drinking! Green tea is versatile and can be used for clay masks, or matcha ice cream.
The purported health benefits of green tea includes promotion of weight loss, speeding up your metabolism, improvement of brain function and generally the abundance of antioxidants which is why it is regarded as one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
However, with so much choice, where do you start?
1) Japanese Sencha Green Tea
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.
2) Jasmine Green Tea
This fine Chinese loose-leaf green tea has been delicately infused with natural jasmine flowers and mixed with whole jasmine buds. The infusion method - referred to by tea professionals as 'scenting' - is an intricate process that requires many years of experience to perfect!
The tea leaves are carefully layered with newly bloomed jasmine flowers and are left to infuse for several hours. The essential oils of the jasmine flowers slowly seep into the tea leaves and allow for the natural flavours and aromas to absorb and mix. The jasmine green tea is then gently baked in an oven to remove moisture.
This process is repeated up to seven times to ensure that the tea leaves take on a strong fragrance.
Typically, the tea is green or white tea based, that has been naturally infused with jasmine buds and jasmine flower petals. The unique aroma and taste of jasmine beautifully compliments the grassy, vegetal and nutty notes of the delicate green and white teas.
3) Fujian Mao Feng
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.
4) Supreme Japanese Genmaicha
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.
5) Organic Gunpowder
This exceptional organic Ceylon green tea is made from hand-picked tender buds that grow in one of the top-ranked organic tea gardens of Sri Lanka. The garden is situated in the beautiful, unspoilt natural environment of Sri Lanka’s misty mountains.
Ceylon green teas are famously full-bodied, impart a pungent, malty and nutty characteristic and tend to have a darker leaf with a flavour that is richer than other green teas.
This fine tea is produced without any artificial aid, resulting in a pure and very healthy product. The tea leaves are skilfully rolled by talented tea-workers and shaped into small pellets that resemble gunpowder - hence the name.
Our Green Tea Discovery Collection
Our tea discovery collection is the perfect introduction to green tea which features all of the above green teas 10g packs. This gives you the opportunity to taste different green teas and find out which taste best suits you.
This has been popular with our customers and they tend to agree that this is the perfect starter pack for green tea.