Green tea is gaining tremendous popularity worldwide. While black tea is more prevalent in Europe and America, green tea is the fancy tea in the east. Some of the reasons for the increased popularity of green tea are the marketing praises that it is effective in fighting cancer, losing weight, and smoothening the skin. However, green tea is not a specific drink; it is a broad category with lots of junk between you and the excellent quality stuff. Here is an exclusive look at a beginner’s guide to drinking better green tea.
What Is Going Green?
Similar to bananas and avocados, tea leaves begin to change from its original color green to brown immediately it’s plugged out of the main plant. This is referred to as oxidation. If the process continues unrelieved, the tea leaves become completely oxidized, giving the rounded astringency and malty flavor of black tea from the oxidation enzymatic activity.
To make green tea, the oxidation process must be stopped as soon as possible. Stopping of oxidation can be achieved by either pan-frying oven roasting, or steaming the leaves. This helps to retain the tea freshness and flavor.
Based on research from Liquid Image, green tea is available in all grades and price ranges. In the Asian mark, it gets expensive fast upwards for pried varieties because the customer demand and know-how are both high. Higher grade greens are usually sweeter and more romantic but less far less bitter. The flavors are balanced with a smoother rounder sip. Premium green tea grades provide balance, unparalleled freshness, complexity, and unique sweetness. Tea bags will not offer any of this.
Good Greens to Know
One of the essential things to know when looking for green tea is that it does not last. Despite the modern airtight nitrogen-based packaging that is mostly used for Japanese greens, the clock starts to tick immediately you open the package. So, when you purchase your tea, make sure to drink it fast within some months while it is still fresh and with the best fragrance. Here are some of the greens to look for from japan and china, the countries that make green tea than any other.
Sencha is the Japanese prototypical green tea.it manufactured by steaming freshly picked leaves to stop oxidation. This results in saline, savory character with a subtle bitterness adding a pleasant balance fragrance of melon and pine with a sweet grassy flavor. Lightly steamed sencha brews a yellow, bright, and fresh scent. Another new style of sencha i.e., Fukamushi, is heavily steamed, resulting in a cloudier, darker brew with a savorer bolder taste. Both Japanese greens are worth sampling across the price ranges.
Laoshan teas are heavy hitters. The best Laoshan greens exhibit a creamy, buttery smooth texture with a refreshing spring peas taste. This style of green tea is popularly grown in Shandong Province in China and has one of the most valuable flavor, texture, and aroma. The taste exemplifies buttermilk biscuits and super-refreshing spring peas.
Genmaicha is a low-grade sencha bulked up with sorghum and rice for a toasty scent. However, Genmaicha lacks high-grade soft sweetness, and sticky body, its dynamic and strong character makes it an excellent alternative to coffee. It’s also more satisfying after a post-meal.
Bilochun is also a famous, less expensive Chinese green. It has a more fragrant and less nutty with more of a vegetable feel that reminiscences steamed edamame. When brewed right, it gives a slightly sticky, lip-smacking tea that slides down your throat.
Gyokuro is a Japanese tea with a global influence. Its bushes are shaded for three to six weeks before yield. This denies them from lights that force them to produce added nutrients like chlorophyll to feed on sunlight. This light denial yields extremely tasty tea.
Matcha is a powdered Japanese tea that is enjoying a trendy moment even though its origin is ancient. It’s made with a premium shade-grown leaves like Gyokuro that are manufactured, dried, deveined, and ground. This exhaustive process of making matcha makes it a luxurious tea. The best matcha is frozen to preserve its freshness, which dispels even faster than other greens.
Also known as Dragon Well, Longjing is the most expensive tea in china due to its top-grade quality. Quality Longjing is prepared by hand roasting in large woks to stop the action of the oxidizing enzymes. Careful roosting results to sweet, chestnut flavored leaves with the vegetal asparagus and pea shoots sweetness. When finding the high-quality leaves, look or short and stout with a pale-yellow color.
Brewing It Right
It is worth putting effort into brewing the green tea right if you are spending a good amount of cash purchasing premium green tea. This way, you will make your tea shine. Although there is no single recipe of brewing every green tea, these are some of the crucial elements to consider:
Water; water goes to a great extent in affecting the taste of your tea. Despite how good your tea is, if your water tastes foul, the quality of your tea will be affected. This means if you cannot drink your tap water directly, make sure you use bottled water or a filter when brewing your tea.
The amount of leaves. The more tea leaves used, the stronger the taste of the tea and vise Versa. It is recommendable, to begin with, one or two teaspoons of tea per a hundred millimeters of water for a full-bodied, plentiful tea and leaves that stand up for numerous steeping. You can also prepare using varying amounts to see what works best for you.
The temperature of the water. Green tea taste greater on high temperatures. Japanese green teas have a habit of flourishing around the temperatures of 160 to 170 degrees bringing out a little bitterness that complements the sweetness of the tea. You can also experiment with different temperatures to get your favorite.
Steep times. The best general guideline for quality tea is using more tea leaves for lesser time. Using the quantities stated above, every steeping should last a maximum of one minute. This way, you will be able to get about three to five steeping out of a quality green before it wrung out.
We hope this guideline will help you in choosing green tea and preparing your favorite cup. However, there is no wrong or right way of making green tea. What really matters is that you enjoy the taste of the green tea in your cup.