By Terri Paajanen
Green teas have undergone less processing than black teas, and have a much lighter flavour. The health benefits of green tea are seemingly endless. Since the leaves are not fermented, the taste is pleasantly fresh and herbal. You should never brew green teas in fully boiling water or you can destroy the delicate taste.
Follow the links to find places that sell these teas.
Sencha is the most popular of Japan’s green teas. It has a lightly astringent taste along with a slight sweetness. Lesser quality sencha tea is called bancha.
Dragonwell green tea (also called Lung Ching) is the ultimate green tea. The name comes from a legendary well in the West Lake region of China where the tea is produced. The colour is bright green and the flavour is quite brisk. Be prepared to pay more than usual for this quality tea.
Macha is the kind of green tea used in tradtional Japanese tea ceremony. It’s ground up very fine, and the tea is whisked when prepared. The flavour is light and sweet. Macha works well added to desserts too.
These tea leaves are rolled into tight, little balls that apparently resemble old-style gunpowder. Because of the rolled form, Gunpowder green tea stays fresher longer than most other green teas. The taste is fresh and a little grassy.
Jasmine isn’t exactly a kind of green tea, but is a blended tea with green tea leaves and jasmine flowers. The blossoms give the tea a very refreshing taste, and fragrant aroma.
Like the jasmine tea, genmaicha isn’t a kind of green tea but a blend. This time, sencha green tea is mixed with toasted brown rice. Sounds odd, but the tea has a distinctive toasty and pleasant flavour.
Anji is becoming popular due to its fine and subtle flavor. Its grown in the Zhejiang region of China and has thin little leaves that look almost black in dry form. A good variety to try if you find others to be too strong tasting.