Green tea is a type of tea that is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong and black tea. Green tea originated in China, but its production has spread to many countries in Asia.
Several varieties of green tea exist, which differ substantially because of the variety of C. sinensis used, growing conditions, horticultural methods, production processing, and time of harvest.
- 1 History
- 2 Brewing and serving
- 3 Extracts
- 4 Health effects
- 5 Production
- 6 Green tea by country
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
A book written by Lu Yu in 600-900 AD (Tang Dynasty), "Tea Classic" (simplified Chinese: 茶经; traditional Chinese: 茶經; pinyin: chájīng), is considered important in green tea history. The Kissa Yojoki (喫茶養生記 Book of Tea), written by Zen priest Eisai in 1191, describes how drinking green tea may affect five vital organs, the shapes of tea plants, flowers and leaves, and how to grow and process tea leaves.
Brewing and serving
Steeping, or brewing, is the process of making tea, generally using two grams of tea per 100 ml of water or about 1 teaspoon of green tea per 150 ml cup. Higher-quality teas, like gyokuro, use more tea leaves and are steeped multiple times for short durations.
Steeping temperatures range from 61°C (142°F) to 87°C (189°F) and times from 30 seconds to three minutes.
Generally, lower-quality green teas are steeped hotter and longer while higher-quality teas are steeped cooler and shorter, but usually for multiple times (2-3 typically). Steeping too hot or for too long results in the release of excessive amounts of tannins, leading to a bitter, astringent brew, regardless of initial quality. The brew’s taste is also affected by the steeping technique. Two important techniques are to warm the steeping container beforehand to prevent the tea from immediately cooling down and to leave the tea leaf in the pot and gradually add more hot water as you drink the tea.
Green tea leaves are initially processed by soaking in an alcohol solution, which may be further concentrated to various levels; byproducts of the process are also packaged and used. Extracts may be sold in liquid, powder, capsule, or tablet form. Decaffeinated versions are also available.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||4 kJ (0.96 kcal)|
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.|
Regular green tea is 99.9% water, provides 1 Calorie per 100 mL serving, is devoid of significant nutrient content (table) and contains phytochemicals, such as polyphenols and caffeine. Polyphenols found in green tea include epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin gallate, epicatechins and flavanols, which have antioxidant, anticarcinogen, anti-inflammatory, and anti-radiation biochemical effects in vitro. Other components include three kinds of flavonoids, known as kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin. A remarkably higher content of myricetin is detected in tea and its extracts than in many other plants, and this high concentration of myricetin may have some implications for the experimentally-observed bioactivity of tea and its extracts in vitro.
Although numerous claims have been made for the health benefits of green tea, human clinical research has not provided conclusive evidence of any effects. In 2011, a panel of scientists published a report on the claims for health effects at the request of the European Commission: in general they found that the claims made for green tea were not supported by sufficient scientific evidence. Although the mean content of flavonoids and catechins in a cup of green tea is higher than that in the same volume of other food and drink items that are traditionally considered to promote health, flavonoids and catechins have no proven biological effect in humans.
There is no conclusive evidence that green tea helps to prevent or treat cancer in people. A review of existing studies concluded that while suggestive evidence existed, it did not amount to a clear indication of benefit.
Daily consumption of black tea (but not green tea) has been associated with a significant reduction in death from all cancers. There is limited evidence to suggest that green tea consumption may be associated with a slightly lower risk of esophageal cancer in the Chinese population, a lower risk of lung cancer in women, and a lower risk of oral cancer in Asian people. A 2015 meta-analysis of nine prospective cohort studies concluded that a high amount of green tea consumption may be associated with a lower risk of liver cancer in Asian women. This association was not seen in Asian men or when one cup of green tea was consumed daily. Similarly, another analysis of observational data conducted in 2012 suggested that green tea consumption may have a favorable effect on lung cancer risk. The observed effect was strongest in those who consumed more than seven cups of green tea daily. A 2011 meta-analysis of epidemiological studies found limited evidence that green tea consumption may be associated with a moderately reduced risk of liver cancer in Chinese and Japanese people. Limited evidence suggests that green tea consumption is not associated with the risk of developing pancreatic cancer or prostate cancer. The link between green tea consumption and stomach cancer risk is unclear due to inconsistent evidence.
Daily consumption of green tea has been associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. In a 2015 meta-analysis of observational studies, an increase in one cup of green tea per day was associated with a 5% lower risk of death from cardiovascular causes. Green tea consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of stroke. A 2013 Cochrane review of randomized controlled trials concluded that green tea consumption for 3–6 months appears to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures a small amount (about 3 mm Hg each). Additional analyses examining the effects of long-term green tea consumption on blood pressure have reached similar conclusions.
Drinking green tea or taking green tea supplements decreases the blood concentration of total cholesterol (about 7 mg/dL), LDL cholesterol (about 2 mg/dL), and does not affect the concentration of HDL cholesterol. A 2013 Cochrane review performed a meta-analysis of longer-term randomized controlled trials (>3 months duration) and concluded that green tea consumption lowers total and LDL cholesterol concentrations in the blood.
A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials found that green tea consumption was not significantly associated with lower plasma levels of C-reactive protein levels (a marker of inflammation).
Daily consumption of green tea is significantly associated with a lower risk of death from any cause; an increase of one cup of green tea per day is linked with a 4% lower risk of death from any cause. A separate analysis found an increase of three cups of green tea per day was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause.
There is no conclusive evidence that green tea aids in weight loss.
Moderate, regular, and habitual consumption of green tea is safe; however, there are reports of liver toxicity in humans after consuming high doses (10–29 mg/kg/day) of green tea extract dietary supplements, and high doses may act as a pro-oxidant to damage DNA.
Growing, harvesting and processing
Green tea is processed and grown in a variety of ways, depending on the type of green tea desired. As a result of these methods, maximum amounts of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds are retained, affecting aroma and taste. The growing conditions can be broken down into two basic types − those grown in the sun and those grown under the shade. The green tea plants are grown in rows that are pruned to produce shoots in a regular manner, and in general are harvested three times per year. The first flush takes place in late April to early May. The second harvest usually takes place from June through July, and the third picking takes place in late July to early August. Sometimes, there will also be the fourth harvest. It is the first flush in the spring that brings the best-quality leaves, with higher prices to match.
Green tea is processed using either artisanal or modern methods. Sun-drying, basket or charcoal firing, or pan-firing are common artisanal methods. Oven-drying, tumbling, or steaming are common modern methods. Processed green teas, known as aracha are stored under low humidity refrigeration in 30- or 60-kg paper bags at 0–5 °C (32–41 °F). This aracha has yet to be refined at this stage, with a final firing taking place before blending, selection and packaging take place. The leaves in this state will be re-fired throughout the year as they are needed, giving the green teas a longer shelf-life and better flavor. The first flush tea of May will readily store in this fashion until the next year's harvest. After this re-drying process, each crude tea will be sifted and graded according to size. Finally, each lot will be blended according to the blending order by the tasters and packed for sale.
Production by country
|2006 Green tea production and export (in thousands of metric tons)
Import of Japanese tea
||This section needs to be updated. (October 2016)|
On 17 June 2011, radioactive cesium of 1,038 becquerels per kilogram was detected at Charles de Gaulle airport in France in tea leaves imported from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which was more than twice as much as the restricted amount of 500 becquerels per kilogram designated by the European Union, and the government of France announced that they rejected the tea leaves, which amounted to 162 kilograms (357 lb). The governor of Shizuoka Prefecture Heita Kawakatsu stated that "there is absolutely no problem when they [people] drink them because it will be diluted to about ten becquerels per kilogram when they steep them even if the leaves have 1,000 becquerels per kilogram," which was a consequence of own examinations of the prefecture. Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food Safety Renhō stated on 3 June 2011, that "there are cases in which aracha are sold as furikake [condiments sprinkled on rice] and so on and they are eaten as they are, therefore we think that it is important to inspect tea leaves including aracha from the viewpoint of consumers' safety."
Green tea by country
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Green tea is the most popular form of tea in China. Chinese green teas are made from over 600 different cultivars of the Camellia sinensis plant, giving plenty of variety and regional teas. Chinese green teas are traditionally pan-fired, unlike the Japanese steaming process. Other processes in China include oven-dried and sun-dried. Due to the different production process, Chinese teas are said to have a more "earthy" taste than Japanese teas.
- Zhejiang Province is home to the most famous of all teas, Xi Hu Longjing (西湖龙井), as well as many other high-quality green teas.
- 龙井 Longjing
- Maybe the most well-known green tea in China; originates from Hangzhou (杭州), the capital of Zhejiang Province. Longjing in Chinese literally means dragon well. It is pan-fired and has a distinctive flat appearance. The tasteless frying oil is obtained from tea seeds and other plants. There are many fake Longjings on the market and in less-scrupulous tea houses around the country.
- 景宁惠明茶 Huiming
- Named after a temple in Zhejiang.
- 开化龙顶 Kaihua Longding
- A tea from Kaihua County known as Dragon Mountain.
- 华顶云雾 Hua Ding
- A tea from Tiantai County, named after a peak in the Tiantai mountain range.
- 天目青顶 Qing Ding
- A tea from Tian Mu, also known as Green Top.
- 平水珠茶 Gunpowder
- Jiangsu Province
- 洞庭碧螺春 Bi Luo Chun
- A Chinese famous tea also known as Green Snail Spring, from Dong Ting. As with Longjing, inauthentic Bi Luo Chun is common and most of the tea marketed under this name may, in fact, be grown in Sichuan.
- 南京雨花茶 Rain Flower
- A tea from Nanjing.
- originate in Jin Tan city of Jiangsu Province.
- 太湖白云 White Cloud
- Fujian Province is known for mountain-grown organic green tea as well as white tea and oolong tea. The coastal mountains provide a perfect growing environment for tea growing. Green tea is picked in spring and summer seasons.
- 茉莉花茶 Jasmine tea (Mo Li Hua Cha)
- A tea with added jasmine flowers.
- 毛峰 Mao Feng tea
- Meaning "furry peak".
- 翠剑 Cui Jian
- Meaning "jade sword".
- Hubei Province
- Henan Province
- Jiangxi Province
- 珍眉 Chun Mee
- 狗牯 Gou Gu Nao
- A well-known tea within China and recipient of numerous national awards.
- 云雾 Yun Wu
- A tea also known as Cloud and Mist.
- 大方 Da Fang
- A tea from Huangshan also known as Big Square suneet.
- 黄山毛峰 Huangshan Maofeng
- A Chinese famous tea from Huangshan
- 六安瓜片 Liuan Leaf
- A Chinese famous tea also known as Melon Seed
- 猴魁 Hou Kui
- A Chinese famous tea also known as Monkey tea
- 屯绿 Tun Lu
- A tea from Tunxi District.
- 火青 Huo Qing
- A tea from Jing County, also known as Fire Green
- 雾里青 Wuliqing
- Wuliqing was known since the Song dynasty. Since 2002, Wuliqing is produced again according to the original processing methods by a company called Tianfang (天方). Zhan Luojiu a tea expert and professor at the Anhui Agricultural University who revived its production procedure.
- A medium-quality tea from many provinces, an early harvested tea.
- Sichuan Province
- 竹叶青茶 Zhu Ye Qing
- Also known as Meng Ding Cui Zhu or Green Bamboo
- 蒙顶甘露 Meng Ding Gan Lu
- A yellowish-green tea with sweet after taste.
- 百美绿茶 Baimei Green Tea
- Shaanxi Province
- 汉中仙毫 Han Zhong Xian Hao
- A green tea from the Han Zhong.
Green tea (緑茶 Ryokucha?) is ubiquitous in Japan and is commonly known simply as "tea" (お茶 ocha?). Tea was first used in China, and in 1191, was brought to Japan by Myōan Eisai, a Japanese Buddhist priest who also introduced the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism. Teas from Japan may be referred to as "Japanese tea" (日本茶 nihoncha?).
Japanese green teas are mainly made from Yabukita (やぶきた), a cultivar of the camellia sinensis plant. Unlike Chinese green teas which are pan-fired, Japanese green teas are steamed giving them a more "vegetative" or "leafy" taste. The exception is hōjicha, a Japanese roasted tea. Japanese green teas are categorized by the age of the leaves: young leaves are called sencha and the more mature, larger leaves are called bancha. Types of tea are commonly graded depending on the quality and the parts of the plant used as well as how they are processed. There are large variations in both price and quality within these broad categories, and there are many green teas that fall outside this spectrum. Here shows well-known tea-growing districts in Japan; Shizuoka Prefecture (Shizuoka-cha, the largest yield in Japan), Uji tea (宇治茶 Uji-cha) from Uji region of Kyoto Prefecture, Yame (八女 yame?) region of Fukuoka Prefecture (Yame-cha), Kagoshima Prefecture (Chiran-cha).
- The first and second flushes of green tea made from leaves that are exposed directly to sunlight. This is the most common green tea in Japan. The name describes the method for preparing the beverage.
- Sencha, which, in the processing of the leaves, has been steamed two times longer than usual Sencha, giving it a deeper color and producing a fuller flavor in the beverage.
- Gyokuro is a fine and expensive type that differs from Sencha (煎茶) in that it is grown under the shade rather than the full sun for approximately 20 days. The name "Gyokuro" translates as "jade dew" and refers to the pale green color of the infusion. The shading causes the amino acids (Theanine) and caffeine in the tea leaves to increase, while catechins (the source of bitterness in tea, along with caffeine) decreases, giving rise to a sweet taste. The tea also has a distinct aroma.
- Kabusecha is made from the leaves grown in the shade prior to harvest, although not for as long as Gyokuro. It has a more delicate flavor than Sencha. It is sometimes marketed as Gyokuro.
- Tamaryokucha has a tangy, berry-like taste, with a long almondy aftertaste and a deep aroma with tones of citrus, grass, and berries. It is also called Guricha.
- Lower grade of Sencha harvested as a third- or fourth flush tea between summer and autumn. Aki-Bancha (autumn Bancha) is not made from entire leaves, but from the trimmed unnecessary twigs of the tea plant.
- Kamairicha is a pan-fired green tea that does not undergo the usual steam treatments of Japanese tea and does not have the characteristic bitter taste of most Japanese tea.
- By-product of Sencha or Gyokuro
- A tea made from stems, stalks, and twigs. Kukicha has a mildly nutty, and slightly creamy sweet flavor.
- Mecha is green tea derived from a collection of leaf buds and tips of the early crops. Mecha is harvested in spring and made as rolled leaf teas that are graded somewhere between Gyokuro and Sencha in quality.
- Half-finished products used for Matcha production. The name indicates its intended eventual milling into matcha. Because, like gyokuro, it is cultivated in shade, it has a sweet aroma. In its processing, it is not rolled during drying, and tencha, therefore, remains spread out like the original fresh leaf.
- Bancha (sometimes Sencha) and roasted genmai (brown rice) blend. It is often mixed with a small amount of Matcha to make the color better.
- Half-finished products used for Sencha and Gyokuro production. It contains all parts of the tea plant.
- Milled green tea, used just like instant coffee. Another name for this recent style of tea is "tokeru ocha," or "tea that melts."
Green tea, called nokcha (녹차; 綠茶) in Korean, can be classified into various types based on several different factors. The most common is flush, or the time of year when tea leaves are plucked.
- cheotmulcha (첫물차; "first flush")
Cheotmul tea or the first flush tea is usually plucked at the stage of "a bud" or "a bud and a leaf".
- ujeon (우전; 雨前; "pre-rain")
Ujeon tea leaves, of "a bud and two leaves" stage, are plucked before gogu (around 20–21 April when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 30°).
- gogu (곡우; 穀雨; "grain rain")
Gogu tea leaves, of "a bud and two leaves" stage, are plucked during the seven days starting from gogu.
- sejak (세작; 細雀; "thin sparrow"), also called jakseol (작설; 雀舌; "sparrow tongue")
Sejak tea leaves, of "a bud and three leaves" stage, are plucked 8 to 10 days after gogu. The name jakseol was given as the tea leaves are plucked when they are about the size of a sparrow's tongue.
- jungjak (중작; 中雀; "medium sparrow")
Jungjak tea leaves, of "a bud and three leaves" stage, are plucked in May.
- daejak (대작; 大雀; "big sparrow")
Daejak tea leaves are plucked in June and after.
The mode of preparation also differs. Yeopcha (엽차; 葉茶) or ipcha (잎차) refers to "leaf tea", while malcha (말차; 末茶) or garucha (가루차) refers to "powder tea". Leaf teas are processed either by roasting or steaming.
- deokkeumcha (덖음차; "roasted tea")
Roasting is the most common and traditional way of tea processing in Korea. Roasted tea leaves are richer in flavour.
- jeungjecha (증제차; 蒸製茶; "steamed tea")
Tea prepared with steamed tea leaves are more vivid in colour.
- Banyacha (반야차; 般若茶; "prajñā tea")
a steamed tea variety developed by Buddhist monks in Boseong. The tea is grown on sandy loam near mountains and sea.
- Illohyang (일로향; 一爐香; "bamboo dew tea")
a roasted tea variety developed by O'sulloc, using young tea leaves grown in Jeju
- Jungnocha (죽로차; 竹露茶; "bamboo dew tea")
a roasted tea variety, made of tea leaves grown among the bamboo in Hadong
Green tea can be blended with other ingredients.
- hyeonmi nokcha (현미녹차; 玄米綠茶; "brown rice green tea")
nokcha (green tea) blended with hyeonmicha (brown rice tea)
- lemon nokcha (레몬 녹차; "lemon green tea")
nokcha (green tea) blended with lemon
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Green tea.|
- NCCIH - Green Tea Side Effects and Cautions (From the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)