The Different Types of Green Tea
There are literally countless versions of green tea available. Although these are all different types of green tea, all of these different types share one common characteristic - they all come from the tea plant Camellia sinensis.
The different types of green tea emerge due to differing locations on where the tea is grown, slight changes in how the tea is cultivated, the differing climate in locations and a whole host of other factors.
So, let's begin by exploring the different types of green tea that is available. On this page is information about green teas from China and Japan.
Green Teas from China
1. Gunpowder : This is one of the most popular types of chinese green teas. This tea is still primarily grown in the Zhejian Province of China, although plantations for this tea are spreading elsewhere in China. One of the characteristics of this tea is that, once processed, the tea looks like tiny pellets. These pellets open up during the brewing process.
2. Long Jing (Dragonwell) : This tea is most commonly known as Dragonwell Green Tea, at least here in the US. This tea is also produced in the Zhejian Province of China. Once processed, the leaves tend to be flat and have a jade color. Dragonwell is one of the most popular green teas.
3. Pi Lo Chun (Green Snail Spring) : Another very unique and somewhat rare Chinese Green Tea. This tea, also grown in the Zhejian Province, is grown among plum, apricot and peach trees. This allows the tea leaves to pick up the fragrance of the fruit blossoms from these trees. As this tea is rolled, it has a "snail like" appearance.
4. Snowy Mountain Jian : This tea is grown at high altitudes in the Yunnan Province of China. The leaves of this tea are quite long. Although a green tea, this tea is processed a bit differently than other green teas - giving it a more full body flavor somewhat similar to black teas.
5. Hyson Lucky Dragon : Lucky Dragon is a premium hyson green tea. The leaves have a greenish-yellow color. The taste is more full-body than other green teas.
6. Kai Hua Long Ding : This tea is grown in the Tiantai County region of China in the Zhejian Province (home to many high quality chinese teas). A characteristic of this tea is that the leaves are rather thick (stocky) yet very short.
7. Tian Mu Qing Ding : One of the more unique chinese green teas. This tea is grown in the Tian Mu mountains of Zhejian Province. The leaves of this tea are fine and delicate. The tea produces a light and sweet taste, which is somewhat impervious to over-steeping...although anything can be over-done.
8. Xin Yang Mao Jian : This tea is grown in the Henan Province. The leaves are very fine. This green tea is popularly known as "green tip."
9. Hou Kui : This tea is grown in the Anhui Province and goes by the popular name of "Monkey Tea." The leaves of this tea absorb the flavor of surrounding orchids, with the result being a orchid flavor taste.
Green Teas from Japan
1. Gyokuro : Gyukoro is considered the very best of Japanese green teas. The leaves are flat and pointed, that provide a smooth taste with a light fragrance. During the final weeks before harvesting, these leaves are moved to the shade...out of direct sunlight.
2. Sencha : Sencha is the "everyday" Japanese green tea. Types and qualities vary widely. Leaves of this tea are exposed directly to sunlight.
3. Bancha : An unusual green tea that is harvested very late in the season. The leaves are large and rather hard. During the harvesting, the stems and stalks are included in the picking. Known to have a weaker flavor than other green teas.
4. Matcha : Matcha is a powdered green tea. The is manufactured in the Uji region of Japan. Tea is grown primarily in the shade. This tea is commonly used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
5. Houjicha : Houjicha are green tea leaves that are roasted, hence the brown color. The flavor of the tea tends to be nutty. The roasting process also naturally lowers the caffeine levels of Houjicha green teas, too.
6. Kukicha : A tea made from white stalks produced by harvesting one bud and three leaves. A very unusual tea, with a taste of chestnut due to the twigs in the tea.
7. Genmaicha : Also known as the "popcorn tea." This is actually a sencha tea that is pan fired and then blended with toasted hulled rice. During the toasting of the hulled rice, it is not unusual for the rice to "pop," leading to the name of "popcorn tea."