It surprises many individuals new to tea to study that Green tea and black tea originate from the identical actual plant species—Camellia sinensis.
It’s finally the number of tea plant and the way the tea leaves are processed that defines how Green tea turns into “Green” and black tea turns into “black”.
Tea plant varieties
There are two precept sorts of the Camellia sinensis tea plant from which the tea we drink is produced.
CAMELLIA SINENSIS SINENSIS:
It is a smaller-leafed selection native to China that’s sometimes used to make Green and white teas. It developed as a shrub rising in sunny areas with drier, cooler climates. It has a excessive tolerance for chilly and thrives in mountainous areas.
CAMELLIA SINENSIS ASSAMICA:
It is a larger-leafed selection first found within the Assam district of India and has sometimes been used to supply sturdy black teas. Its leaves develop giant in heat, moist climates and it is rather prolific in sub-tropical forests.
There are a whole lot of cultivars and hybrid crops which have developed from these Camellia sinensis plant varieties over time. However technically any sort of tea may be comprised of the leaves of any Camellia sinensis plant.
Green tea processing
For Green tea, the tea leaves are harvested from the Camellia sinensis plant and are then rapidly heated—by pan firing or steaming—and dried to stop an excessive amount of oxidation from occurring that may flip the Green leaves brown and alter their fresh-picked taste.
A brewed Green tea is often Green, yellow or mild brown in shade, and its taste profile can vary from grass-like and toasted (pan fired) to vegetal, candy and seaweed-like (steamed). If brewed accurately, most Green tea ought to be fairly mild in shade and solely mildly astringent.
In contrast, black tea leaves are harvested and allowed to totally oxidize earlier than they’re heat-processed and dried. Throughout oxidation, oxygen interacts with the tea plant’s cell partitions, turning the leaves the wealthy darkish brown to black shade that black tea is known for, and considerably altering their taste profile.
A brewed black tea can vary in shade from amber to pink to darkish brown, and its taste profile may be anyplace from malty to fruity to roasted, relying on the way it was processed. Black tea sometimes has extra astringency and bitterness, but when brewed accurately it ought to be clean and flavorful.
Green Tea Processing: Steaming/Roasting → Cooling → 1st Rolling → 1st Drying (110°C/70°C) → Remaining Rolling → Remaining Drying (120°C/80°C)
Our Green tea is handed by a steaming remedy earlier than rolling. Steaming applies mild warmth to the leaves to assist halt the oxidation course of earlier than the leaves are rolled into form. Steaming additionally helps expose the contemporary, grassy taste of the leaf. Green tea leaves aren’t allowed to oxidize after rolling, which is why they continue to be mild shade and taste.
Green tea origins
Whereas all Green tea originates from the identical plant species, there are several types of Green tea grown and produced all around the world at the moment, together with China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Hawaii and even South Carolina.
Green tea, nonetheless, is taken into account to have originated in China. It’s stated that even at the moment the phrase “tea” in China refers solely to Green tea, to not the overall class of tea because it does within the West. China’s Yunnan province is taken into account to be the unique dwelling of the Camellia sinensis plant species. Actually, 260 of the world’s 380+ sorts of tea may be present in Yunnan.
One standard legend means that Shennong, Emporor of China and supposed inventor of Chinese language medication, found tea as a beverage round 2737 BC when contemporary tea leaves from a close-by tea tree fell into his cup of simply boiled water.
Others credit score numerous Buddhists within the 500s BC and subsequent centuries for the invention of tea. Buddhists would journey between India and China spreading their faith, tradition and ritual of tea. Buddhist monks grew, harvested and produced tea very similar to their Catholic counterparts in European monasteries did with grapes and wine. The monks’ behavior of tea ingesting for bodily refreshment, to assist meditation and as an alternative to alcohol developed right into a religious and social follow that unfold throughout China.
Green tea is claimed to have been popularized in Japan round 1190, when a Zen priest visiting and finding out in China’s nice Buddhist monasteries and temples returned to Japan with tea plant seeds and bushes. The younger priest, referred to as Eisai, used his expertise rising and ingesting tea in China to popularize the best way of tea as a meditation ritual inside his personal group of Buddhist monks, ultimately spreading the customized of tea ingesting all through the remainder of Japan. To today, China and Japan are the highest two Green tea producing and exporting nations on this planet.
Kinds of Green tea
As you’ve little question observed for those who’ve sipped on a number of several types of Green tea, not all Green tea style the identical, though all of it comes from the identical plant selection.
It relies upon not solely on the processing technique the tea producers use, but additionally on the cultivation practices the tea growers use. What time of yr is the tea plucked? How is the plant pruned? What elements of the plant are plucked? Are the crops handled with chemical compounds or are they organically grown? What sort of warmth is utilized to the tea leaves to cease oxidation? How are the tea leaves formed, rolled and dried? Are the leaves left entire or reduce in smaller items?
A tea’s closing taste additionally depends upon the “terroir” or setting the tea is grown in. Is it cool and mountainous or sizzling and tropical? Do the crops stay subsequent to limestone and pine bushes or sand and seaweed? Do the tea crops develop close to different crops that may have an effect on their taste, like rose bushes, espresso crops or grape vines?
The most well-liked, extensively consumed varieties of Green teas hail from the locations the place Green tea originated: China and Japan. Green teas from China and Japan have completely different taste profiles primarily based on the place and the way they’re grown, however most distinctively how they’re processed—pan fired in China and steamed in Japan. Different nations producing Green tea sometimes take cues from China or Japan and undertake one among these nation’s tea manufacturing kinds.
Chinese language Green Teas—Pan Fired
The Chinese language type of Green tea is characterised by pan firing, the place tea leaves are heated in a basket, pan or mechanized rotating drum to halt the oxidation course of.
Chinese language Green teas could also be fired greater than as soon as throughout processing, relying on the type of tea being produced. These firings might happen in wicker baskets, metal wok-like pans, steel drums or different containers over charcoal, fuel flame, electrical warmth or sizzling air, relying on the ultimate taste final result desired.
The flavour may be altered vastly relying on the quantity and kind of firings, however usually a pan fired Chinese language Green tea takes on a yellowish-green or darkish Green shade and impart a grassy, earthy, roasted taste.
Some standard pan fired Chinese language Green teas embody:
- Dragonwell: A clean, flat, sword-shaped look and pan-fired toasty style give this tea its attribute look and taste no different Green tea-producing area has been in a position to duplicate. It’s thought-about a traditional pan-fired Chinese language Green tea.
- Gunpowder: Fired in perforated steel tumbler that tosses the leaves round in a determine eight sample Gunpowder tea takes is title from the pellet-like form of the completed leaf.
Japanese Green Teas—Steamed
The Japanese type of Green tea is characterised by steaming, the place tea leaves are handled briefly with steam warmth inside hours of plucking to each halt the oxidation course of and produce out the wealthy Green shade of each the tea leaves and the ultimate brewed tea.
The steaming course of creates a singular taste profile that may be described as candy, vegetal or seaweed-like. Some Japanese Green tea may additionally be shade grown throughout cultivation or roasted throughout processing, each to create extra taste traits.
Some standard Japanese Green teas embody:
- Sencha: Sencha makes up greater than 80 % of the tea produced in Japan and is the most well-liked tea drunk in households and eating places all through the nation. It’s comprised of tea leaves which can be steamed then sometimes rolled into lengthy, skinny strands.
- Hojicha: Sencha is roasted over excessive warmth to supply Hojicha, a tea with a roasted, nutty taste. The appliance of excessive warmth additionally helps scale back the tea’s caffeine content material.
- Genmaicha: A mix of Sencha and roasted and popped rice, Genmaicha is a toasty tasting deal with that could be a standard tea to serve with meals.
- Gyokoro: The tea leaves are shaded throughout the previous few weeks earlier than plucking to accentuate the colour and taste of the tea that can change into Gyokoro. Throughout processing, it’s rolled into its attribute skinny needlelike form. Gyokoro is taken into account to be Japan’s most treasured tea.
- Matcha: Shade-grown like Gyokoro, the tea leaves that make Matcha are floor right into a powder as an alternative of formed and rolled. Matcha is vital to Japanese tea ceremonies and has change into a very fashionable ingredient for cooking.
Caffeine content material in Green tea
Green tea is usually recognized to have decrease caffeine content material per cup than black tea and far decrease caffeine content material than espresso. Like all drinks cultivated from caffeinated crops, nonetheless, a particular stage of caffeine per cup of Green tea is tough to outline as it’s going to rely upon the kind of Green tea in addition to how is was processed and ready.