In our last little get together we explored black tea and what it is, this go around we’ll answer the question that likely keeps you up hours each night.. What is Green Tea? OK, so chances are if anything is keeping you up hours each night it isn’t that question, more likely it would be the fact that you indulged in too much tea before bed.
When thinking of green tea, likely the first thing that comes to mind is the health benefits that go along with this type of tea. Since everything you read on the internet is absolutely 100% true (and that’s a fact!) there is definitely no inaccurate information out there for you to worry about. All kidding aside, I won’t go into the health benefits of green tea in this post mainly because I am neither a Scientist or a Doctor and there are already far too many people simply finding cool “facts” online and re-posting them to their blog so they sound like they know what they are talking about. With that being said, there is a lot of legitimate research that says tea is good for you (feel like you’re getting the run around?).
If you’ve read our Where does tea come from? post, you know that all tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, often just called a tea plant. The difference in the variety of teas available such as black, green, white etc. is in the way the tea leaves are processed once they are plucked from the plant. Green Teas account for around 15% of the tea consumed in the United States Annually (while nearly 84% of all tea consumed yearly is black tea). Green tea leaves are very minimally processed and aren’t oxidized like other tea such as black which is why the leaves retain their green color. This minimal processing along with the climate and growing region contributes to the distinct taste of green tea.
The production process for green tea is generally as follows: Plucking leaves from the plant –> Leaves Withered –> Leaves Steamed or Fired (stops oxidation keeping leaves green) –> Rolling or Drying of leaves –> Green Tea!
Green teas are the freshest when consumed within 6 months to 1 year after purchase whereas black teas may stay fresh when properly stored for a few years. In general, for the best tasting cup of Green Tea it should be steeped in water that is around 180 degrees for no more than 2 – 3 minutes. If you don’t have a precise water temperature gauge the easiest way to get to the 180 degree water range is to bring your water to a boil, then remove it from it’s heat source and let sit one minute before pouring it over your green tea.