The natural green color of the leaves is what gives green tea its name but there are more than 10 types of green tea. To distinguish between these types of green tea you have to look at their appearance, color, aroma, taste, method of preparation, seasonality, etc.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice in the world of green tea or a seasoned expert, you can’t deny the allure the world of tea holds. What types of green tea you’re drinking?, Isn’t the point when you take a sip of the green tea you’re opening yourself to the aroma, flavor, and the ancient tradition around the world that comes with it.
Almost all tea that is being grown and will grow in japan is green tea. different types of green tea are being produced in japan they are differentiated by factors such as growing method, harvest time, and processing method.
What is green tea?
Camellia Sinensis is a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae. Its leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. Along with green tea, white tea, oolong tea, dark tea, and yellow tea are also being produced by this same species of evergreen shrubs. These types of green tea are processed differently to attain a carrying level of oxidation while green tea is the least oxidized and dark tea is the most oxidized.
Different types of green tea
Green tea leaves, when picked are immediately followed by a steaming and roasting process this is done to prevent any oxidization process from taking place and stops any fermentation from happening. When there is a difference in the steaming and roasting process we get a different type of green tea. For example, the steaming and roasting methods of Chinese farmers and Japanese farmers are different. Chinese farmers pan-fry the leaves immediately after picking to flatten and dry the leaves whereas Japanese farmers steam fry the leaves.
The primary taste of different green tea goes from spicy, fruit, floral, vegetative, sweet, earthy, and smokey. Smell, texture, and appearance are equally important as flavor so be sure to engage all your senses when enjoying tea. Without further ado, let’s get started with different types of green tea.
- Sencha green tea
Sencha green tea uses the most common processing method and it is the most commonly known and frequently drunk green tea. Sencha green tea is grown where they are in contact with direct sunlight and they are usually harvested as part of the first flush. When leaves are picked they are steamed, steaming process is done with the youngest leave on the top. After the steaming process is done the leaves are dried and rolled.
Sencha green tea gives a light yellow or transparent yellow color to the tea. It gives a fresh and soothing aroma and its taste can be described as vegetative or grassy. Sencha green tea has an intense flavor when compared to other green tea due to its rolling process, The rolling process leads to the release of all the juices in the leaves. This green tea is high in vitamin C, an essential vitamin that is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of tissues.
2. Fukamushi Sencha
Green tea that has been steamed almost as twice as sencha green tea is known as ‘fukamushi sencha tea’. Fukamushi tea includes leaves from sencha, gyokuro, kabusecha, and bancha. Fukamushi tea goes under a deep steaming process for three to four times longer when compared to other types of green tea. This deep steaming process gives it leaves a deeper color and better brew. Fukamushi tea gives the tea a dark green color or green-yellow.
Due to its process, it provides a richer flavor compared to sencha. It tastes less bitter than sencha green tea. Even though the tea component may not fully dissolve in the water but those active components are easily absorbed by the body. It also has a soothing effect on the stomach because of its light flavor.
3. Matcha Green Tea
Matcha tea is stone grounded form of tencha. Only the best quality leaves are used when it comes to matcha. The matcha processing method is a bit diffrenet first, shading, and harvesting are being done then leaves are steamed after that leaves are air-dried, the stem and veins are removed and it is ground into the powdered form to be brewed as matcha tea.
Matcha tea gives vivid green color to the tea and offers the aroma of fresh green leaves. When it comes to taste matcha tea has a sweet taste. Matcha tea has been said to have health benefits such as rejuvenating skin and cleansing the body.
4. Tencha Green Tea
This type of green tea is mainly used as an ingredient for matcha tea. tencha tea is grown according to the covered culture block method to block out direct sunlight. After the steaming process is done the leaves are dried without being rolled. As tencha tea leaves don’t undergo the rolling process so they release a high level of minerals and vitamins so they act as an energy booster, caffeine levels are high in tencha tea so it gives our mind a state of alertness. tencha tea has a subtle noble aroma and gives pale green color to the tea.
5. Gyokuro Green Tea
Before picking, gyokuro leaves are shaded with cloth or screen around three weeks prior to picking this is done to suppress the production of amino acids through catechins. The harvesting process for gyokuro tea leaves is the same as for sencha tea leaves and it is harvested as the part of first flush or second flush. Gyokuro tea leaves give pale or transparent yellow color to the tea and give a sea breeze aroma.
When it comes to taste gyukuro tea is sweet. when compared to the other types of green tea Gyukuro contains a good amount of caffeine and chlorophyll, both of these components stimulate our brain and nervous system. It also helps with skin ointment and aids in tissue growth.
6. Hojicha Green Tea
Hojicha tea is made by roasting sencha and other different types of green tea. Hojicha green tea is made through the roasting process where its leaves are roasted at 200 degrees celsius. during this process, caffeine is sublimated and hojicha is formed.
Hojicha gives the tea a bright or transparent brown color. Due to the roasting process, hojicha tea gives of strong aroma and It is less bitter in taste compared to sencha tea. Hojicha tea helps in strengthening the body’s immune system and aids in fighting the common cold.
7. Kabusecha Green Tea
Before picking up Kabusecha leaves, a week before they are covered with cloth or reed screen to block out most sunlight. This enables fro the new leaf shoots to grow without sunlight and helps them grow and acquire darker green color. Gyukuro tea is also grown through the same growing method but they are covered for longer durations.
Kabusecha tea helps relieve anxiety, stress, aids in lowering cholesterol levels, improving dental health, and helps in improving digestion. Kabusecha tea has a soothing aroma and gives yellow-green color to the tea.
8. Genmaicha Green Tea
Genmaicha green tea is produced by mixing bancha or sencha tea with brown rice in equal proportion. Before mixing the brown rice with sencha or bancha brown rice gets soaked, steamed, roasted, and popped. Genmaicha green tea has a low caffeine level which makes it suitable for children and elderly people.
Genmaicha green tea is pale yellow-green and gives a deep aroma of brown roasted rice, it tastes refreshing. Genmaicha act as a soother to the stomach after eating deep-fried/fried foods.
9. Bancha Green Tea
Harvesting of Bancha green tea is done in three periods from June to October. Leaves become less desirable after each harvest, Bancha green tea is always harvested in a later flush after the first flush for sencha has been done. Bancha green tea undergoes a roasting process that adds bitterness to the tea. Tea gets this bitterness due to its high level of fluoride.
Bancha green tea also has a pale yellow-green color and tastewise Bancha is much more bitter when compared to sencha green tea. Bancha green tea is good for people suffering from tooth decay or bad breath.
10. Shincha Green Tea
Shincha green tea is also known as ‘New Tea’ or ‘First picking of the season. Shincha green tea is harvested during the first flush of the harvest. Picking of Shincha leaves begins from the temperate zones and then gradually moves in the northward direction. After Shincha is picked at the beginning then they are steamed, rolled, and dried to completion before they are shipped out.
Shincha tea is light yellow in color. It gives off a refreshing aroma. In taste Shincha is less bitter, It also has high amino acid content that gives Shincha a full-bodied flavor and sweetness. Shincha tea helps in maintaining healthy skin, and building muscles, and provides a boost to our immune system.
11. Kamairicha Green Tea
Kamairicha green tea doesn’t undergo a roasting process instead it is pan-fried at 300 degrees celsius to stop the oxidization process. In japan Kamairicha green tea falls under luxury because Kamairicha consists of only 2% of all the green tea produced. Kamairicha tea has a clear or pale yellow color but its leaves have a much darker color due to the heating process. It has a deep aroma and Kamairicha green tea has also been said to be very effective against heart problems and cholesterol.
12. Funmatsucha Green Tea
The final green tea on our list of different types of green tea is Funmatsucha green tea. It is made after its leaves have been turned into powder, unlike Kamairicha green tea these leaves aren’t high quality. Funmatsucha tea has earthy green color and when it comes to taste Funmatsucha is bitter in taste because before turning Funmatsucha leaves into powder they aren’t protected from the sunlight and the photosynthesis process takes place. Funmatsucha gives off a very earthy aroma and It has a high content of antioxidants compared to other green tea making it a perfect remedy against the common cold, headache, etc.
These are all the different types of green tea, remember whenever drinking any of these different types of green tea make sure to know how it feels both before and after drinking green tea. Different types of green tea can vary gently in relaxing quality due to the caffeine content in these green tea. You’re likely to improve your tasting o green tea experience if you purchase them from certified brands.
Green tea should be a daily drink because it is environmentally friendly and has low caffeine content than coffee but enough to give you gentle stimulation. It even offers a calming effect to regular green tea drinkers. If you want to take a break from the green you can try some homemade health drinks.