Tea 201 - Chinese vs Japanese Green Teas

In the beginning there was a plant.  A green plant. Well…Green tea.   Grown in either Japan or China, this plant is harvested the same way but when it comes to the processing, there are differences:

Chinese – these green teas are mainly roasted or oven dried or sometimes steamed.  Other times the methods are combined.  Some examples are Biluochen (roasted then oven), Zhuyeqing (all three methods) or Houkui (simply ovened).

Japanese – is mainly steamed because it allows the tea to maintain its bright green color and more attractive.  There are sometimes that the tea is pan-roasted.

There are also a lot of varieties in the Chinese green teas.  There are about nine different shapes like loose balls (Dragon Pearls), tight balls (Gunpowder), or gently curled (White Monkey Paw).  There are those with flowers and fruits and others have jasmine.  It is also said that Chinese teas are more likely to be hand-processed instead of made in a factory; however that is only speculation.

Japanese green teas only come in two varieties: needles shaped pieces (Sencha and Gyokuro) and powder (Matcha).   There is also a type of green tea (Sencha) that is mixed with roasted rice that is quite popular in Japan.  It is called Genmaicha.  It is said that it goes quite well with stir-fried foods.

There is also the geographic variety between the teas.  In China, green teas are grown in 15 different provinces while Japan is not big enough to have 15 different provinces.

Who would have thought that there would be such a difference in green teas?  Here’s a challenge: the next time you go to buy green tea, try to found out its origin.  Is it Chinese?  Is it Japanese? Then consider and compare the flavors, do you notice a difference?

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Morning Cup #54 - Organic Green Jasmine

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My mug decided on a nice lightly floral Organic Green Jasmine from Hampstead Tea this morning.

This black tea blend has a wonderfully matched black tea with what taste like orange with a hint of pineapple. The aroma contains mostly orange and lemon scents. I think the black tea is a Ceylon, but I have no confirmation of that. Either way, give this one a try.

What's in your cup?

Posted in Bagged Tea, Chinese Tea, Fair Trade, Flavored Tea, Floral Tea, Green Tea, Morning Cup, Organic, Tea, Tea Bags | No Comments »

Morning Cup #51 - Naked Strawberry Green Tea

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*This is a little late due to some database issues this morning, but thanks for holding out and being patient!*

In my cup this morning steeped a tasty Naked Strawbeery Green Tea from Fully Loaded Tea.

I've always liked the Fully Loaded Teas. Their packaging is bright and colorful. Its vibrance alone perks me up a bit.

This specific tea seems to play a bit of confusion on the palate. I taste the fruitiness with the tart expected from strawberries, but there's something almost dry about the palate texture itself which I cannot place. Not bad per's but unexpected.

The aroma is very light with hints of fruitiness and subtle hints at a natural sweetness.

What's in your cup?

Posted in Bagged Tea, Flavored Tea, Fruit Tea, Green Tea, Herbal Tea, Morning Cup, Tea, Tea Bags | No Comments »

Morning Cup #42 - Organic Brown Rice with Green Tea

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A Korean made Organic Brown Rice with Green Tea from Daehan Tea.

This tea is known better as either Genmaicha or Popcorn Tea. Either name effuses the correct picture though. This brews up aromatic and comforting. The roasted notes making it into the aroma nicely while keeping the senses from getting excited.

In the mouth this brews with only the tiniest of astringency and vegetal undertones. The rice takes care of calming both down.

What's in your cup?

Posted in Bagged Tea, Flavored Tea, Green Tea, Morning Cup, Organic, Tea, USDA Organic | No Comments »

Morning Cup #41 - Green Tea with Jasmine

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This Thanksgiving morning my cup holds a Green Tea with Jasmine from Taylors of Harrogate.

There are good jasmine teas, and there are bad jasmine teas. Then there are those somewhere between. This particular jasmine green tea is somewhere in the middle. It's quality enough I can't tell if it's flavored or scented, but I don't believe it was made with a traditional blending process.

The aroma and flavor are full of jasmine. Potent and firm but comforting nonetheless.

What's in your cup?

Posted in Bagged Tea, Flavored Tea, Floral Tea, Green Tea, Morning Cup, Taylors of Harrogate, Tea | No Comments »