Green tea is popular and for good reasons—it’s long been linked to multiple health benefits. Most studies have found that green tea drinkers are in better health than those who don’t drink tea at all.
Derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea comes in several varieties and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Although Camellia Sinensis is the plant from which all types of tea originate, the process by which it is harvested and processed defines what type of tea will be produced.
Green tea comes from the first flush (first harvest), which generally comes around early to mid-spring. The first flush or the first harvest produces the highest quality of tea and it is likely to be more expensive than regular tea. Green tea is also different from black and oolong tea because green tea leaves are picked and steamed raw, avoiding the oxidation process that leads to oolong and black teas.
How to brew?
Water temperature is a critical factor in bringing out the best qualities of green tea. If the water temperature is too hot, the tea will be too bitter and if the water temperature is too cool, the full flavor contained in the leaves will not be extracted. As a general guideline, green teas taste best when brewed at temperatures between 140°F to 185°F. The steeping time is also important. Too long a steeping time will result in more bitterness and a less balanced flavor. Anywhere between one to three minutes is generally enough. Japanese green teas generally taste best at one to two minutes while Chinese green teas need to be steeped for two to three minutes.