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How to Select a Chinese Green Tea
How to Select a Chinese Green Tea
Wild tea plants originated in China thousands of years ago. Then, as now, the choices are many and varied. Of all the teas on the market, green tea has earned the distinction of being described as the Science Backed 'Miracle Cure' thanks to its nutrients and antioxidants.*
Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and reportedly contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols.
The selection of green teas on the market are many and all have very distinctive flavors. So which do you select?
The following list of 11 Chinese green teas, (and white tea) describing the flavor may help you decide:
Gunpowder - (aka Pearl Tea, Zhu Cha) - this is one of the most popular teas (see photo below) and is easy to find. It has a fresh, grassy taste and I find it full bodied. If brewed too long, or you add too many leaves to the pot or cup, it will have a bitter taste. It is called 'gunpowder' because of the pellet-shaped gray green leaves which unfurl when steeped in hot water. This tea also stays fresh the longest which may be why it is so widely sold. Considered a great everyday tea.
Chun Mee - (aka Chun Mei, Zhen Mei, or precious eyebrow) this popular tea has a distinctive plum-like flavor and also tastes less sweet and is more acidic. The leaves have a dusty appearance.
Dragon Well (aka called Lung Ching or Long Jing) - a favorite, and the most famous tea in China. The leaves are bright, shiny and smooth. It has a brisk taste, and a bit of an earthy aroma. When hot water is added to the leaves, they open up and reveal buds inside. There are several varieties.
Dragon Pearls - this tea has a sweet, nutty taste. It is shaped like small pearls. Described by tea lovers as having a round character on the palate.
Emerald Petals - (aka Lu An Gua Pan) - made from delicate, emerald green flat leaves, without stems or buds. It has a floral aroma and a smooth and refreshing taste. Has a rich flavor with no bitterness.
Green Peony - is a hand made tea, tied with a silk thread into the shape of a peony flower. The best large tea buds are used. It is then partially air-dried and then roasted. It has a smooth, refreshing taste.
Hyson - (aka Young Hyson) - a tea with thick yellow-green leaves. It has a pungent taste.
Imperial - (aka Pi Lo Chun, Huangshan Maofeng) a rolled leaf tea made from leaves plucked at a very young stage with only a bud and a single unfolding leaf. Has a sweet fragrance of apricot and peach.
Jade Spring - this tea variety has downy white hair on the leaves. It is a bit sweet-tasting, with a leafy aroma, and can be resteeped without becoming bitter. Also considered an everyday tea.
Pi Lo Chun - (aka Snail Spring Tea) - a rare green tea. The leaves are hand-rolled into a snail-like appearance. Peach, plum, and apricot trees are planted among these tea bushes allowing the leaves to absorb the fruity scents before being plucked. Has a strong, fresh smell and taste. Described as one of China's top ten teas.
White tea - (aka Silver tip and Silver Needles) - similar to green tea but the processing is different. Unlike black tea, white tea is only lightly processed and retains a very high anti-oxidant level. It has a very pale color and a mild taste. A very light tea. Described as the rarest tea in the world.
*Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals, the damaging compounds in our body that alter cells, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death.
There are also a number of Japanese green teas on the market. Please see link below entitled HOW TO SELECT A JAPANESE GREEN TEA
Chinese Gunpowder Green Tea
Chinese green tea
- How to Select a Chinese Green Tea
Green tea has many healthy benefits and there are many on the market. Would you prefer gunpowder, dragon pearls or jade spring? What is the difference between these green teas and several others?