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Green Tea Types

Green Tea Types

Green teas are one of the most popular types of tea in Asia. They come in many forms such as Japanese powdered Matcha and Sencha teas to full leaf teas including the famous Long Jing and Bi Luo Chun, as well as many lesser known teas from Sichuan, Fujian, Yunnan, India, Kenya, Georgia and many more besides.

Classic green teas offer a freshness that is difficult to beat, having the opportunity to saviour a new spring tea is one of the most enjoyable tea experiences you will have. Freshness is critical for most green teas, ideally they should be enjoyed with in six months of harvest for the best results, though correct storage can offer an enjoyable drink for up to a year and a half.

The optimum water temperature is 80 or a maximum of 90 degrees centigrade. It is recommended that you first boil the water and then let it cool. Using water that is too hot will cause the tea leaves to be spoiled and tea liquor will turn a dark yellow very quickly. This is often the cause as to why so many people believe green tea is bitter.

It is important to note that using water that is not hot enough, the tea will not easily infuse and the leaves will float on the surface of the water. One of the simplest and most convenient way to enjoy green tea is to prepare in a tall glass. This way you can appreciate the beautiful dancing of the tender tea leaves and buds. Our tea brewing guide includes more ways to brew your favourite green tea.

Long Jing

Long Jing or Dragon's Well is the most well known types of green tea and originates from Zhejiang, in Eastern China. Long Jing green tea is famous for its green colour, delicate aroma, mellow taste and beautiful shape. The appearance of Long Jing tea is characterised by smooth, flat, straight leaves and its jade-green colour. Usually, Long Jing tea and other kinds of tender green tea can be drawn or infused only two or three times. When you drink Long jing tea, it's best to enjoy the aroma first, then appreciate the liquor colour, the moving of tea leaves in the glass and finally taste the liquor.

Like many famous food and drink products, such as Champagne, LongJing is a regional protected name. Being one of the most popular green teas in the world, there are many LongJing teas which come from neighbouring regions/counties and even far off provinces which carry the LongJing name. Within ZheJiang province, LongJing is officially produced in Mei Jia Wu village, Shi Feng and the more general XiHu 'West Lake' region.

LongJing is a spring harvest tea. Within the picking season there are a number of important periods based on the Chinese lunar calender. One of the most famous is Ming Qian, pre-Qing Ming festival teas. Qing Ming is known as the Chinese tomb sweeping festival. It is a time where families re-unite to celebrate together and return to the graves of their ancestors to pay respects and tidy the tombs.

The window for picking MingQian LongJing is very short, around 10 days before the tomb sweeping festival. Traditionally Long Jing Tea picked after this period is called Yu Qian Longjing, or before the rain. It is generally excepted that Yu Qiang LongJing is of a lower grade and so fetches much lower prices on the competitive LongJing market.

TaiPing HouKui

TaiPing HouKui is an elegant China green tea with rolled leaves from AnHui province. The long, flat tea leaves look beautiful as the colour fades from a deep green colour at the leaf tip to a warm yellow at the stalk.

The rolling process, creates addition flavour and depth that is often not present in completely unprocessed leaves. This extra body in the tea often makes TaiPing HouKui more appealing to those who find some green teas too subtle or bland.

An added benefit of the rolled leaves is that TaiPing HouKui is ideal for those that like to drink from a standard glass but that are not keen on the leaves getting in the mouth, which is often a problem with the fine, unprocessed leaves of green teas such as MaoFeng and LongJing.

The name TaiPing HouKui, originates from the tea's origins of TaiPing village in AnHui. Hou is an abbreviation of HouGang, a small region nearby. 'Kui' means chief or to imply the finest tips. Interestingly TaiPing HouKui is often incorrectly translated as Monkey Chief - may be this is a more exotic name for this rare and special Chinese green tea.

Gunpowder Green Tea

Known in China as Zhu Cha, this tea is almost exclusively reserved for export. Popular through the middle east and north Africa as the base for the sweet mint tea that can be found throughout the region. Characterised by the tight pellets, gunpowder green tea produces a much darker liquor than many traditional green leaf teas.

Other Green Teas

Other famous green teas are produced in a number of provinces in China, the most famous of which are from Jiang Shu, An Hui & Si Chuan. Examples of these are named Bi Luo Chun ('Spring Green round (snail) tea'), Huang Shan Mao Feng (from the An Hui Yellow Mountain), Liu An Gua Pian & Si Chuan Zhu Ye Qing (Green Bamboo Leaf tea).

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