4 Great varieties of green tea you need to try

Green tea, as with all types of tea, come from the camellia sinensis plant. It’s called green tea as that’s the colour of the leaves - unlike the black teas commonly used in British brews, it has been dried without fermenting. 

 It’s said to have originated in China around 5,000 years ago, before spreading across eastern Asia. Making and drinking it is an art form in the East, and now the Western world is discovering it. We’ve all heard of the health benefits associated with it. But what many of us don’t know is that there are so many different and delicious flavours! From gunpowder and sencha to organic green tea Kusmi tea, read on to discover four great varieties of green tea you need to try!

How to brew great green tea

Before we take a deep dive into some of those amazing varieties, here’s how you should make green tea. Maybe you’ve tried green tea before and didn’t like it. However, that’s most likely to be down to the tea being prepared incorrectly – it is not the same as our familiar black brews! To get the best from your green tea, follow these guidelines:

  • Never use boiling water. This releases too many tannins from the leaves, making for a bitter experience! Water should be about 75-80c (just when tiny bubbles begin to form). 
  • Don’t brew for too long. Great green teas are subtle. Steep for 1-2 minutes, no more.
  • Avoid old tea. Green tea has a short shelf-life – make sure you drink within a year of harvest, so use in advance of the best before date on the pack.

Now, without any further ado – let’s talk teas!

Jasmine green tea

Perhaps the best-known green tea in the world, and a good entry point for the beginner. It is a light, aromatic tea, with very subtle notes. Jasmine green teas are naturally scented with the jasmine flower, and the flavour comes through as floral, delicate and slightly sweet. Packed full of healthy antioxidants, this brew will calm and soothe you. Jasmine tea works wonderfully well with food, pairing nicely with chicken and seafood. It’s also a great partner for desserts!

Dragon well green tea

Also known as Long Jing, this is an excellent, unflavoured green tea from the Zhejiang province of China. This tea is pan-roasted in a wok very soon after picking, which stops the oxidation process in its tracks. The roasting imparts a wonderful nuttiness to the flavour, contributing to the sweet yet mellow taste. And the smell? Well, it’s creamy, nutty, fruity and even a little earthy. Once brewed the colour of the tea is a bright yellow to green, and its buttery texture enables it to sit well with rice and shellfish dishes.

Sencha green tea

Sencha is Japan’s No.1 green tea, and one of the most popular varieties in the world. It’s produced using a steaming process and has a very gentle grassy or even seaweed-like taste. There are also different types of sencha, all with slightly different flavours. Shincha sencha has a sweet taste, Chumushi has a slightly bitter taste. Fukamushi sencha is dark and aromatic, while Asamushi has a distinct vegetal flavour. To get the best from this brew, be sure to stick to the 75-80c rule. This tea does not sit well with boiling water at all – the taste that results can be very bitter, even harsh.

Moroccan mint green tea

Not all the best green teas come from the East! Moroccan mint green tea originally took Chinese gunpowder green tea and fused it with fresh mint leaves. These days, they use many varieties of green tea in their flavoursome brews. Indeed, this tea has become a major fixture in Moroccan hospitality. The taste is cool mint, with the strong flavour suppressing any bitterness of the tea leaves. Fun, refreshing and endlessly drinkable, it’s a great winter warmer. When the summer arrives, take this brew ice-cold, sit back and pretend you were sitting on a Moroccan beach. Delicious! 

Final thoughts

These are just a handful of the many delicious varieties of green teas out there. If you’re a beginner, you’re at the start of a wonderful taste journey. If you’ve tried them before, and didn’t like them, by following our advice, you’re re-opening a door to a whole world of fantastic beverages suitable for any occasion, or any weather! 

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