Click to enlarge!
[styles] 6 Tea Styles by Color - Green Tea
There are many different ways to categorize tea styles (see " [origin] Introduction to Tea"). Here we're going to introduce the system used by many tea merchants: Tea styles by colors. The system is based on the color of tea, judged by tea leaf, tea liquor, and wet leaf), and related to oxidization levels of tea. The system defines tea into six major tea styles: Green Tea, White Tea, Oolong Tea, Yellow Tea, Red Tea, Black Tea. The six major styles can be further broke into smaller categories according to the making process.
Green Tea is the basic form of Tea. It undergoes minimum process from leaf to tea.
Major Producing Countries: China, Taiwan, Japan
Oxidization Level: 0% (minimum oxidization)
Basic Processing Procedures
Shaqing (殺青): This is the step to stop further oxidization by "steaming" or "frying".
Rolling (揉捻): This step is to shape the partial dried tea leaves into different shapes, including ball shape (ex. Gunpowder), long slender (ex. Dragonwell), short slender (ex. Chunmee), and many others.
Drying (乾燥): This drying step is to fully dry the shaped tea leaf into final products. The drying methods including frying, baking and sun drying.
According to different procedures in "Shaqing" and "Drying", green tea can be further separated into 4 general sub-categories.
Fried Green Tea (炒青綠茶): ex. Dragonwell, Chunmee, Gunpowder
Frying method is used both during "Shaqing" and "Drying". Frying method has been used to process green tea since Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), is the major green tea style in China and Taiwan. Frying method brings out the original flavor of green tea, and mixes with special frying aroma, create complex depths of green tea. According to the different mechanisms and frying method, there are "Flat Fried Green Tea" (ex. Dragonwell), "Ball Fried Green Tea" (ex. Gunpowder), "Slender Fried Green Tea" (ex. Chunmee).
Steamed Green Tea (蒸青綠茶): ex. Gyokuro, Sencha
Steam was used to "Shaqing" in ancient China. Steam Shaqing was propagated to Japan in Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), and being the major stream of Japanese green tea, such as "Sancha" (broiled tea) , "Gyokuro" (Jade Tea). The major character of Steamed Green Tea is "3 Greens": dark green tea leaf, light green tea liquor, and lemon green wet leaf. Steamed Green Tea contains the basic flavor of green tea leaf, possesses a natural grassy undertone.
Baked Green Tea (烘青綠茶): ex. Lumudan (Green Peony), Liu An Gua Pian (Melon Pieces)
Baking is a method of drying. Baked Green Tea is baked-dry in a baking machine. Baked Green Tea is not as aromatic as Fried Green Tea. Most of Baked Green Teas are made into floral scented green teas. The shapes of Baked Green Tea include slender, point, slice, needle and so on. Some famous ones are "Lumudan (Green Peony), Liu An Gua Pian (Melon Pieces).
Sun Dried Green Tea (曬青綠茶): ex. Dienqing (Yunnan Dien Qing)
Sun drying is a method used in "drying". Sun Dried Green Tea is produced in the southern part of China. Yunnan is the province produces best quality Sun Dried Green Tea in the name of "Dien Qing".
Green Tea is the first form of tea culture. The first green tea can be tracked back to 3000 years ago when people started collecting wild tea leaf, sun dried and stored. The "processed green tea" was not officially documented until the 8th century when "Steam Shaqing Method" was created. Fried Method started from the 12th century, since then green tea has been rooted in the oriental life. China, Taiwan and Japan are the most important countries producing green tea. Japan inherited Chinese Cha Dao and organized world famous Japanese Tea Ceremony (Cha Dao).
Green Tea was used as herb medicine in China from ancient time. In recent decades, it has become a popular researching subjects related to health. Green tea flavonoids are potent antioxidant compounds, thought to reduce incidence of cancer and heart disease. The major flavonoids in green tea are the catechins (catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)).
Catechins have been shown in recent studies to fight viruses, slow aging, and have a beneficial effect on health. EGCG is an antioxidant at least 100 more times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells and DNA from damage believed to be linked to cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses. In lab tests, EGCG, was found to prevent HIV from attacking T-Cells. However, it is not known if this has any effect on humans yet.Green Tea Benefits
* Reduces high blood pressure
* Lower blood sugar
* Reducing the negative effects of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by lowering levels of triglycerides and increasing the production of HDL cholesterol good cholesterol.
* Prevent cariovascular disease
* Help rheumatoid arthritis
* Help Stopping certain neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimers
* Help Treating Arthritis
* impaired immune function
* Prevent skin cancer (info here)
* May fight cancer (info here)
* Reduced mortality due to all causes and due to cardiovascular disease (info here)
* Preventing the degradation of cell membranes by neutralizing the spread of free radicals (which occurs during the process of oxidation).
* Promote Healthy Weight Loss (info here)
* Increasing fat oxidation (helps the body use fat as an energy source) and raising metabolism.
* Joy Bauer, a New York City nutritionist, says [the catechins in green tea] increase levels of the metabolism speeding brain chemical norepinephrine.
* Japanese researchers claim if you drink five cups of green tea a day, you'll burn 70 to 80 extra calories. Dr. Nicholas Perricone, an anti-aging specialist, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and told Oprah's viewers they can lose 10 lbs. in 6 weeks drinking green tea instead of coffee
* Drinking green tea mixed with honey can oftentimes have a soothing effect on a sore throat.
References茶文化Green Tea (Wikipedia)Catechin
Drink Green Tea, Prevent Skin Cancer
(Medical News Today)Green Tea Boosts Production Of Detox Enzymes, Rendering Cancerous Chemicals Harmless
Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan
(The Journal of the American Medical Association)A New Function of Green Tea: Prevention of Lifestyle-related Diseases
(Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 928:274-280 (2001))Green Tea Health Benefits