Quite a celebri-tea!
Seasoned tea drinkers around the world swear by Chinese green tea. Why the hype? A famously refreshing range of flavors? Sure. Several thousand years of history to go with it? Of course. But there’s more. Chinese green tea has hundreds of different cultivars, each with its unique aroma, taste, and texture. Add to this numerous tea growing regions and different processing methods involved in tea production in China. That means there’s a special variety of Chinese green tea to suit every tea drinker’s taste.
How does Chinese green tea differ from any other?
Tea leaves get their coloration and tannic qualities from a process known as oxidation, which starts as soon as the leaves are picked. The longer the oxidation process lasts, the darker the tea gets. Black teas represent the final stage in the oxidation process. In order to get ‘green’ tea, oxidation must be stopped while the leaves still retain their fresh, herbal scents. There are many ways to do this; the Japanese, for instance, steam the freshly picked tea leaves, while the Chinese go for pan firing or oven roasting. Hence, the difference in flavors.
Looks matter…at least for Chinese tea masters
If you take a closer look at a pack of Chinese green tea, you’ll find that every tea leaf looks exactly the same. This is hardly a coincidence. Chinese tea masters go to great lengths to give a very specific appearance to their finished green tea leaves. For example, the Dragon Well (Longjing) variety can be identified by its perfectly flat leaves. Similarly, the Bi Lao Chun green tea has distinctively curled leaves. In the case of the Dragon Pearl and Gunpowder varieties, the leaves are tightly rolled up, preserving their aromas inside.
Tea for the novice
New to Chinese green tea? Start with Dragon Well. This is a great classic Chinese green tea with a mild flavor and slightly sweet aroma. Or, try Pearl Jasmine tea, a fragrant, ever popular green tea variety. Make no mistake – quality Pearl Jasmine is a departure from the ‘jasmine tea’ found in most grocery stores. Traditionally, Chinese jasmine tea is infused with delicate jasmine flowers that just do not possess the strength of industrial flavorings and essential oils. The idea is that floral component should not dominate, but rather subtly complement the vegetal green tea flavor in your cup.
Health benefits of Chinese green tea
A number of studies associate green tea with reduced chances of heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. Despite that scientific evidence seems to be somewhat inconclusive, there are more than enough reasons to adopt Chinese green tea into your lifestyle. Arguably, the real health benefits of green tea have more to do with the tea drinking ritual itself. Sipping a cup of Chinese green tea through the day makes for a great way to beat stress. Its crisp, refreshing flavors and herbal tones are tailored for relaxation and rejuvenation. What’s more, a well-set tea drinking routine automatically increases your daily water intake, which by itself does a world of good.
Any pitfalls to avoid?
Barring the price tags that some premium Chinese green teas come with, the only catch is their shelf-life. Air-tight packaging helps to an extent, but as a general rule, green tea is best consumed as fresh as possible. Not that going through a pack of Chinese green tea is ever an issue.
(see our top 10 picks below)
– Which way I ought to go from here?
– That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Where to buy Chinese green tea. Top 3 tea stores online
Teavivre ships their fresh and authentic Chinese teas directly from China. Have no fear - they offer free shipping on orders over $30.
Everything for everyone. Loose leaf Chinese green staples like Gunpowder and Dragonwell tea. Some rare varieties from Fujian and Anhui mountain farms for advanced tea drinkers. Plus, Adagio’s pyramid tea bag is a perfect combination of high quality tea with the convenience of a disposable teabag.
Finest Chinese loose leaf green teas as well as some wholesome green goodness in casual teabags here. Organic and Fair Trade certified options available for those of us who appreciate both quality and social responsibility.
Top 10 best Chinese green teas to buy online
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In the West, most think of Earl Grey when aromatized teas are mentioned, but in China, scenting processes date back thousands of years and include exotic, enticing ingredients, such as lychee fruit, rose petals and jasmine blooms. Jasmine tea is the most popular and famous of these traditional ...
This tea is wild grown on an abandoned tea field never touched by chemical or pesticides. This tea was produced at an elevation of 4,265 ft. above sea level. The tea master for this farm-cooperative-grown-tea is Mr. Zhang who has been hand roasting Longjing tea most of his adult life. He roasts ...
The tea bush traces its noble lineage from a family of high-mountain Camellia plants. Numi’s Gunpowder Green tea is gently steamed within hours of being plucked, and then skillfully hand-rolled into small, tight pearls. This process preserves its delicate flavor and aroma for far longer than other ...
Organic green tea. Organically grown Lung Ching (also known as Dragonwell) tea, one of the most famous Chinese green teas. Classic green tea flavor and bouquet.*
One of the top ten teas in China. Also known as, Lushan, this tea is a a famous mountain in China with much cloud and mist, because it’s a high Mountain by the side of the first Chinese river.
Jasmine Yin Hao (meaning 'Silver Tip') is a deeply perfumy green tea from the Fujian province of China. Very layered and lingering floral aroma. Soft, full-bodied and sweet flavor with a slight dryness in the finish. Our Jasmine Yin Hao grade is among the highest for green jasmine teas. This ...
Gunpowder is a classic green tea from Zhejiang province, China. As the name implies, Gunpowder tea is made up of leaves hand-rolled into tiny pellets. These resemble gunpowder, and give this tea its distinct name. Full-bodied cup with a hint of smokiness and a smooth mouthfeel. Blend Gunpowder tea ...
This tea offers a heavanly taste that lingers. We are please to have such a great Spring tea from the original West Lake growing region. Only the small and fine leaf tips are used for this premium grade. Don't miss this new crop. The leaves turn a brilliant bright green when steeped. Grown in the ...
In Chinese, gunpowder tea is called zhū chá (珠茶). The tea is so named because its rolled, pellet-like appearance is similar to gunpowder. It is also known as “green pearl” tea in other areas, which should not be confused with Jasmine Pearl tea or Dragon Pearl tea. Teavivre is delighted to offer ...
This very rare, extraordinary tea has a long history in Hubei, China and is thought to be a precursor to Japanese sencha teas, due to a light steaming and hand rolling on heated tables that the leaves undergo to keep them green. From the Xuan En region , this tea is a descendant from the original ...