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Chinese Green Tea Versus Japanese Green Tea
Green teas are not all created equal, but they are delicious! Green tea can come from any tea-growing country, but what makes it green tea is the amount of oxidation. ‘Kill-green’ refers to stopping the oxidation process so that the tea does not oxidize to black. The stages the tea goes through are white, green, oolong, and black. (Puerh is an entirely different category of tea which has been fermented.)
Chinese teas normally grow more inland and in mountainous regions, while Japanese teas are grown closer to the ocean. The taste profile of the teas are affected by the terroir/growing conditions and the method by which they are processed.
In general, Chinese green tea is roasted or pan-fired, while Japanese green tea is usually steamed. Japanese teas tend to be slightly grassy in taste, and the processing can also give them a creamy mouthfeel while Chinese green teas—because of the roasting—tend to have a nutty or toasty flavor.
There are a number of teas in each category and sometimes florals like jasmine or herbs such as mint are added to the basic green teas to enhance or change their flavor. One of the best-known flavored Chinese green teas is Jasmine Pearl: Small pearls of green tea rolled and pressed with jasmine, preferably from the Fujian region. Dragonwell is another classic Chinese tea, and the best Dragonwell (or Longjing) comes from the West Lake District.
Get to know the taste profiles of both Chinese and Japanese green teas and then go on an adventure of finding particular teas that appeal to your personal palate.
Check out the previous video in this series: How To Brew Easy Loose Leaf Tea