Green Tea

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Tea is a popular drink in many places all over the world. In fact, the art of brewing tea and indulging in its taste has been around since approximately 2737 B.C. While all basic types of tea are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, different variations arrive from how the leaves are treated after harvesting.

Green tea is produced when the enzymes in the leaves are not allowed to oxidize. In order to prohibit oxidation from taking place, the tea leaves are either steamed, pan-fried, or roasted. Since the tea leaves are not oxidized, they have a grassier taste to them and the leaves remain green.

Origins & Legend

Green tea’s origins can be traced back to ancient China. Legend has it that green tea was happened upon by mistake by Emperor Shen Nong.

While boiling water one day, leaves flew into the room from his opened window and landed in his water. Not long after, the emperor noticed a beautiful aroma coming from his pot. Curiosity overtook him and he decided to try a sip of the wonderful smelling water that had been flavored by the leaves.

Finding the water to be quite tasty and different than anything he had ever had, Shen Nong shared this “accident” with others. It was this brew that eventually came to be known as tea, and the idea quickly spread.


While the idea of tea became popular in China after Emperor Shen Nong made his discovery, what came to be known as green tea was considered a delicacy. With only the wealthy able to indulge in this newly discovered beverage, it wasn’t until much later, sometime during the 14th century, that green tea was enjoyed by everyone and called upon for medicinal use.

By the 19th century, green tea had made its way to Europe. Welcomed with open arms, green tea was soon labeled as Great Britain’s national beverage. Due to colonization, green tea made its way to America.


The Camellia sinensis plant prefers sunny and partially shaded areas, as well as sandy soil. Before any leaves can be harvested, the plant needs at least three years to grow. Even then, the shrub is not considered to be mature until after five years of growing.

When the plant has had adequate time for maturing, the leaves are plucked for tea production. Not just any leaf will do, however. For green tea, the best and newest leaves and buds are chosen. Since this process is delicate and requires attention to detail, tea leaves are still harvested by hand.

Brewing Green Tea

Green tea can be purchased in pre-filled tea bags or simply loose. Depending on which type of green tea you have, there are different steps that need to be taken when brewing this type of tea.

Tea Bag

There are four steps to follow when brewing a great cup of green tea from a tea bag.

  1. Boil some water (preferably spring) and let it cool for about two minutes. (It is recommended that the water be around 185℉.)
  2. Pour between 8-10 oz of the heated water into your mug or cup and then place the tea bag into the hot water.
  3. For the best tasting results, the tea bag should steep for three minutes.
  4. Once the three minutes are up, the tea bag can be removed. If not adding any sweeteners, you can go ahead and enjoy!


When brewing loose-leaf green tea, there are five different steps that should be followed to create a fantastic cup of tea.

  1. Just as with making tea with a tea bag, boil some water (preferably spring) and let it cool for about two minutes. (For the best tasting results, it is recommended that the water be around 185℉.)
  2. Once the water has reached the correct temperature, pour between 8-10 oz into a tea pot.
  3. Measure out 1 tsp of tea leaves and put them into the tea pot with the hot water.
  4. For the best tasting results, the tea leaves should steep for three minutes.
  5. Once the leaves are finished steeping, strain them out with a strainer. Then, it is time to enjoy your fresh brew!

Caffeine & Other Nutritional Values

When looking at the nutritional information on green tea, it is pretty low. There are zero calories, fats, sugars, and proteins. Considered to be caffeine-rich, one serving contains somewhere between 30-50 mg. The number varies depending on which variety you are drinking.

Variations & Taste

There are many green tea variations and flavors, all of which depend on how the leaves are processed after they have been harvested. For example, over 1500 different types of green tea are produced all over the world, with Japan producing 20 different types alone.


There are many Chinese green tea varieties available. Some of the most popular include:

  • Long Jing – provides tea drinkers with subtle hints of hazelnut and chestnut
  • Gunpowder – known for its bitter and spicy flavor
  • Mao Feng – best described as having a sweet and grassy flavor


Some of the more popular green teas produced in Japan include:

  • Genmaicha – famous for its roasted flavor, comparable to that of a cup of coffee
  • Sencha – the taste of this tea varies greatly (from sweet to bitter) depending on where it is grown
  • Gyokuro – known for its fresh and light flavor

Green Tea is All That!

Dating back to ancient China, green tea is extremely popular all over the world. Made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the taste varies depending on where the shrub grew (full sun, partial sun, full shade) and how the leaves were prepared after being harvested (steamed, pan-fried, or roasted).

Green tea is an excellent caffeinated beverage to experiment with and try out. Whether you prefer a milder and fruitier flavor, or an earthy and robust intense flavor, there are many varieties of green tea that you can purchase and brew at home in just a few simple steps.