Green teas have long been enjoyed for their health-giving qualities as well as their fresh, vegetal flavor and aroma. Taste can be bold and invigorating as well as smooth and subtle. Most green teas are made from typically smaller leaves and usually, the best ones are harvested in the spring. The tender leaves and or buds are dried and de-enzymed by subjecting them to high heat, thereby to stopping the natural oxidation. They are either pan-fried, steamed, or even blanched in boiling water. As a result, the leaves retain their green color and are referred to as non-oxidized teas. Sometimes, the leaves may be first spread out on cool cement floors or rattan racks and allowed to wilt for a few hours. By the end of processing, the leaves contain less than 3% of their original moisture and are ready to drink. Green teas generally retain their full flavor and can be stored for 12 to 18 months. Interestingly, the aroma and taste can be quite different from one another. The color of the liquor can range from a bright jade green to a pale yellow and is best when drunk without any additions. Use cooler temperature water when brewing green teas. Generally speaking, quality, whole-leaf green teas offer the least caffeine of all the tea categories.
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