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Tea Varieties And Grades Of Green


									   Tea: Varieties And Grades Of Green Tea

 If you’ve ever shopped for green tea, no doubt
  you’re aware that there are a vast number of
choices. There are green teas from many regions
  of the world, and many varieties, grades and
            .flavors from each region

Green tea was likely the first kind of tea. About
 3000 years ago in China, people plucked fresh
  tea leaves and let them dry in the sun before
storing them. In the 8th century, tea processors
began using the evaporation process, and by the
  12th century, they began sautéing the leaves.
   Basically, green tea came about before tea
processors learned the methods associated with
              .processing black tea

Even today, green tea is one of the teas left in its
most natural state. Unlike black tea, green tea is
 unfermented. This lack of fermentation leaves
the chlorophyll in the leaves, so that they retain
their green color. Green tea also retains more of
  its natural anti-oxidants as a result of being
    unfermented. This makes green tea a far
         .healthier choice than black tea

 The natural anti-oxidants in green tea hold a
 great deal of power for protecting our health
  and preventing disease. Anti-oxidants are
important to our health because they neutralize
 free radicals. Free radicals are created in our
   bodies as a by product of digestion. These
 oxygen containing molecules damage our cells
          .and DNA if left unchecked

 A diet rich in foods such as fruits, vegetables
and other plant products like tea, helps rid our
bodies of free radicals before they can damage
                   .our bodies

In recent years, there has been an abundance of
  research showing that long term drinking of
   green tea can protect our bodies from many
forms of disease, including cancer, heart disease
  and high cholesterol. Green tea has also been
shown to be an effective weight loss supplement
as well as a natural way to help regulate insulin
  levels. More research is needed, but it’s very
 likely that as time goes on we’ll find more and
 more health reasons for making green tea part
              .of our everyday lives

             Classifying Green Tea

 The many different varieties of green tea are
classified, in part, by the method in which they
are dried. The five methods of drying green tea
Stir Frying - Fresh tea leaves are sauteed in a •
pan. This process is mainly used for export teas.
  Stir frying gives green a strong fragrance and
 taste. Some common varieties of green tea that
    are stir fried include gunpowder teas and
                  .Dragonwell teas

   Roasting – Tea leaves are dried in a roast •
basket or roast chest. In most cases roasted teas
  are used as the basis for flower scented teas.
Roasting keeps the leaves intact and makes them
   appear as though covered in a white fluff.
         .Monkey king teas are roasted

  Semi-roast and semi fry – Sometimes the stir •
frying and roasting methods are combined. This
  method is used in order to retain the beautiful
 look of a roasted leaf combined with the strong
       .fragrance and taste of stir fried tea

  Solar drying – This is the age old method, •
whereby leaves are dried in the sun. Today these
   leaves are typically used as the basis for
  compressed teas. These are the “green tea
          .cakes” you sometimes see

 Steaming – The leaves are steamed at a very •
high temperature to dry them. The most famous
         .steamed green tea is Sencha
Within each of these varieties of green tea, there
are also quality grades. It can be very difficult to
  determine, however, the quality of tea you’re
   buying, because each country has different
 grading methods. China, which produces more
 green tea than any other country in the world,
   .grades their green tea something like this

   First, teas for export are graded according to
 the age of the leaf and the finished shape of the
     leaf. These categories include gunpowder,
 imperial, young hyson, hyson, twankay, hyson
 skin, and dust. Within each of these categories
  there are several quality grades; sometimes as
    .many as nine grades within one leaf shape

With all the complicated categories of green tea,
   it can be difficult to know which ones to dry.
Understanding the different drying methods and
how they affect the flavor of the tea will give you
 a good start, as you can select varieties dried in
 the method that produces the taste you prefer.
   However, when it comes to selecting the best
  quality of this variety, you have little to go on.
 There are a couple of ways to spot good quality

Form - Loose tea is higher quality than bagged •
 tea. Whether it’s black tea, green tea or white
 tea, you can bet that the lowest quality leaves
   are the ones used in tea bags. For good tea,
              .always buy loose tea

 Price – If loose green tea is really inexpensive, •
    it’s probably not very good quality. Shop
around to get a good idea of a fair price for good
loose green tea so that you can accurately judge

 Reputation of Tea Company – One of the best •
  ways to ensure that you get good tea is to buy
from a tea company with a reputation for selling
only the highest quality teas. This is particularly
        .important when shopping online

 It’s true that there are many varieties of green
 tea. But, that’s what makes trying green tea so
  much fun! There’s almost no end to the many
flavors and nuances you can find in the different
varieties of green tea. You’re sure to want to try
                     !them all

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