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China Tea ep. 14 – Green Tea – Sunday Tea Book – Sip-a-long – Old Tree Shu Pu’er 2015

Step Two: Easy Brew, Easy Taste

Green Tea

Green tea is the first and earliest discovered and used by our ancestors. Its cool property helps moderate heat in the body, balancing yin and yang. Green tea also kills bacteria and promotes health. The beautiful green color of green tea makes people want to consume it as if we can regain peace and balance simply by ingesting it.

Sneak Peek

In the green tea category, we find over half of all the famous teas. Because of its serene character, the aroma of green tea is long and lingering, making it perfect for sipping and tasting slowly. Aside from its excellent tasting qualities, green teas also have very unique appearances, making it a perfect tasting grade tea.

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Old Tree Shu Pu’er 2015

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Dry Leaf: Subdued woodiness
Liquor Colour: brown
Liquor Aroma: slight leather
Flavour: leather-bound book, autumn spice
Mouthfeel: Thick and clean

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The Way of Making

Airing, kill green, shaping and drying are the steps of making green tea. Kill green is the key step, locking in the quality of the tea.

Observing

The dry leaves of green tea are green with light liquor and green brewed leaves. Because green tea doesn’t go through any oxidation phase, it preserves the natural nutrients in tea including tea polyphenols and over 85% of the caffeine. It also keeps over 50% of chlorophyll with a minimal loss of vitamins. This process is what gives green tea its characteristics light liquor, green leaves, the consolidation of taste and mouthfeel.

Fragrance

Green tea has a light fragrance, sometimes a cooked chestnut aroma, sometimes sweet flower scents, and is rich in taste.

The basic classification of green tea

Pan-fired (chao qing) green tea

Long pan-fired (chang chao qing) green tea – Mei Cha: Chao Qing, Te Zhen, Feng Mei, Xiu Mei, Gong Xi, etc.

Round pan-fired (yuan chao qing) green tea – Zhu Cha: Zhu Cha, Yu Cha, Xiu Mei, etc.

Tender leaf (xi neng) pan-fired: Long Jing, Da Fang, Bi Luo Chuo, Yu Hua, Song Zhen, etc.

Baked (hong qing) green tea

Regular hong qing: Min Hong Qing, Zhe Hong Qing, etc.

Tender leaf (xi neng) hong qing: Huangshan Mao Feng, Taiping Hou Kui, Gaoqiao Yin Feng, etc.

Sun-dried (shai qing) green tea

Dian Qing, Chuan Qing, Shan Qing, etc.

Steamed (zheng qing) green tea

Jian Cha, Yu Lu, etc.

Discerning green tea

The quality of green tea varies widely, but you can tell them apart by observing the dry leaves, liquor, and brewed leaves.

Fresh green tea and stale green tea

Fresh green tea has a bright and lustrous greenness with a rich tea aroma. Its liquor should be light green, with light aroma, orchid fragrance or cooked chestnut aroma, etc. The taste of the tea should be rich, sweet, and refreshing while the brewed leaves are radiant green.

Stale green tea looks dull and yellow with no luster and a faint aroma. The liquor of the tea is deep yellow. Although it tastes rich, it is not refreshing, and the brewed leaves are yellow and lack radiance.

Spring tea, summer tea, and autumn tea

The leaves and buds of spring tea are full and sturdy with a radiant dark green color. The roll of the leaves is tight and weighty. The liquor is rich, sweet, and refreshing with a rich aroma. The brewed leaves are soft and bright.

The roll of summer teas looks rougher and looser with an uneven color tone. The buds and leaves look more fibrous. The taste is astringent, while the brewed leaves are stiff, with obvious leaf veins. And sometimes bronzed green leaves mixed in.

Autumn tea is rolled tight and looks smaller, showing more leaf veins, feels light, and green. The taste is usually lighter and balanced with some sweetness and a light aroma. The brewed leaves are soft with more bronzed single leaves.

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