Chinese Green Tea: easy guide, top 10 best teas

Last updated: August 24, 2020 at 9:09 am

Quite a celebri-tea!

Seasoned tea drinkers around the world swear by Chinese green tea. Why the hype? A famously refreshing range of flavors? Sure. Several thousand years of history to go with it? Of course.  But there’s more. Chinese green tea has hundreds of different cultivars, each with its unique aroma, taste, and texture. Add to this numerous tea growing regions and different processing methods involved in tea production in China.  That means there’s a special variety of Chinese green tea to suit every tea drinker’s taste.

How does Chinese green tea differ from any other?

Tea leaves get their coloration and tannic qualities from a process known as oxidation, which starts as soon as the leaves are picked. The longer the oxidation process lasts, the darker the tea gets. Black teas represent the final stage in the oxidation process and Chinese black teas also enjoy great popularity. In order to get ‘green’ tea, oxidation must be stopped while the leaves still retain their fresh, herbal scents. There are many ways to do this; the Japanese, for instance, steam the freshly picked tea leaves, while the Chinese go for pan firing or oven roasting. Hence, the difference in flavors.

Looks matter…at least for Chinese tea masters

If you take a closer look at a pack of Chinese green tea, you’ll find that every tea leaf looks exactly the same. This is hardly a coincidence. Chinese tea masters go to great lengths to give a very specific appearance to their finished green tea leaves. For example, the Dragon Well (Longjing) variety can be identified by its perfectly flat leaves. Similarly, Bi Luo Chun tea has distinctively curled leaves. In the case of the Dragon Pearl and Gunpowder varieties, the leaves are tightly rolled up, preserving their aromas inside.

Tea for the novice

New to Chinese green tea?  Start with Dragon Well. This is a great classic Chinese green tea with a mild flavor and slightly sweet aroma. Or, try Pearl Jasmine tea, a fragrant, ever popular green tea variety. Make no mistake – quality Pearl Jasmine is a departure from the ‘jasmine tea’ found in most grocery stores. Traditionally, Chinese jasmine tea is infused with delicate jasmine flowers that just do not possess the strength of industrial flavorings and essential oils. The idea is that floral component should not dominate, but rather subtly complement the vegetal green tea flavor in your cup.

Health benefits of Chinese green tea

A number of studies associate green tea with reduced chances of heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. Despite that scientific evidence seems to be somewhat inconclusive, there are more than enough reasons to adopt Chinese green tea into your lifestyle. Arguably, the real health benefits of green tea have more to do with the tea drinking ritual itself. Sipping a cup of Chinese green tea through the day makes for a great way to beat stress. Its crisp, refreshing flavors and herbal tones are tailored for relaxation and rejuvenation. What’s more, a well-set tea drinking routine automatically increases your daily water intake, which by itself does a world of good.

Any pitfalls to avoid?

Barring the price tags that some premium Chinese green teas come with, the only catch is their shelf-life. Air-tight packaging helps to an extent, but as a general rule, green tea is best consumed as fresh as possible. Not that going through a pack of green tea is ever an issue.

Pi Lo Chun

Pi Lo Chun

Green tea from the Jiangsu province of China. Pi Lo Chun (sometimes written biluochun) is made from the finest tender buds, gathered and processed exclusively by hand. Perfumy and sweet floral, with a full body and slight earthiness. Lingering, aromatic finish and interestingly floral-smoky. Pi Lo Chun is known for having a very distinct character; you'll find ours to..
Dragon Well Green Tea

Dragon Well Green Tea

A sweet and refreshing green tea from China. Sometimes known by its Chinese name, Longjing, dragonwell tea is an ancient variety of green tea as colorful as its name. It is well known for its toasty aroma and flavorful sweetness.
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Dragonwell Tea Organic

Dragonwell Tea Organic

This tea has a very distinctive shape: smooth and perfectly flattened along the inside vein of the leaf, the result of highly skilled shaping in a hot wok. This process, known as pan-firing or pan-frying, was perfected in China by tea masters over the centuries and gives the tea an inviting, toasty aroma. Its sweet, rounded flavor with nuances of roasted chestnut makes this a truly satisfying cup of tea. It’s especially refreshing when sipped throughout the day.
Gunpowder Tea

Gunpowder Tea

A Chinese green tea that is a pick-me-up for any time of day. Comprised of tender, young, organic green tea leaves and rolled into small spheres resembling gunpowder, this organic green tea produces a grassy infusion with a slightly smoky flavor.
Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan Mint Tea

Organic peppermint and spearmint are hand-blended with organic gunpowder green tea to create this refreshing blend. This cool, soothing mint tea adds a refreshing touch to any meal.
Organic Jasmine Pearls

Organic Jasmine Pearls

Our Chinese Dragon Pearls is made from hand picked single buds from the 'Fuding Dahao' tea plant variety. The buds are then refined by hand into tiny 'pearls'. It is a very refreshing green tea and even more so with our added Jasmine tea punch. Buy Organic Jasmine Pearls green tea with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Jasmine Bi Luo Chun Green Tea

Jasmine Bi Luo Chun Green Tea

Although this tea has the Bi Luo Chun name, it is made using different materials; the name comes from its similar appearance, slightly curly leaves like snail shells. This tea has a lovely jasmine fragrance to it, a result of meticulous scenting with jasmine blossoms.
Organic Gunpowder

Organic Gunpowder

Organic Organicer green tea, also called Organic Zhu Cha, production started way back with the Tang Dynasty which ran from 618 to 907 A.D. Gunpowder tea leaves are naturally withered, steamed, rolled, and then dried. California Tea House's high grade, loose leaf Organic Gunpowder green tea are still rolled by hand into small tight balls that make the tea leaves less susceptible to damage, allowing them to retain more of their flavor and aroma. It is believed that the English gave the tea this name due to the resemblance to the gun powder of their black powder muskets of the time. Buy Organic Gunpowder green tea with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Lu Shan Yun Wu Green Tea

Lu Shan Yun Wu Green Tea

Renowned throughout China for its breathtaking scenery, Jiangxi Province is also the home of Lu Shan Yun Wu green tea. The leaves of this tea curl into small spirals due to its unique rolling process, where the leaves are placed in a rounded bamboo basket and then rolled by hand into strips. This tea has a mellow flavor and thick fragrance: if you love tea with a long-lasting flavor, then this is the perfect choice for you.
Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl Green Tea

Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl Green Tea

This Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl green tea is made with the same methods as the regular jasmine pearls, where it is rolled into small, pearl-shape balls, and dried. However, while drying, these pearls are mixed with natural peach extractives, giving it its special fruity flavor. The scenting of the tea leaves with jasmine flowers lasts as long as five hours, and t..

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