Wow! 20 Kinds of Green Tea and they all Taste Different
Green tea is a traditional Asian beverage that originated in China, made from the Camellia sinensis plant. It’s produced through a careful process that involves steaming the fresh leaves. The green color comes from the steaming process, which prevents the leaves from oxidizing and turning brown and helps to preserve their natural compounds and health benefits.
The quality of green tea can vary greatly depending on the specific type and production method used, with certain types being highly prized for their unique flavor profiles and health benefits. There are many varieties, each with its own unique characteristics.
The flavor profile of green tea can be described as fresh, slightly sweet, and sometimes smoky, depending on the variety. The leaves are typically ground into a fine powder or left whole, and can range in color from light to dark green.
There are 20 types of green tea as seen below, each with its own unique flavor profile and health benefits.
- Matcha: High in antioxidants, boosts energy without the crash associated with coffee.
- Sencha: Rich in vitamin C, helps improve heart health.
- Genmaicha: Contains roasted rice, provides a warm, nutty flavor.
- Gyokuro: Grown in the shade, offers a sweet, smooth taste.
- Hōjicha: Roasted, has a smoky flavor.
- Kukicha: Made from stems, has a light, sweet flavor.
- Gunpowder: Rolled into small pellets, has a strong, robust flavor.
- Bancha: Lower in caffeine, has a mild, earthy flavor.
- Longjing: Pan-roasted, has a sweet, delicate flavor.
- Biluochun: Rolled into tight spirals, has a fruity, floral flavor.
- Shincha: Harvested in the spring, has a fresh, vibrant flavor.
- Fukamushicha: Steamed longer, has a deep, rich flavor.
- Konacha: Made from small pieces, has a strong, bold flavor.
- Tencha: Used to make Matcha, has a light, delicate flavor.
- Chun Mee: Rolled into thin strands, has a tangy, plum-like flavor.
- Xinyang Maojian: Harvested in the spring, has a fresh, floral flavor.
- Huangshan Maofeng: Harvested in the spring, has a light, floral flavor.
- Funmatsucha: Ground into a fine powder, has a strong, grassy flavor.
- Yunnan: Grown in China, has a sweet, floral flavor.
- Pin Ho Jade: Rolled into tight balls, has a light, sweet flavor.
Drinking green tea offers numerous health benefits. It’s rich in antioxidants known as catechins, which help to protect the body against free radicals. Green tea can also help to improve heart health, boost energy levels, and provide mental clarity.
Making a good cup of green tea involves careful attention to the type of tea, water temperature, and steeping time. It’s best to use fresh, high-quality tea leaves and filtered water. The water should be heated to 175-185°F (80-85°C), and the tea should be steeped for 2-3 minutes.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 1. Matcha
- 2 2. Sencha
- 3 3. Genmaicha
- 4 4. Gyokuro
- 5 5. Hōjicha
- 6 6. Kukicha
- 7 7. Gunpowder
- 8 8. Bancha
- 9 9. Longjing
- 10 10. Biluochun
- 11 11. Shincha
- 12 12. Fukamushicha
- 13 13. Konacha
- 14 14. Tencha
- 15 15. Chun Mee
- 16 16. Xinyang Maojian
- 17 17. Huangshan Maofeng
- 18 18. Funmatsucha
- 19 19. Yunnan
- 20 20. Pin Ho Jade
- 21 What benefits does drinking green tea provide?
- 22 How do you make a good cup of green tea?
Matcha green tea is a fine, natural ground powder of specially grown and processed Camellia sinensis leaves. The entire leaf is used, which sets it apart from other teas. The plants are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, which increases the chlorophyll content and alters the flavor profile.
The flavor profile of matcha is unique and rich. It’s typically described as a smooth, savory taste with a touch of sweetness and a hint of bitterness. The texture is frothy and light but a little bit grainy, providing a strong and pleasant taste.
Matcha green tea is different from other green teas in several ways. It contains a higher level of nutrients, caffeine, and antioxidants. These compounds protect the heart and help promote weight loss. The caffeine content in matcha acts as an energy boost, promoting alertness without the crash typically associated with other caffeinated beverages.
It also offers a unique sensory experience, from its vibrant green color to its distinct flavor profile.
Sencha green tea is a staple in Japanese homes, known for its wide variety of health benefits. This type of green tea is grown in Japan and is important in the daily diet. Sencha is unique due to its production course; the tea leaves are steamed, which preserves the rich, natural green color and nutrients.
The flavor profile of Sencha is bright and refreshing, with hints of seaweed and butternut. It’s a very light green color and has a light taste compared to other green teas. This one is probably the easiest green tea to get into.
Its aroma is reminiscent of Brussel sprouts. The flavor can vary depending on the region where it’s grown. I’ve tried both Japanese and Chinese Sencha teas, and the Japanese is slightly sweeter, whereas the Chinese is slightly more bitter.
Genmaicha green tea is a traditional Japanese beverage combining green tea leaves and toasted brown rice. The unique blending process results in a tea rich in flavor and health benefits. The toasted rice, initially used to stretch tea supplies, now adds a distinct nutty taste and aroma.
The specific flavor profile of Genmaicha is a balance of savory green tea and nutty toasted rice. The toasted rice imparts a warm, roasted aroma and a lighter, easier to enjoy flavor compared to other green teas. The flavor is soothing and slightly savory.
Genmaicha differs from other green teas in several ways. It has a lower caffeine content, making it a great option for those sensitive to caffeine.
Gyokuro green tea is a premium Japanese green tea, known for its exquisite quality and unique production method. It’s grown under specific conditions, covered by bamboo or straw curtains for a certain part of the year. This filtering alters the tea’s chemical composition, making it rich in certain health-benefiting compounds. Gyokuro, meaning “jade dew,” is harvested once a year, making it one of the most expensive and highly prized teas in Japan.
The flavor profile of Gyokuro is distinct, featuring a rich umami taste with sweet undertones. It has a fresh, vegetal flavor with hints of creamy sweetness. The tea’s high quality is also reflected in its amazing fragrance, which is soft and fresh.
Gyokuro differs from other green teas in several ways. It has a higher caffeine content, which provides mental alertness. However, it’s important to note that the caffeine action in green tea is different from that in black tea or coffee. It’s also rich in antioxidants, supporting heart health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and improving cholesterol levels.
Hōjicha green tea is a traditional Japanese tea. It’s made by roasting green tea leaves and stems at high temperatures, as opposed to the conventional method of steaming. This unique production process gives Hōjicha its distinct color and flavor profile.
Hōjicha’s flavor profile is slightly different from other green teas. It has a rich, smoky, and slightly nutty taste with a subtle sweetness. The roasting process also gives it a light, velvety feel, making it a wonderful choice for those seeking a unique tea experience.
Compared to other green teas, Hōjicha has a lower caffeine content. This makes it a great option for those sensitive to caffeine or for those who enjoy a cup of tea before bed.
Kukicha green tea is a unique type originating from Japan. It’s produced using stems and twigs instead of tea leaves, making it different from other green teas. This tea’s production course involves a careful selection of stems and twigs, which are then slightly roasted to achieve the desired flavor.
Kukicha has a distinct flavor profile. It’s known for its rich, creamy taste with a hint of nuttiness. It’s slightly sweet, making it a great option for those sensitive to the bitter taste of other green teas.
Compared to other green teas, Kukicha has a lower caffeine content. This makes it a popular choice for those looking to enjoy a healthy tea without the caffeine jitters.
Gunpowder green tea is a unique type of Chinese green tea known for its distinct production process and flavor profile. It’s named “gunpowder” due to the tightly rolled shape of the tea leaves, resembling gunpowder pellets. This tea is traditionally pan or oven roasted, then dried, resulting in a rich, smoky flavor as opposed to the light, grassy taste of most green teas.
The flavor profile of gunpowder green tea is robust and slightly bitter, with a nutty finish. This tea most resembles the English black tea flavor of all of the green teas. It stands out for its strong, smoky character, which gives it a distinct taste. It’s perfect for people looking for a strong, flavorful tea option.
Bancha green tea is a type of Japanese green tea, widely available in different parts of Japan. It’s defined by its production course, which involves the use of both young and adult leaves. Bancha is harvested later in the season, making it a lower grade compared to other types of green tea. However, it’s important to note that lower grade doesn’t mean lower quality. Bancha is known for its unique features, including a higher concentration of certain minerals like potassium.
The flavor profile of Bancha green tea is distinct. It’s characterized by a light, refreshing taste with a certain degree of astringency and bitterness. The aroma of Bancha is rich, giving a wonderful feel to the drink. The theanine content in Bancha is lower, which results in a less bitter taste.
Longjing green tea is a renowned Chinese tea, known for its high quality and unique features. It’s also referred to as Dragon Well tea, grown in the West Lake region of Zhejiang province. The tea is famous for its vibrant emerald color, uniform leaf shape, and rich aroma. The production of Longjing involves a certain course of action, including hand-picking and pan-frying, which gives it a distinct taste and appearance.
It’s important to note that Longjing is divided into different grades, depending on the quality of the leaves and the time of harvest.
The flavor profile of Longjing is subtly sweet, with a hint of chestnut and a buttery feel. Compared to other green teas, Longjing has a lighter, more delicate flavor. It’s less astringent and has a smoother mouthfeel. It’s characterized by a smooth, nutty taste, with a slight vegetal undertone. The tea has a signature aroma that’s both refreshing and soothing.
Biluochun green tea is a renowned Chinese green tea, known for its delicate, spiraled leaves and rich, mellow flavor. It’s grown in the West Lake region of Zhejiang province, a region renowned for producing high-quality teas. The name “Biluochun” translates to “Spring Green Snail,” a nod to the tea’s unique, snail-like appearance. This tea is also divided into different grades based on the uniformity and quality of the leaves.
The flavor profile of Biluochun is unique and complex. It’s characterized by a vibrant, fruity taste with floral undertones, a hint of chestnut, and a nutty aroma with a lighter feel than other green teas.
It’s known for its white, downy appearance, as opposed to the common green color of most teas. Its flavor is also more delicate and less astringent.
Shincha green tea is a unique type of Japanese green tea. It’s harvested from the first young leaves of the season, like the Sencha, making it a fresh and vibrant option for tea lovers. The production of Shincha is a sensitive process, requiring professional picking and careful handling to maintain the tea’s rich features.
The flavor profile of Shincha is complex and refreshing. It’s characterized by a light tartness, balanced with a savory umami base. Depending on the region, you may also note mild nutty or buttery notes, with a hint of chestnut. The tea’s aromatic scent adds to its invigorating feel, making it a wonderful drink to enjoy.
Shincha differs from other green teas in several ways. Its higher caffeine content gives it an invigorating action, while its lower tannin content results in a less astringent taste. The tea’s young leaves provide a higher concentration of nutrients compared to other teas. These nutrients can help reduce the risk of chronic disease, making Shincha a great health option.
Fukamushicha green tea is a popular type of Japanese green tea, unique for its longer steaming process during production. This tea, also known as deep-steamed tea, undergoes a steaming process that’s twice as long as other green teas. The longer steaming process breaks down the tea leaves into fine particles, giving Fukamushicha its characteristic cloudy appearance.
The flavor profile of Fukamushicha is rich and slightly vegetal, with a smooth, velvety feel. It’s a flavorful option for tea lovers, with a wonderful concentration of taste that’s slightly different from other green teas.
The longer steaming process gives it a higher concentration of catechins, a type of antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. This tea also features a clouded color, as opposed to the clear color of other green teas.
Konacha green tea is a unique Japanese tea, popular in sushi restaurants. It’s made from small bits of leftover leaves from the production of higher-grade teas like Gyokuro. The term “Konacha” means “powder tea” in Japanese, but it’s important to note that it’s different from matcha, which is a type of powdered green tea.
The flavor profile of Konacha is strong and slightly bitter, with a rich, vibrant color. It has a nutty taste that gives a wonderful feel on the palate. The flavor can vary depending on the region of Japan it’s from and the size of the tea bits.
Konacha differs from other green teas due to its small size and unique production process. It’s typically served as a palate cleanser in sushi restaurants due to its strong flavor. It has a higher concentration of caffeine compared to other green teas, making it a great option for those seeking a flavorful pick-me-up.
Tencha green tea is a unique variety of Japanese green tea, traditionally regarded as a noble drink. It’s produced from shade-grown tea leaves, which are steamed and dried without being rolled. This production method gives Tencha its distinct features, making it a rare and highly sought-after type of green tea. It’s important to note that Tencha is the raw material for Matcha, another popular Japanese tea.
The flavor profile of Tencha is a wonderful blend of mild sweetness and mellow taste. It’s rich, elegant, and varies depending on the region where it’s grown. The shade-growing process results in a higher concentration of certain compounds, which contribute to its unique flavor. Tencha provides a flavorful cup of tea that is both refreshing and soothing.
15. Chun Mee
Chun Mee green tea is a popular type of Chinese green tea. The name “Chun Mee” means “precious eyebrows” in Chinese, referring to the shape of the tea leaves which are carefully hand-rolled into a form resembling eyebrows.
The flavor profile of Chun Mee green tea is slightly tart and smoky, with a rich, buttery feel. It has a strong green tea taste but still refreshing, making it a great option for those looking to enjoy a cup of tea with a unique taste.
Compared to other green teas, Chun Mee has a unique flavor and a higher caffeine content.
16. Xinyang Maojian
Xinyang Maojian green tea is a unique type of Chinese tea, known for its rich flavor and distinctive appearance. It originated from the city of Xinyang in China, considered a great place for tea production due to its warmer climate. The tea is grown in higher altitudes, which gives it a certain concentration of amino acids, making it a healthier option compared to other types of teas.
The flavor profile of Xinyang Maojian is refreshingly brisk with a slightly smoky note. The tea tastes subtly roasted, providing a wonderful contrast to its clear, yellowish color. The liquor is thick, giving the drinker a rich feel with every sip.
Compared to other green teas, Xinyang Maojian has a few unique features. It’s known for its refreshing taste, as opposed to the slightly bitter taste of teas from Fujian and Anhui. The tea leaves have a distinctive appearance, looking slightly curled, which means they’re handpicked and carefully processed.
17. Huangshan Maofeng
Huangshan Maofeng green tea is a renowned Chinese tea, grown in the Huangshan region of Anhui province. It’s considered one of the top ten teas in China. The tea leaves are picked in early spring, producing a rich, light green color. The production process involves a higher concentration of hand-picking, which gives it a unique, professional touch.
The flavor profile of Huangshan Maofeng is distinctively sweet and mellow. It’s known for its smooth, refreshing taste and a wonderful aroma that’s reminiscent of a bean. The taste can vary depending on the course of action taken during the production, but it’s generally considered one of the sweetest green teas.
Funmatsucha green tea is a unique type of Japanese green tea. It’s produced by grinding fine green tea leaves into a rich, velvety powder. This method of production gives Funmatsucha a higher concentration of flavor and health benefits compared to other types of green tea.
The flavor profile of Funmatsucha is slightly different from other green teas. It has a smooth, earthy taste with a hint of sweetness. The texture is fine and velvety, making it a wonderful option for those looking for a flavorful and unique tea experience. Of course, the flavor can be adjusted depending on the amount of powder used per cup of tea.
It’s also a great option for cooking, adding a rich, green tea flavor to any dish.
Yunnan green tea is a type of green tea grown in the Yunnan province of China. This tea is a wonderful option for tea enthusiasts looking for a slightly different taste compared to common green teas. The production of Yunnan green tea is a careful and professional course of action, ensuring the best quality and taste.
The flavor profile of Yunnan green tea is rich and slightly sweet and flowery. It has a fresh, crisp taste with a smooth feel. Compared to other green teas, Yunnan green tea has a higher caffeine content. However, it’s important to note that it’s still lower than the caffeine concentration in black teas.
20. Pin Ho Jade
Pin Ho Jade green tea is a rare, rich type of green tea grown in the Yen Bai region of Vietnam. Known for its unique production process, this tea is harvested from wild tea trees, making it a higher quality compared to common types of green tea. The name “Pin Ho Jade” signifies its origin and the beautiful jade green color of the tea leaves.
The flavor profile of Pin Ho Jade green tea is complex and refreshing. It’s characterized by a slightly sweet, vegetal taste with a flowery aftertaste and very easy going. The tea has a smooth, velvety feel, adding to its overall wonderful drinking experience.
Its higher concentration of antioxidants helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases, making it a great option for those looking to incorporate a healthy drink into their diet.
What benefits does drinking green tea provide?
Green tea provides numerous health benefits, making it a popular beverage consumed for centuries. It contains compounds known as antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage. These antioxidants have protective effects against chronic diseases such as cancer. The study by Jiao, H., Hu, G., Gu, D., & Ni, X. (2014) found that drinking green tea regularly can also aid in weight loss, as it helps increase metabolism and fat burning, because of the polysaccharides and polyphenols found in the tea.
The healthiest types of green tea are Matcha and Sencha. Matcha is high in antioxidants, which are important for preventing cell damage. Sencha is prepared from the first flush of tea leaves, which gives it a higher concentration of nutrients compared to other teas. These nutrients can help reduce the risk of chronic disease.
How do you make a good cup of green tea?
To make a good cup of green tea, choose high-quality loose leaves and add one teaspoon of leaves to a cup. Heat water to 175-185°F (80-85°C)- avoid boiling. Pour 8 ounces of water over the tea and steep for 2-3 minutes.
Green tea isn’t supposed to be bitter. Boiling water and oversteeping can cause bitterness. Remember, green tea requires less heat and steep time than black tea. Overheating can alter the flavor and make it bitter.
Adding milk, lemon, honey, or ginger to green tea can enhance its flavor. Lemon and honey make a great combination, providing a sweet and tangy flavor. Honey also makes the sweetest green tea.
Green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. In Japanese, green tea is called ‘ryokucha’.
What is the green tea plant?
The green tea plant, also known as Camellia sinensis, is an evergreen shrub or small tree from the flowering family. Native to Southeast China, it’s grown for its leaves which are used to produce different varieties of tea.
The plant can reach up to 9-15 feet (3-5 meters) in height, but is usually pruned to about 3 feet (1 meter) for easier harvesting. Its leaves are dark green, long, and delicate with small hairs on the underside.
Green tea leaves are the fresh, unoxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
What is used as green tea leaves?
Green tea leaves are the fresh, unoxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. They’re harvested when the plant is still young, preferably before the leaf buds have fully opened. The leaves contain major compounds that give green tea its unique taste and health benefits.
Unlike black and white tea leaves, green tea leaves are not oxidized. Instead, they’re processed to prevent oxidation, keeping their green color and preserving their chemical compositions. The production of green tea also includes the use of older leaves and stems, which have a deeper, more robust flavor.
Different parts of the plant are used for different types of tea, with the buds and younger leaves being more delicate and the older leaves and stems providing a stronger flavor.
What is green tea called in Japanese?
In Japanese, green tea is called “ryokucha.” This general term encompasses several unique types, each with a different flavor profile due to variations in processing. The most common type, “sencha,” is made by steaming and rolling fresh tea leaves. This process gives it a fine, delicate flavor.
Another type, “gyokuro,” is shaded from sunlight for 20 days before being harvested. This results in a more robust flavor. “Matcha,” on the other hand, is made by grinding the leaves into a fine powder. This gives it a unique, intense flavor.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.