What is Green Tea?
Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation that is applied to Oolongs and black teas.
After the tea leaves are plucked, they are dried immediately to prevent fermentation and oxidation.
In China, green teas are pan-fried in very large woks. Withering is sometimes used, which spreads the tea leaves on racks to dry in the sun.
In Japan, tea is steamed. Sencha tea is normally steamed for 30-90 seconds and Fukamushi is steamed for about 90-150 seconds to produce a flaky yellowish green tea.
Best practices for Brewing Green Tea
Green tea is a light and delicate, so water should be very pure without any harsh overtones or smells. Than the temperature should be fairly low about 165f or 75c.
Storing Green Tea
Unlike Puerh tea, Green tea has a short shelf life, about 3 to 6 months for flat leaf tea and about a full year for balls or gunpowder teas. So storing is very important. If the leaves start to oxidize they will start to lose some of their flavor and health benefits, polyphenols & catechins.
- Colored glass or ceramics are idea for keeping out sunlight and air.
- Zip lock bags with a good seal are a good choice for both freshness and flavor.
- Don't open your large tea containers near boiling kettles or while cooking up a big meal where there're are lots of aromas and flavors in the air.
There is a big debate on whether or not to keep your green teas in the refrigerator or not. With all the other foods and aromas there is a big concern about the teas taking on their flavors. If you do decide to use a fridge make sure your tea does not freeze, this can change your tea dramatically.
I like to look for discounts on good quality volume (about a 1/2 a pound) in the spring, so I'll keep some in the fridge in the lower drawers well protected from the air during the summer months.
If you buy your green tea in 3 to 12 ounce containers and replenish your supply about every 3 months, you should be good.