There are five main types of true “green teas”. Most of these teas are from the Camilla sinesis plant.
All of these teas have health benefits and you can decide which ones you prefer, or mix and match, trying them every other day.
Five Flavors and Types of Green Tea
- Real Leaf Green Tea is freshly harvested, then steamed, and can be quickly pan-fired to prevent oxidation, cooled, rolled and dried. Many of these are from China. This keeps the leaves green versus turning brown like black teas.
So, when brewed this tea stays green in color, with flavors of grass-like earthy vegetable green to sweet roasted flavor.
- White Tea comes from new buds or just opened leaves on tea bush, this first early growth is covered in fine white hairs; hence the name White tea. This type is the least processed and very rich in antioxidants of polyphenols and catechins.
- Sencha Tea comes from Japan, the leaves are steamed, not pan-fired and rolled into long strands, 80% of this tea is consumed in Japan. These more stringent flavors include Hojacha, Gyokuro, Genmaicha, and Matcha teas. This tea gives you higher energy levels and larger amounts of catechins.
- Matcha Tea deserves a separate listing here since its popularity and story is so unique. This tea is a finely ground, bright green powdered leaves, made from exceptionally high-quality shade-grown tea bushes known as “tencha”.
These particular plants are arranged such as to avoid direct sun, reducing photosynthesis in the plant, slowing down growth; this stimulates higher amounts of chlorophyll and amino acids. This Matcha tea was reserved, for many years, for only the upper class and the Japanese government for important tea ceremonies. It was used by Buddhist monks for concentration and to increase metabolism.
- Mate or Yerba Mate tea is actually from a South American plant, ilex paraguariensis, it is very similar to green tea both in taste and health benefits. Drinking Mate is a common social pastime, it is higher in caffeine, closer to coffee in content. The health benefits include heart health, brain-boosting, prevention of Diabetes, and anti-tumor growth.
Mate tea is considered helpful for weight loss and reduces body fat. It can inhibit visceral fat which is the fat around your waistline and abdominals.
Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist and is a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant helping individuals with health programs to improve life and happiness. She is a writer, speaker and owner of several businesses.