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A delicious cup of Green Tea is the perfect addition to your day

How to Choose the Best Green Tea
Brand From Field to Cup,
Quality You Can Taste

Whether it be to boost your immunity or simply to ward off a chill, a delicious cup of green tea is the perfect addition to your day. But when it comes to choosing a brand of tea, there is a plethora of options on the market. Such a large selection can be rather overwhelming. Of course, you want to be sure you are considering everything that goes into bringing the tea from the field to your mug. Every brand promises they are the best butknowing how to distinguish which hold up to their promises requires a few steps. So, how can you determine which brand is really going to satisfy your needs? Well, there are several key factors to look for when buying green tea from any company. After reading these few helpful tips, you will be sipping that perfect cup in no time at all!

Transparency

The first thing to consider when buying your green tea from a company (and really when buying anything), is the transparency and amount of information the company gives about their product. How detailed is the information about the tea they are selling? Do they have proficient and extensive descriptions of their products? The care the company puts into the marketing and presentation of their product can tell you a lot. Furthermore, while the descriptions themselves can be helpful, do not forget to read over the list of ingredients on the packaging. There could be preservatives and extra ingredients omitted from the initial descriptions that will change the entire nature of the tea. Remember, all natural and organic ingredients are always the best – the purer your tea, the better! You certainly do not want to be ingesting unnatural additives in your attempt to get healthier.

Next, whether you are browsing the selection from a website or the shelves of your local grocery store, be sure to find out where the company is based and where they source their teas. This will be a big factor later on when we talk about climate and production. If a tea company really cares about the quality of their product, and the satisfaction of the customer, this information will be all be easily and readily available to the consumer.

Production Methods

Now let’s talk about the green tea itself. All true teas come from the same source – the camellia sensis plant. A number of different hybrids exist, but the most popular breeds consist of the China, Assam, and Cambodia varieties. Depending on production, black, green, oolong, pu-erh, and white teas are the result. Specific processing methods then create various types of each tea. Types of green tea include sencha, matcha, bancha and so on.

Not all green tea is created equally – in fact, each crop will yield unique and distinct features in appearance, taste, and nutrients. Each manufacturer, especially depending on the country of origin, has a method of processing the green tea that leads to different flavors, minerals, antioxidant levels, and aromas.

When making a green tea, producers harvest the leaves and buds of the camellia sensis plant. The leaves are then withered and dried either with the help of the sun, or hot air. Then they are either steamed or pan-fried depending on the country. This is to prevent oxidation or fermentation that would change the tea from a green tea to an oolong or a black tea.

For example, China favors the methods of pan-frying and roasting their tea leaves over fire. They carefully spread and mix the leaves to ensure complete, even drying. These processes give the teas smokier and richer flavors as one might expect from any roasted food. The aromas are likewise smoky and slightly darker, earthy tinge.

Japan on the other hand, prefers to steam their green tea leaves. First, they clean the leaves and then put them over water in a tray made of bamboo. Then, they take the leaves and blow the remaining water off using cool air. This steaming generates lighter, sweeter flavors with floral accents as opposed to the toasted taste of Chinese teas.

After going through the various drying processes, the tea leaves are rolled and shaped into the desired form. Then, the tea is run through specific quality control tests depending on which country is selling or exporting the tea. In Japan for instance, these tests scrutinize every aspect including aroma, tannins, minerals, moisture, and so on. These tests ensure that the tea is ready and suitable to be sold.

Customer Reviews

Never neglect to read the reviews. Reviews are a great way by which you can gauge a more accurate perspective of the average customer’s satisfaction with the brand. If someone has taken the time to write a review, they doubtless felt the information was worth sharing. It probably goes without saying that if a product has multiple one-star reviews, you should steer clear from that company.

The more reviews previous customers have written, the better idea you have of the quality of the tea. Plus, you can learn more about not just the taste and quality of the tea itself, but those pesky details like packaging, shipping efficiency, and the quality of overall customer service. Sometimes a brand could have a great product, but the hassle of purchasing it, or their method of shipping makes it more worth your while to look elsewhere.

Loose Tea vs Tea Bags

You might be surprised to learn that the form of your green tea has a significant effect on overall quality and taste. Tea can be purchased in two primary forms – loose leaf which comes in bags or canisters, and tea bags which are individual, small packets made of some sort of plastic or biodegradable material. However, there are several reasons why you should always go for the loose-leaf tea brands rather than ones who merely sell bagged tea.

Firstly, tea bags are more likely to contain minced and broken tea leaves. When tea leaves are crushed, the essential oils that give tea its distinct flavor are released. This leaves the tea far more bitter or bland than loose leaf tea which retains its flavor from the oils. Secondly, even though a tea bag might be filled with whole leaves, the bag itself restricts the tea from properly expanding in the steeping process. This results in lack of flavor and loss of nutrients.

When you choose a loose tea, you avoid the possibility of dust and dirt being mixed in. It is fairly obvious what your loose tea is composed of – after all, you can see the actual tea leaves. However, tea bags are mysterious – do you really know what is in there? Better to be sure than risk the possibility of contaminants.

All in all, while tea bags might seem more convenient and sometimes less expensive, the pros of a loose tea far outweigh the cons of the bagged tea. With a tea bag, you end up losing out on what really makes a cup of tea worthwhile. You can be sure when choosing loose tea that you are getting a better cup in terms of both flavor and health benefits.

Conclusion

As you have now seen, there are several factors to consider when choosing the best green tea brand of for your taste and satisfaction. From the honesty of the company to the country their tea originates in, to the way it is packaged, each detail will affect how you make your decision. But by paying attention to descriptions, reviews, form, and keeping your new-found knowledge of processing in mind, you can make an informed purchase and take that first sip with confidence.
Hi,

My name is Andy, and I have been researching all about tea since 2007. My sister and I were both diagnosed with cancer the same year, which sent me on a quest, and this is where I landed. My mission is to continue researching and writing for the health and betterment of all who visit. I love tea and all it has to offer and hope each of you do as well