Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby Cuppatea » Jan 6th, '10, 15:46

I read on a vendor's website something along the lines of: "real green tea is green, as Japanese green tea is, and not brown, as Chinese green tea is".

I was under the assumption that the reason for the color difference is steaming vs. pan-frying.

Are there other differences, in quality or health properties, etc.?

I was also wondering if there is more pesticide residue in Chinese green tea vs. Japanese green tea?
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby AdamMY » Jan 6th, '10, 16:50

What Chinese greens are you having that are Brown?

Chinese greens unless old or stale I would never call brown, sure they may be a bit more yellow then the deep forest green you get from Japanese greens. But thats like you said difference in production method.

As for the health questions I do not know, but it is probably easier to find Decent/good quality Organic Japanese Greens than Chinese greens.
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby Chip » Jan 6th, '10, 16:52

Leaf or liquor?
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby AdamMY » Jan 6th, '10, 16:55

Chip wrote:Leaf or liquor?


I answered for Leaf, but with Liqour its basically the same, and often Brown comes out in infusions of greens if the water is very hot.... As Its not uncommon for my Japanese greens infusions to turn brown towards the end when I'm using hotter water, especially if they are more lightly steamed.
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby Chip » Jan 6th, '10, 16:59

Often lower grades of Chinese greens are pan fired or whatever for a longer period in order to impart sweeter flavor, more nutty versus veggie for instance. I am sure there are several reasons for this, but I suspect it is primarily done to cover up the lacking flavor profile of a finer or finest grade of the same tea.

The result is browner leaf and liquor.

Rarely is Chinese green liquor really green.
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby gingkoseto » Jan 6th, '10, 17:54

I guess the original quote means liquor color when mentioning "green". But I guess in the name of "green tea", "green" came from the color of the leaf.

Once upon a time in history, Chinese green tea was green liquor too (similar to matcha). But when loose leaf brewing got more and more popular in Ming dynasty, people would let leaves soaked in the vessel (gaiwan or teapot) all the time. Then in manufacturing of Chinese green tea, it would be very important to make the tea tolerant of long infusion. I think that trend of tea brewing largely contributed to the deeper (compared with Japanese green tea) processing of Chinese green tea (pan frying or roasting). But that's just my hypothesis based on historical records of tea. Most of current Chinese green teas (>70% I estimate) were developed within the past 150 years (some developed based on historically existing teas). So without really tasting them, we can only infer how the green teas were like a few hundred years ago. :D
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby Cuppatea » Jan 6th, '10, 20:07

Chip wrote:Leaf or liquor?


Liquor.

Thanks to everyone else who wrote--interesting info.!
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby Rainy-Day » Jan 14th, '10, 06:37

There's no way you can call most chinese green liquor 'brown'. It's pale green or pale green with yellowish tint, or clear.
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My first "taste test"

Postby Teaforthetiller... » Jan 18th, '10, 22:53

Hello out there...I just recently did my first "taste test" between a Chinese green tea (Pi Lo Chun) and a Japanese Green Tea (Gyokuro Imperial) and I thought I would just write a few quick remarks. I thought the chinese green tea was much less bitter and a light compared to the Japanese tea. I thought the Japanese tea had a little more of an earthy flavor and was more bitter than the Chinese tea. Both were very good though and comes down to personal preference.

Rainy Day - I noticed that you were from new jersey, theres a pretty neat speciality tea shop in northern Jersey called Teavana just to throw that out there. I thought the tea there was really good, but not crazy selection, although they did have some pretty neat accessories there.

My question would be to all out there - did you find similiar results when comparing green teas? Any thoughts on Korean green tea compared to Japanese and Chinese green tea (I guess the Korean green tea thread would be a good place to start) and lastly, does anybody know any good speciality tea shops in the tri-state area that has a variety of green teas?

Thanks!
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby Tead Off » Jan 19th, '10, 02:01

I have come to the conclusion that the differences are so great between Japanese and Chinese greens that comparisons fail miserably, similar to comparing men and women.

What I find amazing is that both are derived from the same species yet differ in every way.
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby Chip » Jan 19th, '10, 02:04

Japanese versus Chinese greens ...
Steaming versus frying ...
Precision versus art ...
Yeah, night versus day ...
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby nibrole » Jan 22nd, '10, 21:05

These are the differences, from what I understand... As others have said the production methods are completely different. In China quality green tea is hand picked and processed by villagers in high elevation rural regions, where the tea bush grows on mountainsides- Japanese green teas come from lower elevations, are grown in organized rows, harvested and processed with modern machinery, and usually vacuum sealed, refrigerated, and made into blends. And steamed rather than pan-fired. To generalize, Chinese green tea focuses more on reflecting the terroir and achieving a certain leaf appearance, Japanese more on efficiency and the art of blending to achieve the desired flavor.
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby Oni » Jan 23rd, '10, 08:15

This is not a general rule, the high quality japanese green teas are hand picked, generally shuppin grades are from one region, some are even hand rubbed, and there are teas that come from a single plantation, and from a single teamaster, and there are chinese greens that are machiene picked and not manually crafted, generally both japanese and chinese greens at the highest quality are from good plantation and hand picked.
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby nibrole » Jan 23rd, '10, 19:20

Oh, right, the process I described isn't used for gyokuro. I had read about how sencha is mostly produced, and that's what I was describing.
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Re: Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea

Postby Sententia » Jan 24th, '10, 07:31

I've only had Japanese green tea once so far, and It was the first tea besides my local green tea that I've exhausted. I've had numerous green tea's since, including Chinese and I forgot the taste of Japanese to be honest, although I know it was good. I will be getting more next week-- I have a unsatisfiable appetite for tea. I think once I'm accustomed more to each one, I'll be able to more identify which is better.. Although so far my favorite green tea comes from Sri Lanka.
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