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.