You may be wondering which is the best green tea to drink, when trying to choose between the various types of green teas.
The answer to that question is: matcha is probably the best green tea you can drink.
Let’s back up and talk about the different types of green tea that you can buy.
4 Basic Types of Green Tea
Keep in mind that all green tea are NOT fermented, which is one of the reasons green tea has a very high level of antioxidants, in particular catechins.
Matcha is a type of green tea that is grown in the shade for several weeks before harvest. The leaves are steamed almost immediately after harvest. Then the leaves are dried and ground into a fine powder. The color of matcha is bright green. Matcha is the type of tea used in tea ceremonies in Japan, and highly regarded by Japanese people.
Sencha is the most common type of green tea and is most likely the type of green tea you get at sushi restaurants in the US. 80% of the tea produced in Japan is said to be sencha. In Japan, sencha is the daily tea (equivalent to “daily coffee” in the US) enjoyed by many people, and one of the most affordable. Again the leaves are steamed almost immediately after harvest.
Gyokuro is very rich in flavor compared to sencha, and like matcha, is grown in the shade several weeks before harvest. The color of the leaves are much darker than sencha and they typically have more caffeine than sencha. Gyokuro leaves are also steamed and they are typically more expensive than regular sencha.
Genmaicha is a mixture of sencha and toasted brown rice, and has a very comforting taste. The origin dates back to the World War II time in Japan, when green tea became more scarce, and people started to mix toasted brown rice as fillers. The rice adds a bit of sweetness to the taste of this green tea. Genmaicha is also widely and frequently consumed in Japan.
How to Make Each Green Tea
The ideal way to prepare matcha green tea is to put a teaspoon of matcha in a small bowl/container and whisk it vigorously with a bamboo whisk until almost all the powder has dissolved. In a tea ceremony, there is usually a lot more involved, including using the right bowls and utensils.
Or you can simply put a teaspoon of matcha in your favorite mug and stir it with a spoon. The only problem with this is that it leaves small clumps of matcha powder in your tea.
Take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves (depending on how dark you prefer the green tea) and brew in 1 cup of hot water with temperature between 160F to 170F for 1-2 minutes. You should never use boiling water. You can reuse the wet green tea leaves 1-2 more times but the flavor will be slightly diminished.
Take 1 to 2 teaspoon of green tea leaves (depending on how dark you prefer the green tea) and brew in 1 cup of hot water with temperature between 130F to 140F for 2-3 minutes. As you see ideally the water should be a little less hot than when you make sencha. Again, you can reuse the wet green tea leaves 1-2 more times but the flavor will be slightly diminished.
Why is Matcha the Best Green Tea?
There is not much available information on the health and nutritional differences of each type of green tea, probably because they are very similar, considering they are all grown and processed in a similar way. The reason matcha green tea is most likely the best green tea is because when you consume matcha, you are consuming the whole leaves.
When matcha tea is being made, the entire leaf is being dried and grounded, and subsequently consumed in its entirety. So no nutrients are lost or diluted when you drink matcha tea. Another positive quality of matcha is that it has an exceptional taste (as you may know from eating green tea ice cream!).
So Which Is The Best Green Tea That I Should Drink?
Honestly, drinking any one of the green teas is beneficial to your health and even weight loss. Drinking matcha tea is ideal but matcha tea is quite expensive and perhaps not affordable to drink on a daily basis. On the other hand, Sencha is widely available and affordable, perhaps making it a good choice to purchase and drink on a regular basis.