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July 2, 2019

The Different Types of Green Tea You Need to Know About

There are many types of tea out in the world, but most drinkers are probably used to seeing or drink black tea. We want to focus on the types of green tea, what flavors they possess, how to brew them, and what health benefits come from drinking green tea.

What Is Green Tea?

Green tea is a type of tea that has is made from tea leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process as black and oolong types of tea. It is originally from China but has spread to other parts of Asia and the rest of the world. There are a variety of types of green tea based on their species, harvesting, and production processing.

What Are the Types of Green Tea?

Jasmine Green Tea

Jasmine green tea

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Jasmine Green tea is one of the most common types of green tea. Along with Earl Grey, it is one of the most popular flavors of tea in the world. It is commonly found in restaurants, however, the kind of tea made in restaurants is often low-grade teas and filled with artificial flavors. Good quality Jasmine green tea is made with high-quality green tea leaves and is naturally scented with jasmine flowers that give it sweet, floral flavor that so many people love about it.

Sencha

Sencha

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Sencha is one of the most popular types of green tea in Japan. Many describe it to have a grassy or seaweed-like flavor. This is especially true if the tea is prepared by stewing it in water that is at or near boiling. However, if you desire a sweeter, smoother, and more balanced flavor, then this tea needs to be prepared with water at the temperature of 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and infused for 20 to 45 seconds. Another alternative to Sencha is the popular Bencha tea, which also offers a grassy and earthy flavor. It is common to serve this type with meals.

Matcha

Matcha

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Matcha is a shade-grown Japanese tea. It is produced in powdered form and often served by mixing the powder with warm water. Better quality matcha will have a sweeter flavor while lesser quality will have a bitter flavor. Given that this tea is in powder form, it is easily mixed into other drink recipes such as smoothies.

Gyokura

Gyokura

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Like Matcha, Gyokura is also a shade-grown Japanese tea. This Japanese green tea has a brilliant, deep green color and possesses distinct umami or savory flavor. It tastes best when brewed in water between 150 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit and infused for about 15 to 30 seconds.

Houjicha

Houjicha

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This type of green tea is a roasted Japanese green tea that has a woodsy flavor. It is often prepared with the tea leaves and tea stems, and sometimes just the stems. It has lower caffeine levels than most green teas and can be brewed at a wider range of temperatures and time than other green teas.

Kukicha

Kukicha

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This type of green tea is steamed and prepared from the twigs of the tea plant. It is naturally low in caffeine and possesses a grassy or vegetative flavor. It can handle inexact brewing time, so if you are new to brewing green tea and not in the habit of checking your water temperature, then this is a good tea option for you.

Genmaicha

Genmaicha

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Genmaicha is a blend of Japanese green tea and puffed brown rice. The result of this combination creates a roast and sweet-like flavor. When prepared with water close to boiling temperature, it has a stronger rice flavor. If you are looking for a more balanced tea-and-rice flavor, then it is best to use water at around 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gunpowder

Gunpowder

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As one of the most popular types of Chinese green teas, this tea can easily be found. It is grown in the Zhejian Province of China. One of the unique features of this type of tea is that when it is processed, the tea looks like small pellets that open up in the brewing process. It possesses a smokey flavor, hence the name Gunpowder, and is high in fluoride which can help reduce tooth decay.

Moroccan Mint

Moroccan Mint

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Traditionally, Moroccan mint tea is a blend of Chinese gunpowder green tea and fresh mint leaves boiled in water and served with lots of sugar. However, today there are a variety of Moroccan mint teas available. The fresh mint leaves are replaced with mint powder and sometimes Houjicha, Bancha, or other green teas are used in place of gunpowder green tea.

Benefits of Green Tea

There are many types of green teas that possess different flavor combinations, but they all come with added health benefits. Certain types of green tea have different benefits than other types, but here are some general health benefits you will get from enjoying a cup (or two) of green tea. All of these benefits have been proven and backed by scientific studies, so you can rest easy and relax and as you enjoy our tea.

Contains Bioactive Compounds That Improve Health

woman smiling while smelling flowers

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There are many types of green teas that possess different flavor combinations, but they all come with added health benefits. Certain types of green tea have different benefits than other types, but here are some general health benefits you will get from enjoying a cup (or two) of green tea. All of these benefits have been proven and backed by scientific studies, so you can rest easy and relax and as you enjoy our tea.

Improve Brain Function

Brain

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In addition to the general health benefits of green tea, it also possesses specific health benefits. One of the key ingredients in green tea is caffeine, which acts as a stimulant for the brain. This increases the brain's ability to think quicker and react faster. This also has the added effect of helping you stay awake and fight fatigue. It does not have as much caffeine as coffee, however, so for most drinkers, this allows them to get enough stimulation without the jittery effects that are often associated with drinking coffee.


Along with the lower levels of caffeine in green tea, it also contains the amino acid L-theanine. This creates a synergistic effect with the caffeine that provides for a fatigue-fighting energy boost. This helps improve the brain's functions, improves mood, vigilance, and an increase in your reaction time.

Increase Fat Burning and Improve Physical Performance

Fat burning exercises

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Green tea is often one of the key ingredients in many fat-burning supplement products. Studies have shown the green tea can increase fat burning and boost metabolic rate. This is a combination of the active compounds in green and tea caffeine. The boost of energy allows you to work harder during your workouts and, thus, increase the amount of fat that you burn.

May Lower Your Risk of Some Types of Cancer

Cancer cell

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Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. It is, currently the world's leading cause of death. Cancer develops from the effects of oxidative damage done to cells. Antioxidants have been shown to provide a protective effect against this kind of damage that can lead to cancerous cells. Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants and drinking it regularly can help reduce your risk for certain times of cancers. Several studies have shown that for regular drinkers of a green tea, there is a 20-30% lower risk of developing breast cancer, a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, and a 42% decrease in developing colorectal cancer.

Protect Your Brain in Old Age

cgi brain

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Green tea gives you a natural energy boost to help your brain perform better in the short term, but there is evidence to suggest that drinking it regularly can help protect your brain from diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's'. The catechin within green tea has been shown to provide a protective effect to neurons. This is important for preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, the two most common of these types of diseases.

Improve Dental Health

Dental Health

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The catechin does a lot more than just protect your neurons. It also has a protective effect on dental health and hygiene. Studies have shown that catechin can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses such as influenza. Further, Streptococcus mutans is a harmful bacterium that is the primary source of plaque formation that can lead to tooth decay. Catechin helps to limit the growth of these bacteria.

May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes

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Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions with 400 million people affected worldwide by this disease. This disease causes elevated levels of blood sugar and an inability to regulate insulin within the body. Studies have shown the green tea helps to reduce insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels. Some studies have shown that drinking green tea regularly can lower your risk of developing Diabetes by as much as 42%.

Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

checking blood pressure

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Cardiovascular diseases, such as a heart attack and stroke, are the leading cause of death worldwide. These diseases are caused by the build-up of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in the bloodstream. We have talked previously about green tea's antioxidant properties with regard to protecting against certain forms of cancer, but it also helps with cardiovascular health. Green tea increases the antioxidant capacity of the blood, which protects the LDL particles from oxidation, a leading cause of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that regular drinkers of green tea have as much as 31% lower risk of developing heart disease.

Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Obesity

obesity

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We have already discussed how green tea can increase your metabolic rate and the ability to burn fat. This is linked to your risk of developing obesity. Combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, green tea drinkers have been shown to have a lower risk of developing obesity. In particular, studies have shown the green tea allows for the reduction of fat around the abdominal region, a leading cause of obesity.

May Help You Live Longer

Lastly, the biggest health benefit may be the types of green tea that help you live longer. As you have read above, there are a number of health benefits that come from drinking green tea regularly. We all die eventually, and that's a fact of life; drinking green tea and gaining these health benefits could help you live longer. By reducing your risk for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, and neurodegenerative diseases, you are enabling yourself to live a healthier and longer life.

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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