Both China and Japan green tea come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. Their leaves are picked and cooked right away to prevent any oxidation. This is what gives these teas their vibrant green color. But, that is where the similarity ends.
China produces and manufactures every variety of tea and was the first to cultivate and export to the rest of the world. The amount of tea produced in China crushes the competition.Chinese tea gardens are expansive with rolling hills of tea bushes everywhere you look.
When the leaves are picked they are processed right away by laying them out in large rooms with glass ceilings to dry. Then they are dried a second time by spreading them over large drying trays to remove any moisture left in the leaf. Most green tea you purchase comes from China and they are usually rolled, which is the most common shape. This rolling process allows the leaf to unfurl as it steeps. Dragonwell tea is one of China's most popular green teas. Once the leaves have been withered, they are pan-fired in a large bowl. The resulting brew is smooth and delightful. China teas are also less vegetal in flavor than Japan green teas.
Japan may be small potatoes compared to China's tea manufacturing but don't rule them out too quickly. They produce some of the world's finest green tea. Gyokuro and Matcha tea are two of their best. These particular varieties are shade grown to increase the level of chlorophyll in the leaves. Chlorophyll has a high nutrient density and is the component in leafy greens and plant foods that are beneficial to your body.
Japan tea gardens are not as expansive as China's and their tea plants are grown very tightly together in perfect rows in order to use every inch of space. They are machine-cut instead of hand-picked and once the leaves are cut they are steamed instead of the Chinese method of withering or pan-firing.
China green teas have a nuttier more roasted flavor and Japan green teas have more of a grassiness and vegetal note. Which cup do you prefer?
Peace, Love & Tea