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Green Tea

green teas taste buttery, nutty, bright, and toasted.


What Is Green Tea?

Green tea is made of tea leaves that are not oxidized, or that have not turned brown. Green tea leaves are heated promptly after harvesting to stop oxidation from occurring.

But this is a pretty broad definition. Each region that grows green tea has their own style, with distinct characteristics. Between different countries and localities, the variety is endless. Steamed Japanese green teas, for instance, are bold and savory. By contrast, roasted Chinese varieties are usually nutty and buttery. Even within China, local environmental factors and crafting styles create variety. A vast array of flavor profiles results from these derivations.

The most distinctive green teas from China come from a small area. Our selection of green teas comes from Zhejiang and Anhui. These provinces have crafted the most famous styles in China for centuries.


Tea terraces in Zhejiang Province


How Is Green Tea Made?

In China, green tea is traditionally roasted, either in a large wok or a rotating bamboo drum. These crafting methods produce delicate flavors with a full-bodied mouth feel. Spring tea leaves lend buttery smoothness, while later harvests have more vegetal notes.

One of the most well-known and distinctive styles of Chinese green tea is Dragonwell. This name describes a style of green tea from Zhejiang Province. The leaves are pressed and folded into a hot wok, giving the finished tea a flat, blade-like appearance. The direct application of heat used in this process creates a nutty, toasted flavor. These flavor notes appear in many other roasted Chinese green teas, as well.

Another method of roasting uses a large bamboo drum rotated over a fire. The constant motion of the tea as the drum rolls prevents the leaves from burning. This allows the crafter to roast larger batches of leaves. It also preserves more fresh, grassy flavors in the finished tea.

Different methods of heating the leaves can have a dramatic impact on the finished tea. It can affect the aroma, flavor, and appearance, and is a defining factor for many regional styles.


dragonwell leaves are roasted by hand in a large wok


Signs Of Quality

Green tea harvests occur year round, but the first leaves to sprout in the springtime are the most prized. In the winter, the plant is dormant, and produces no new leaves. When buds emerge in the spring, they have high concentrations of flavor compounds. They also have plenty of natural sugars stored to fuel the growth process. These compounds create a rich, buttery mouthfeel and soft, delicate flavors. In ancient China, these spring buds were reserved as tribute tea.


the youngest buds of the tea plant are used for the highest quality green teas


In general, the grade of a green tea corresponds to its harvest date. Higher quality teas are picked earlier in the springtime. Lower grades are harvested in the summer, or in warmer climates closer to the equator. These fast growing crops are usually found in mass produced teabags. High temperatures and plenty of sun exposure create vast quantities. But fast growth also creates bitterness in the leaf, and limits flavor compounds. Early spring harvests, by contrast, have low to non-existent levels of bitterness. This makes them easy to drink, regardless of water temperature or steeping time.


a handful of tender spring buds


When shopping for green teas, select spring leaves from the most recent harvest. Since green tea undergoes minimal processing, it can go stale over time. Exposure to light and air creates further oxidation in the finished tea. Stale green teas look browned, and have less flavor in the cup. We recommend opaque, double lidded tins to keep your tea fresh between harvests.


Green Teas To Try

  • For daily drinking, we love our Cloud & Mist. Spring harvested and drum roasted, this tea displays delightful balance between its smooth mouth feel, natural sweetness, and bold nutty flavors.

    Cloud & Mist, 2017
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    漢字 有機雲霧綠茶

    origin Fuding County, Fujian

    craft drum roasted

    flavor notes grass, butter

    漢字 有機雲霧綠茶

    origin Fuding County, Fujian

    craft drum roasted

    flavor notes grass, butter

    Harvested late April 2017 from Fuding County, Fujian Province. Cloud & Mist is one of the oldest styles of green tea from Fujian. The locals sometimes call the tea "cai cha" or "vegetable tea", an endearing, familiar term for a tea that they drink day in and day out. Each...


  • This April-harvest green tea is a fantastic example of traditional Dragonwell crafting, as well as being just plain delicious. Classic buttery, nutty flavors make this our most popular green tea.

    Pre-rain Dragonwell, 2017
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    漢字 雨前龍井

    origin Panan County, Zhejiang

    craft pan roasted

    flavor notes buttery, nutty

    漢字 雨前龍井

    origin Panan County, Zhejiang

    craft pan roasted

    flavor notes buttery, nutty

    Picked a few days after the Qing Ming holiday on April 5th, the date marks the beginning of a two week green tea harvest period that wraps up on April 20th. That end day is important, because it falls on the Guyu Festival, an agricultural holiday held to invite the...


  • While also famed as a distinctively Chinese, wok-roasted green tea, Liu An Gua Pian is less ubiquitous in the western market. We love this tea for it's intense viscosity and rich notes of umami on the palate.

    Liu An Gua Pian
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    漢字 六安瓜片

    origin Liu An County, Anhui

    craft brushed & roasted

    flavor notes rich, floral

    漢字 六安瓜片

    origin Liu An County, Anhui

    craft brushed & roasted

    flavor notes rich, floral

    Our Liu An Gua Pian comes from the mountains of Jin Zhai County, Liu An City, in Anhui Province. Unlike most green teas, where earlier harvest is prized, Liu An Gua Pian is picked around Guyu, a harvest festival that falls on April 20th. The later harvest is typical of...