Japanese Vs Chinese Green Tea - Health Benefits

by Stanley

Hi Julian, I'm really enjoying the tea. I notice various aspects of my health improving.

I have two questions:

1. When I brew the tea it comes out a very light color. Is it supposed to be this way or am I brewing it wrong.

2. Does a good quality Japanese green tea have the same properties as Chinese? Same health benefits, same level of theophiline etc. is it as relaxing etc.


Stanley, Chinese green tea usually produces a liquor that is yellowish green in color. When it is high quality, it has high degree of transparency and luster.

If you leave the Dragon Well tea ambient for a little while, it darkens - which is a sign of oxidation and degradation. This is also a good sign, as it shows that the tea is rich in antioxidants.

Many people think green tea must produce green liquor when it is brewed. This is wrong. The Chinese people call green tea green because the wet leaves are green.

The King grade produces a greenish liquor which is a delight to behold - but they are the exception, not the rule.

There are two types of chlorophyll - green and yellow.

Japanese green tea is greener, probably due to the higher "green" chlorophyll content and the steaming processing.

Chlorophyll content is a sign of quality, but by itself is not important, because green tea contains too little of it to be of much health benefits. If you want to consume chlorophyll, you are better off taking spinach - which contains much more.

The health benefits of green tea derives mainly from its theanine, catechins and caffeine content, and the synergy between these three main constituents.

Japanese green tea will have the same health benefits as long as they have the quality.

Just bear in mind that Chinese green tea is a lot more cost effective. A sure sign of high quality green tea is that it is harvested only ONCE a year. In China, this applies only to the authentic teas which are produced at or near the source i.e. historical villages following century-old practices.

In Japan, this applies to the expensive Gyokuro tea.

Many people speak highly of Sencha, but Sencha comes in many grades, and they are harvested a few times a year using machines. Sencha is good, but not as good as the Authentic Chinese green teas or Gyokuro that are hand-harvested.

Other Japanese green teas are lower grades.

So Gyokuro and Sencha are worth trying, but do keep your expectations realistic (especially having tried HQ's Dragon Well).

I hope this helps.


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