The following describes the main types of green tea you'll find in tea shops. To add flavour and aroma, try green tea leaves blended with peppermint, dried fruit or flowers.
This is the most popular of Japan's green teas. The leaves are slender and long and produce a slightly sweet tea with a fresh, green scent. (Lesser quality sencha tea is called bancha.)
Also called Lung Ching, this is the ultimate Chinese green tea produced in the Chinese village of Dragon Well. Its leaves are broad and flat and bright green. Its flavour is sweet, delicate and slightly brisk.
This Chinese green tea is made of leaves that are hand-rolled into tiny pellets, resembling gunpowder. Look for shiny pellets, which indicate freshness. The tea has a mildly astringent, grassy flavour; sometimes it's peppery and sometimes it has a hint of smoke.
This powdered green tea is famous for its use in the Japanese tea ceremony. When you drink matcha you consume the powdered leaves, not just the water from steeped tea leaves. As a result, you consume a higher concentration of antioxidants. Matcha tea produces a bright green, frothy beverage with a very grassy and slightly astringent taste.
Use ½ to one teaspoon of matcha to 2 to 3 ounces of water. Add more water for desired taste. Stir until frothy.