All green teas are not created equal. One provides more health benefits over the other but comes at a higher price and often needs special ordered.
Japanese green teas and Chinese green teas do not contain as many similarities as you may think. One of the only resemblances they share is that they are both harvested from the same plant (Camellia Sinensis).
All other characteristics are widely different. We will start by comparing harvest and processing, followed by taste and quality, and ending with cost and availability.
Harvest and Processing
Japanese: Usually picked by hand from smaller family-owned farms with high regard for purity and quality.
Immediately after harvest, the tea leaves are hand-rolled and lightly steamed.
Chinese: Grown in mass production, and varies between hand-picking or machine harvesting.
Japanese: Has sweeter characteristics, with higher chlorophyll content, producing stronger, grassy notes.
Chinese: Due to the fermentation that occurs during storage, Chinese green teas often produce a tarter taste without the grassy notes.
Japanese: Contains high concentrations of antioxidants and chlorophyll. The presence of EGCG in Japanese green tea is extensively abundant. It drinkers experience a wealth of health-enhancing benefits for optimum wellness.
Chinese: Contains only ⅓ the antioxidants as Japanese green tea, and meager amounts of chlorophyll. Health benefits tend to be experienced much less frequently.
Japanese: If you are seeking a green tea with the highest purity standards, Japanese green teas rank supreme. Continual testing for lead and other contaminants show all levels fall into the “non-detectable” category.
Chinese: However, Chinese green tea, contains levels of lead reported over the allowed limits for consumption in approx. 35% of all leaves tested. This is mainly contributed to their industrial pollution problems.
Cost and Availability
Japanese: Japanese green teas are categorized as specialty tea. It is produced in lower quantities and makes up less than 10% of teas exported. Japanese green teas are not readily available everywhere, have fewer varieties to choose from, and cost more to acquire.
Chinese: Chinese green teas, however, make up about 80% of teas exported. There are thousands of flavors and varieties to choose from, it can be purchased at any grocery store, and the cost is extremely affordable.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each of these green teas. It all depends where you place your level of importance.
Our focus is on purity and health enhancement standards. This is why we specialize in exclusively, organic, Japanese teas. It may not be the most economical route, but we firmly believe they are well worth the price.