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Green tea is a bright and refreshing type of tea to drink. It cools you down in the summertime, provides plenty of harmonious health benefits, and tastes great too! Truth be told, it’s tough to go wrong with this stuff, but not all brands of tea are created equally. There’s a lot to be said about quality and sourcing, sure. But what about taste? We’ve reviewed a selection of green tea brands so hopefully, you can find the one that’s deserving of your precious cupboard space! To all of those who have spent (probably, a little too much time) in the coffee and tea aisle, this is the best brand for green tea: reviewed!
Last update on 2021-02-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What is the Best Brand for Green Tea?
Good question! The best brand for green tea is one that best suits your taste and has decent value, is well sourced and packed full of all the health benefits this heartwarming drink is known for! Sip some of your last remaining green tea for your soul, while we figure out just what goes into the perfect cup of green tea!
Where Does Green Tea Come From?
There was a point in time where green tea could only be imported from China and Japan. Those times are long gone, in our global economy teas like this are grown in several different regions across the globe! There are varieties grown in South America, African, India and of course China and Japan. Green tea comes from precisely the same plant as black tea, and any other type for that matter! That is of course, the famed camellia sinensis plant.
Green tea is picked just the same way black tea is. However, the difference is as soon as it’s about to be processed. Depending on the particular variety of green tea, where the leaves are plucked from the plant, and where it’s grown, it will undergo a quick steaming or pan-frying. Black tea on the other hand, will be left to dry and oxidized before being heated and chopped. So, why does green tea get such special treatment? The key in producing green tea leaves, is mitigating the occurrence of oxidation. By heating the leaves initially, the process is halted. The leaves will not continue to oxidize, retaining some of their color and much of their fresh, grassy aroma.
The Best of the Best
The purpose of this is to lock in all of the luscious flavor a full bodied cup of green tea can give you! All you have to do is taste your first cup to know the difference, and this stuff is really quite distinct! Green tea is on average pricier. In Japan for instance, real green tea is referred to as ‘sencha’. It is grown almost exclusively in just a few regions, on estates that have produced it for centuries. The picking of each ‘flush’, or batch, is done so very methodically, in order to select a specific type of tea leaf. Some plants are given only so much light, while others have their leaves plucked slightly sooner than the rest. The ultimate goal? A better tasting, higher-quality and more exclusive cup of tea. Thanks, tradition!
What you can expect is a freshly brewed cup of tea that is a bright to mild emerald color in appearance. It will usually have plenty of sediment, and a fresh grassy and almost buttery aroma to it that envelopes and invites the senses! You’ll notice from the first sip that green tea is much more mild than black, or oolong teas. It has a certain light-bodied, yet flavorful and brisk taste that is quite surprising at first! A good cup of green tea, I always say, is ‘almost’ somewhat sweet. That’s how you know you’ve got the good, fresh stuff.
How to Make a Proper Cup of Green Tea
Now, all of that is good and well. A real authentic cup yadda yadda. Forgive me for bordering on the pretentious. You want to know, just as well as I do, what’s the best brand of green tea at the grocery store. If you don’t want to deal with importing, can’t stand the idea of paying full price at a tea shop, or just want to wrap it all up in one chore. We’ve got you covered! These are some of the most common brands of green tea you might encounter, whether you’re shopping online or in your local supermarket. So, which one makes for the best, freshest and best tasting cup of green tea?
Ito-En MAtcha Blend Japanese Green Tea 100 ct
Legendary in my books, Ito-En is some of the best you can get off of the shelf! It’s worth stating first and foremost that it is a Kirkland brand product, and as such you won’t have much luck finding it anywhere besides online or at a Costco! That being said, it’s worth the membership alone. And I’m serious! This stuff is a really clever blend of matcha and fine green tea leaves which create my personal favorite variety of green tea! This blend of sencha tea leaves, and ground matcha create something truly unique! The loose matcha in the tea bag quickly dissolves into your hot water, creating a luscious and rich emerald hue. Not only that, you get the taste and health benefits of this fantastic green drink too!
Fresh, ‘vegetal’ (like fresh steamed veggies) and light. It doesn’t stick to your palate, and makes you feel incredibly freshed afterwards as an added bonus! It’s got lots of sediment but don’t toss it, this stuff is unbelievably good for you!
Tazo China Tips Green Tea
First and foremost, Tazo tea is probably somewhat familiar to you, and for good reason too! They’re owned by Starbucks, where tea lovers are met with a tasteful and lavish selection of artisan teas to choose from! That same reputation carries over to their tea bags as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t had a bad cup of Tazo tea yet! So what does that mean for Tazo’s bare bones ‘green tips’ take on green tea? It’s honestly quite good. It hits all the right notes of tasty and not too bitter. It rests well on the palate although you may notice a little bit of astringency. You’ll probably taste it at the end of a mouthful, and it’s because this is something slightly more of a hybrid between a green and a black tea.
Chinese green teas, of which there are plenty, are quite dissimilar from Japanese sencha. The latter is produced in such a way as to produce a very light color and taste. Chinese green tea can often more closely resemble and oolong (half oxidized), tea. Two things make this quite evident (besides the name, ok?) The color is somewhat yellowish in appearance, and there’s a slight but noticeable astringent character to it. Overall, a good tea! Try and find it on sale if you can, as the value isn’t quite the same as the Kirkland Ito-en.
Darker and slightly astringent. Refreshing, very crisp and perfect for chilly evenings when you need a pick-me-up!
Tetley Pure Green Tea
It’s sad to say, but ultimately very much a truth. Not all teas are created equal. You will have very, very good store bought teas. And you will also taste very, very bad store bought teas. Tetley’s Pure Green tea is neither of those two things. What an enigma, you might be thinking to yourself. I struggle to classify this as a real green tea, but it is, more or less. This is more equivalent to a really lightly oxidized black tea, or an oolong gone wrong. If you brew it by the instructions, you’re met with something that tastes like it should have milk and or sugar added, but believe me when I say that it would taste absolutely rubbish. It’s bitter, and tastes a little like stale tea and lawn trimmings. This is a far cry in the other direction for this brand, as Tetley’s black tea is one of the most well-loved around! Buyer beware, there may seem to be decent value in this large package, but you’re better off sticking with Tetley’s black tea or as we like to call it over here, Orange Pekoe.
Tragically bland, and somewhat bitter.
Now that you’ve gotten a chance to witness the best, and worst brands of green tea at your local stores, what’s your take? Which was your best brand for green tea, and which ones have you tried so far? In my experience, packaging and variety are major factors in determining how enjoyable the brand of green tea is going to be. How about yourself? Let us know which one ends up being your new go-to!