Recently I had the pleasure of trying my first Genmaicha tea. It was a bit unusual when I first opened up the package as it contains green tea leaves along with roasted brown rice. I wasn't too sure of it at first. And then I noticed the white pieces in it and thought 'why is there popcorn in my genmaicha tea?'
To find out the answer you have to know a bit of the history of this tea. It was originally a tea that was popular amongst peasants in Japan. They added the brown rice as a filler to reduce the amount of green tea leaves needed. In the process of roasting the brown rice, some of it pops like popcorn. It all gets added to the green tea leaves so that is why there is popcorn in genmaicha tea.
The result is a nutty and sweet green tea. Now it is enjoyed by everyone in society. I really enjoy it and highly recommend everyone who loves loose green tea to give it a try. Here a a few varieties to try:
There are a number of different teas: white, green, black, rooibos and herbal. It can seem very overwhelming at times to keep them all straight and what their differences are. Today I'd like to talk about the difference between green tea, black tea and white tea. One of the most surprising things of all is that they come from the same tea bush, Camellia sinensis. Especially when you look at them:
White Tea Leaves
Green Tea Leaves
Black Tea Leaves
It is all in the picking and processing of the leaves that make the difference. White tea is harvested from the very top of the tea bush early in the year. They only pick the top leaf and a bud. These tea leaves are then dried in the sun and that is it.
Green tea are tea leaves from the whole bush and they also undergo a step of being steamed or pan fired. Before being dried it is often rolled into different shapes depending on the type of green tea. For instance Jasmine tea is sometimes rolled into a pearl shape.
Black tea undergoes the most processing. Tea leaves from all over the bush are picked and then left in the sun to wilt. The tea leaves are then rolled allowing the tea leaves to ferment as they react with the air. The fermenting process turns the tea leaves black. They are then dried.
So that is the basics. Look for another post coming soon discussing the various types of teas within each class and why they taste so different. Hope you enjoyed reading about the differences between green tea, black tea, and white tea. Check out our Tea Shop and order some to try today.