Green tea is a domain, under which you get a number of sub groups. The variants of green tea have different names and the usage and properties also differ from each other, though fundamentally they are the same. Apart from Chinese tea, there are other countries which produce green tea. Japan is the second biggest producer of green tea in the world. Japanese green tea also comes in many varieties, which are unique in taste and means, by which they are produced.

The gradation of tea is done based on the quality and the different parts of the plant that are used to make the tea. The prices vary due to these simple reasons of packaging and cutting. The finer leaves will force you to cough up more bucks for your tea, compared to the coarser ones.

   1. The Yame region of Japan produces the finest quality of green tea, which is available in the market. It is expensive and finer than the rest of the variants.

   2. Bancha or the common tea is the most widely cultivated variant of green tea. It is harvested from the summer to the autumn months. The entire leaf is not used, but only a few unnecessary twigs are used to make the tea.

   3. Genmaicha or brown rice tea is another variant of green tea. It is a mixture of brown rice and tea, along with artificial coloration. With the use of certain herbs, the overall appearance of the tea leaves is improved.

   4. Gyokuro is the finest quality of green tea and the finesse is achieved due to the manner of cultivation. The color is ale green and the caffeine content is also pretty high in this variant of green tea.

   5. Roasted tea is made by roasting the leaves over a charcoal oven. This process imparts a special taste to the tea once the infusion is prepared from it.

   6. Covered tea is cultivated in the shade and contact with direct sunlight is prevented in order to protect the leaves. They are generally delicate in nature and cannot withstand climatic extremes.

   7. Japanese tea is characteristically bitter in taste and most of the variants of Japanese green tea are bitter to taste. There are exceptions to this too like the pan fired tea which is not bitter due to the brewing process.

Apart from these there is the rubbed green tea and the roasted barley tea which are unique in its own way.

Written by Mandy Malone
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