Green tea is one of the most widely consumed and most popular types of tea in the world, along with red and black tea. It is a mild tea, with hardly any oxidation, low in theine and with very interesting properties, especially from a dietary point of view.
However, and despite the fact that most consumers ask in coffee shops for a “green tea” without specifying anything else, the truth is that there are different varieties and not all of them are the same or have the same characteristics.
There are also those who wonder which green tea is the best, for different objectives or purposes. In today’s article we will address this issue, and we will also briefly review some of the most important types of green tea that we can find.
Main types of green tea
What types of green tea are there on the market? Well, there are quite a few, there are almost as many varieties as there are different regions or harvests.
But at least we can make a very basic classification of the most widespread and popular types of green tea around the world. These are the following:
Matcha green tea
Matcha is one of the best known green teas in the world, possibly because it is one of the most peculiar and different from the rest. It has a lot of personality.
As it is a ground tea (the leaves are not harvested and left to dry, but are ground completely, including the stem), it has more theine than normal, and the way it is infused is also radically different from the rest: you need one of the matcha tea making sets presented in this guide.
Kukicha green tea
The characteristic feature of kukicha tea is that its leaves have to be on the plant for at least three years before they are harvested. And during the process they do not receive too much direct sunlight.
It is a very sweet, aromatic and palatable green tea. And it is one of the least theine-rich teas.
Hojicha green tea
Hojicha is practically the same as kukicha green tea, but in this case the leaves are roasted (almost always over charcoal). This, of course, gives it a very characteristic aroma and flavour, which makes it very suitable for pairing even with savoury foods. It also loses caffeine during the roasting process, and lacks the astringent taste.
Sencha green tea
Tea is usually associated with China, where it originated, but once it was exported, it also became a ritual drink and very widespread in the neighbouring country: Japan. In Japan, two main varieties of green tea are consumed: Sencha and Bancha.
Sencha green tea (which literally means boiled tea) is usually drunk cold, and has a higher amount of antioxidants than other green teas, which are already high in antioxidants.
Bancha green tea
Along with Sencha, Bancha is the other super-popular green tea in Japan. It is extracted from the same plant as Sencha, a bush with very long leaves. The difference is that in the case of the Bancha variety the leaves are left longer on the tree and are harvested a few months later.
The result is a milder tea, with less caffeine and more minerals than Sencha. Its particular qualities allow it to be prepared with a very short infusion time.
Gunpowder green tea
Gunpowder green tea is so named because the shape of its leaves, which are rolled and compacted until they look almost like small grains, is reminiscent of dried gunpowder.
The unique properties of gunpowder green tea, which is very popular in China, are largely due to the way it is prepared. As the leaves are tightly rolled, they retain a lot of nutrients (including caffeine, which is higher than usual in a green tea) and enhance its flavour.
Although this tea belongs to the green tea family, when we infuse gunpowder tea we obtain a characteristic olive-yellowish colour.
Gyokuro green tea
Gyokuro is a green tea that is highly appreciated by connoisseurs. It is dark, intensely aromatic, full-bodied and comes from trees that receive hardly any sunlight until the leaves are harvested.
The result is a green tea with more caffeine than usual. It may not be the most suitable for someone trying green tea for the first time.
Which green tea is best for weight loss?
Almost all green teas have similar properties when it comes to slimming diets: thermogenic qualities, acceleration of metabolism, faster fat burning, and a certain diuretic power to eliminate liquids. These are inherent traits of this type of tea (green tea).
If we have to choose which is the best green tea for weight loss, we would recommend some of the varieties with a lower concentration of theine, so that we can drink it more times during the day without worrying about the stimulating effects.
Bancha, Hojicha or Kukicha are some examples. Remember that you can also find more information on this subject in the article on which tea is best for weight loss.