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Best Green Tea Types

Find the Best Types of Green Teas for Your Tastes


Many people tell me that they "don't like green tea," but more often than not, I find that they are simply drinking green teas that don't suit their tastes. With a few tips and a few taste tests, most people end up finding green teas they love. Explore the types of green teas below to find the best green teas for your tastes.

1. Jasmine Green Tea

An image of Fujian Jasmine Pearl from dagio's Maestro Collection.
Marko Goodwin
Along with Earl Grey tea, Jasmine green tea is one of the most popular flavored teas in the world. Cheap Jasmine green teas (like the kind you get at cheap Chinese restaurants) are often made with low-grade teas and artificial flavors, and taste like a bad perfume. Good quality Jasmine green teas are made with quality tealeaves that have been naturally scented with jasmine flowers, and they have a deliciously sweet, floral flavor that many people love.

Although Jasmine green tea is more flexible on its brewing requirements than most green teas, it is best when prepared with water that is below boiling and only infused for a few minutes.
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2. Moroccan Mint Green Tea

An image of fresh mint leaves
Lindsey Goodwin
Moroccan Mint green tea was traditionally a blend of Chinese Gunpowder green tea and fresh mint leaves boiled with hot water and mixed with copious amounts of sugar. Today, there are many Moroccan Mint green tea blends available; these use dried mint in lieu of fresh mint, and sometimes replace Gunpowder green tea with Houjicha, Bancha or other green teas.

If you're making Moroccan Mint at home, I suggest checking out this Moroccan Mint green tea recipe from About.com Moroccan Food. If you'd prefer to buy a pre-blended Moroccan Mint green tea, I suggest Fez Green Tea from Steven Smith Teamaker.
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3. Genmaicha Green Tea

An image of Genmaicha, a Japanese tea blend made of green tea and toasted and/or puffed rice.
Lindsey Goodwin
Genmaicha is a blend of Japanese green tea and puffed brown rice. The flavor of Genmaicha is sweet, roasty, vegetal and easily enjoyable. A popular variation on Genmaicha is Matcha-iri-Genmaicha or "Genmaimatcha" -- a blend of Genmaicha and Matcha green teas.

For a stronger rice flavor, use hotter water (just below boiling). For a more nuanced tea-and-rice flavor, use cooler water (around 170 degrees Fahrenheit).
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4. Dragonwell Green Tea

An image of Long Jing (a.k.a. "Dragonwell" or "lung Ching") green tea from China.
Marko Goodwin
Also known as "Dragon's Well," "Lung Ching" or "Long Jing" green tea, Dragonwell is the most popular Chinese green tea in the U.S. Dragonwell ranges from very expensive, traditionally made, "pre-rain" Dragonwell to inexpensive, everyday Dragonwell. The flavor of Dragonwell is usually mild and sweet, with a distinct chestnut note.

For best results, prepare Dragonwell green tea with water that is well below boiling, and infuse it for two to three minutes at most.
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5. Houjicha Green Tea

An image of Hojicha Green Tea in a Japanese side-handle kyusu teapot.
Lindsey Goodwin
Also spelled "Hojicha," Houjicha is a roasted Japanese green tea that's often made with tea leaves and stems, or only tea stems. It is lower in caffeine than most green teas. Houjicha has woodsy flavor that many coffee drinkers find appealing, and it can be brewed well with a wider range of temperatures and times than most green teas.
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6. Kukicha Green Tea

Kukicha is a steamed Japanese green tea that is made from the twigs of the tea plant. It is naturally low in caffeine, and it has a vegetal, sweet flavor that can handle inexact brewing. If you're not one to check your water temperature or time your infusions, Kukicha is a great green tea for you.
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7. Sencha Green Tea

An image of Asamushi Sencha Japanese green tea.
Marko Goodwin
Sencha is Japan's most popular green tea. It has a flavor that many people describe as vegetal, seaweed-y or grassy. When made with boiling water or near-boiling water, it can be very astringent, bitter and harsh, but when prepared with water around 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and infused for around 20 to 45 seconds, Sencha green tea tastes smoother, sweeter and more balanced.

A popular alternative to Sencha is Bancha, which is a similar green tea with a slightly rougher, earthier flavor. Bancha is less expensive than Sencha and it pairs well with meals.
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8. Gyokuro Green Tea

An image of Yame Gyokuro Japanese green tea.
Marko Goodwin
Gyokuro green tea is a shade-grown Japanese green tea with a brilliant, deep green color. Good quality Gyokuro green tea has a distinct umami flavor.

For the smoothest, most nuanced flavor, prepare Gyokuro with water that is well below boiling (around 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit), and use short infusion times (around 15 to 30 seconds).
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9. Matcha Green Tea

An image of Matcha, a powdered Japanese green tea.
Marko Goodwin
Matcha is like Gyokuro in that it is shade-grown, but it is also powdered. Traditional Matcha drinks are made of Matcha powder whisked with warm water. However, because it is powdered, Matcha can easily be incorporated into drink recipes (such as tea smoothie recipes) and other powdered tea recipes.

Matcha has a bittersweet flavor. Generally, better quality Matcha is sweeter and lower quality Matcha is more bitter.
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10. Bi Luo Chun Green Tea

Also known as "Pi Lo Chun" or "Snail Spring" green tea, Bi Luo Chun is one of China's most famous green teas. When brewed at a low temperature, good quality Bi Luo Chun has a sweet, smooth, vegetal flavor that appeals to many tea drinkers.
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