As the world’s most popular drink, Tea needs no introduction. But as consumption of Green tea is exploding now, especially in India, several consumers wonder about what Green Tea is and how is it different from the regular chai we consume every day. So, let us get down to understanding the beautiful infusion, great varieties, and flavour notes that Green Tea brings to our palate.
The regular cup of tea sold in restaurants and bought at shelves for home are called as the CTC — standing for crush, tear, and curl. It is a processing method that includes passing the dried and rolled leaves to forming small and hard pellets, which we usually see, like small grains of Tea. Green Tea leaves are processed differently, offering a quite different and elegant flavor profile, because they are either steamed or pan dried, in moisture-controlled environments and carefully graded between repeat firing to ensure the quality and shelf-life is stable.
The most significant difference is that Green tea is almost never advised to be consumed with milk. Most Tea lovers do not even like adding sugar or sweetener because it takes away the appreciation of the multiple notes of Tea. While it is common to add honey, and brings with it, its own benefits, Green Tea is also available in several blends, which different estates, curators, and companies invest a lot of energy, time, and research in finding the right blend of the grades, leaves, as well as herbs and flowers.
A chief differentiator in brewing a standard cup of Tea with milk and Green tea is that Green tea leaves are never boiled. The brew is made by bringing the water to boil and then allowing it to drop to 90, 80, 70 or even less, depending on the strength and quality of leaves. The Tea leaves are then steeped from 30 seconds to three minutes, and the resultant infusion is enjoyed, sometimes pouring hot water over the leaves twice or thrice, for repeat infusions. The golden hues of translucent beauty in transparent cups, the multiple aromatic combinations, all offer a powerful multi-sensory experience to watch, hold, smell, and taste a cup of Tea. Green tea is a versatile drink that can be consumed in the morning, along with meals, before or after, as well as just before going to bed, as they work well with various herbs, and can offer to function as a calming, rejuvenating, or stimulating drink, depending on our purpose.
As green Tea drinking becomes regular, he/she begins to explore newer flavors, newer blends, and develop a taste for the subtle bliss that Green Tea can boast of possessing uniquely. One can then easily expand their palate’s reach by exploring Oolong, White Tea, Pu’er, Black Tea, and the various herbal blends that India is rich in. These herbal concoctions offer an added benefit of working as a medicine-in-diet, and serve as a regular immunity boosting, body-slimming, beauty-aid, and relaxing, entertaining, and comforting flavors. So, grab that liquid gold, watch the sun rise, and sip on