Green tea is heat-treated by steam to prevent the leaves from fermenting. After picking, the leaves are withered (an initial drying stage), then heat-treated, dried and packed. Green tea is delicate and pale, preserving some of the flavour and aroma of the fresh leaves. It is never drunk with milk or lemon.
Varieties of green tea include:
Jasmine tea – a pale, floral green China tea mixed with dried, night-blooming jasmine flowers. It’s widely served in Chinese restaurants to be drunk with the food.
Gunpowder – a Chinese green tea with a dry, quite sharp flavour, so-called because the leaves curl up into ‘gunpowder balls’ and unfurl when hot water is added.
Formosa Oolong – a pale-golden aromatic tea that’s a cross between green and black tea. It’s best drunk without milk, sugar or lemon.
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