What are the main types of green tea?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

There are seven main forms of green tea:

  • Sencha is the most popular of Japan's green teas.
  • Dragon well is considered the ultimate green tea from China. The name comes from a legendary well in the West Lake region of China where the tea is produced.
  • Macha is the kind of tea used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. It's ground up very fine, and the tea is whisked when prepared.
  • Young hyson contains the smallest leaves picked in the spring before the monsoon rains begin.The name means "bright spring."
  • Hyson contains the larger leaves picked in the spring before the monsoon rains. When brewed properly, this tea has a more full-bodied flavor and slightly darker color than young hyson. Higher in caffeine than young hyson, it is excellent in the morning and for afternoon tea.
  • Pinhead gunpowder is picked in the early spring before the monsoons. The smaller leaves are rolled between the fingers of the picker before being dropped into the basket. The leaves are dried before they begin to ferment. A light gold color when brewed properly, the tea has a light, airy flavor with a slightly "minty" aftertaste.
  • Gunpowder is sometimes called "temple of Heaven." These spring leaves are harvested before the monsoons. The larger leaves are most commonly used.

We encourage you to sample a variety of brands and types of green teas before settling on the types you like best.

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

More About this Book

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.