About Green Tea
Green Tea is no mere fad. In fact, this invigorating beverage has been a source of bliss for thousands of years -- just a tad longer than I’ve been drinking tea!
So what’s so special about this ancient elixir? How is it different from a regular cuppa? And where has it come from?
Never fear, Monkey has the answers:
Where does green tea come from?
Well chums, green tea actually comes from the same plant as other tea: the Camellia Sinensis. The reason green tea tastes, smells and looks so unique comes down to the way the leaves are treated. As soon as they’ve been harvested, the leaves are steamed to stop them oxidising and turning brown, as they would when making black tea. Crikey, sounds like thirsty work!
Did you know? China is by far the world’s largest green tea exporter, producing about 80% of the world’s green tea. Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam are also very keen green tea farmers.
The history of green tea
In many ways, green tea is the ‘original’ tea. It was first harvested in China, but the exact origin of the drink is steeped in myth and legend. One story traces the origins as far back as 5000 years, to the time of the Chinese Emperor Shennog. So, Chums, the story goes that the Emperor was drinking boiled water when a few tea leaves were blown into his bowl, changing the flavour and colour of the water.
And so, you have it! Green tea was born…
Well, as charming as the Emperor’s story is, the drinking of green tea as we know it probably began in 8th century China. At this time the Chinese people would compress the green tea leaves into round cakes to make the tea easier to carry! Clever folks I hear you cry!
By the 9th century, green tea started catching on in Japan. Buddhist Monks enjoyed the green tea so much that they decided to bring it back from China and into Japan. The Japanese Emperor, a clever chap, thought the tea was so delicious that he had green tea gardens planted around Kyoto, a big city in the centre of Japan.
Green tea has since made its way to all corners of the globe in all its different varieties, doing the world a world of good. And now, it comes to a cuppa near you in my famous pyramid bag!
So, what I am trying to say is… thank you, China. Thanks for bringing such delicious tea to your chums around the world!
(You’ll be chuffed to hear that we at PG tips are real connoisseurs of green tea and have a wide range of varieties to choose from. Visit our New Green Tea page to find out more)