Green tea is usually described as ‘unoxidized’ tea because no chemical change occurs during the manufacturing process. That’s why green teas are so popular in our culture: the tea leaf is allowed to remain chemically unaltered until it reaches our cups. That’s also why green tea contains catechins (simple flavanoids) that black and oolong teas don’t. Catechins act as antioxidants and work against the “free radicals” causing havoc with cancers, heart disease and other age-related illnesses in the body.
The manufacturing process differs from country to country, but always involves withering (drying the leaves) or steaming (to stop the enzymes from working on the tea). Many Chinese teas are still hand-manufactured, skills being handed down from generation to generation, yielding many interesting leaf shapes. Japanese teas, on the other hand, are 100% mechanically produced, while being rolled, sorted, polished, dried, cooled and packed. Some tea from Japan is well pampered during this process, which makes it exquisite and special.
Cottage Garden green tea comes from China, Japan, and India.