Understand the real differences of green teas

Green tea Family 

Quite different from commercial green tea bags, green tea is the biggest family of Chinese teas with more than 300 in varieties in the family and there is a vast quality difference within each variety.

Green teas are unfermented and most sensitive to tea damaging factors such as high temperature, light and moisture.

A case report

A case report: A friend showed me one day a ‘special high quality Dragon Well green tea’ that she was given as a gift. She treasured it and kept in her cabinet for quite some time. Up inspection of the tea, it appeared to be quite a premium grade Dragon Well when fresh, but unfortunately was reduced to dry twigs after prolong and inadequate storage.

How to differenciate low vs high quality green tea

Following are some differences that distinguish between a premium fresh green tea and a low quality or lost quality tea:


Premium fresh green tea

Low grade green tea

Dry leaf colour Fresh, vibrant, yellow-green to dark green Old, dull, dark brown
Dry leaf shape

Regular and to the shape of the tea variety (flat, needle or curl/spiral) 

Irregular, loose and random

White down (an indication of volume of young leaves)

Plenty, fresh, and attached to the leaves Absence, old and brown or fallen off
Aroma (both leaves and brew)
Fresh, enjoyable and refreshing Absence
Brew colour Bright and clear Lifeless or cloudy
Brew texture Smooth Rough

Varies depending on the tea variety, mellow, elegant and refreshing (eg, nutty, floral or fruity)

Lack of flavour or mouldy
After taste Lingering and refreshing Nil or rough and unpleasant

Reasons for the quality differences

There are many factors contributing to the green teas quality, from tea plants, harvesting, tea making skills to the final packaging and storage. More information at: tea quality.

Finding a good tea

A good cup of tea is illustrated by the ancient Chinese artist as ‘drew from haven’, yet some low grade teas are really not worth drinking.

Treat you tea experience as a journey of discovery, knowledge gathering, experimenting and joy and satisfaction. We Chinese have loved our teas for more than 2000 year. It is a beverage that has stood the test of time and green tea is certainly a jewel on the crown. 

Last modified onFriday, 21 September 2018 09:18
En Jie Rudd

The founder and owner of Valley Green Tea

I grew up in the Fu-Jian Province – the tea country of China. Tea drinking has been part of our daily life for as long as I can remember.

While I was working as a public health researcher a few years ago, I read many research reports conducted over the last 30 years about the health benefits of green tea in fighting certain life style related challenges such as cancer, obesity, cardio-vascular and inflammatory diseases etc.

From my research, I realised there is a significant gap between what people consume (i.e. commercial tea bags) for assumed health benefits and the actual benefits that have been enjoyed by the Chinese for a long history from the premium loose leaf teas.

As well as being potentially beneficial to health, the premium loose teas (green tea being the biggest group) are most enjoyable beverages with a fascinating history, colourful culture and holistically dynamic in every aspect.

It is my passion to share, not only the products, but also the whole culture dynamics around the premium teas with the tea enthusiasts, here in Australia and around the world.

Valley Green Tea currently supplis a diverse range of premium loose teas to the tea drinking community that suit all tastes and all cultures and to pass on a deep understanding of the history and benefits of this wonder beverage.

Website: https://www.valleygreentea.com.au
More in this category: « Jasmine green tea

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