The flavor of green tea closely resembles that of the original leaf on the shrub. No oxidation has taken place in green tea, which gives black tea its characteristic taste. For many, green tea takes some getting used to, but the combination of fresh, spicy, and vegetal notes offers a variety of interesting flavor profiles and attracts a growing number of enthusiasts.
Tea, in a general sense, is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Hot beverages made from other ingredients cannot be formally called tea. We refer to those as infusions. Examples include rooibos, herbal infusions, and fruit infusions.
From the Camellia Sinensis shrub, only the youngest leaves are plucked, specifically the budding (needle-shaped) leaf and the two leaves next to it. This is known as the 'two leaves and a bud' plucking style. Using these freshly plucked leaves, black tea, oolong tea, green tea, and fermented tea are produced. Green tea is made by immediately heating the freshly plucked leaves after withering and bruising. In China, this is done in large woks or ovens, while in Japan, the leaves are steamed. 'Pan-fired' tea has a slightly spicier, sweeter, and fresher character, while steamed tea is often associated with briny and vegetal flavors.