Let's talk about: Yunnan Green Tea!

Updated: 5 days ago

Because Pu'er/Puerh tea and Yunnan black tea (Dianhong) are very famous, people rarely mention Yunnan green tea. In addition, there are too many famous green teas in China, and Yunnan green tea is gradually forgotten.


Due to the unique natural geographical environment of Yunnan, it is very suitable for the growth of tea trees. Three main tea types stand out in Yunnan: Yunnan black, Yunnan green, Pu'er.


What is Yunnan green tea?

Yunnan is famous for its black tea and Pu’er, despite sharing its climate and quality, less is known about its green tea. The raw material of Yunnan green tea is different from that of many green teas. The raw material consists of fresh leaves from big leaf species, the main bulk of it is sourced from Lincang, Baoshan, Pu’er, and Dehong in Yunnan.


An interesting fact is the fresh leaf material of Yunnan green tea can also be used to make ripe Pu'er tea. Yunnan green tea has a relatively strong flavour, and is capable of multiple infusions. It has a medium-bodied long-lasting aroma and aftertaste, a yellow-green infusion.


Yunnan green is very versatile, and it brewed light for its refreshing attribute, or it is brewed heavy for its medicinal properties


How many types of Yunnan green tea are there?

How to make green tea? Yunnan green tea includes varieties of sun-dried, fried, baked, and steamed green tea, which is found in various areas of southwest Yunnan and southern Yunnan.


1. Sun-dried green tea (Dianqing)

Also known as Dianqing, is made from fresh leaves of big leaf tea after ‘killing green’ (de-enzyming), twisting the leaves, followed by drying in the sun.


Sun-drying is the fundamental difference between sun-dried green tea and other green tea. Slow drying in the sun forms the unique flavour quality of sun-dried green tea. The high-end sun-dried green tea has the characteristics of bright green colour, fragrant internal quality, fresh and pure taste, and clear green leaves. Yunnan has produced sun-dried green tea for a very long time and makes use of older processing methods. It is also the most commonly consumed tea in Yunnan ethnic minority areas. The roasted teas popular in Yunnan are all made with sun-dried green tea as raw materials.



2. Baked green tea (Dianlv)

A roasted green tea that selects fresh leaves with a one bud and two leaf system. It is processed by killing green, twisting, and baking. Due to the high temperature, timely kneading, and rapid drying, it controls the activity of enzymes and the oxidation of polyphenols prevents the fermentation of bud leaves and maintains the green colour of the fresh leaves.


Compared with other green teas, Dianlv is characterised by a slight freshness and strong flavour.


3. Fried green tea

The fresh leaves of Yunnan big-leaf tea are made by killing green, twisting, and frying, the production quantity is not large.



4. Steamed green tea

It is a green tea made from fresh leaves of Yunnan big leaf tea by steam killing green, twisting, and baking drying. The production quantity is very small.


Yunnan green tea health benefits

1. Reduce fat and lose weight.

Green tea contains amino acids, phenolic derivatives, aromatic substances, vitamins, etc. The combined effect of these substances, especially the combined effect of tea polyphenols with catechins and vitamin C, can promote fat burning, reduce blood lipids and cholesterol. Thus often drinking green tea can help digestion, and can aid fat and weight loss.

2. Prevent cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

Green tea polyphenols can dissolve fat, while vitamin C can promote the excretion of cholesterol. Therefore, often drinking green tea can reduce the risk of death due to heart disease.

3. Anti-aging.

In theory, during the body's metabolism, a large number of free radicals are produced and the cells in the body are injured. Superoxide dismutase is a free radical scavenger, which can effectively remove excess free radicals and prevent the damage of free radicals to the human body. The catechins in green tea can significantly increase the activity of superoxide dismutase and scavenge free radicals. Following this theory, regular consumption of green tea can play a role in delaying ageing.

4. Prevent bad breath.

Catechin contained in green tea can effectively inhibit cariogenic bacteria and reduce the occurrence of plaque and periodontitis. In addition, tannic acid in green tea has a bactericidal effect, which can prevent food waste from multiplying bacteria. Therefore, regular consumption of green tea may effectively prevent bad breath.


5. Improve indigestion.

Indigestion caused by bacteria, acute diarrhoea, it’s suggested drinking green tea can help reduce its symptoms.

6. Skincare.

It’s suggested that catechin in green tea has a strong antioxidant function. Ultraviolet rays will produce a lot of peroxide in the skin, making the skin rough and losing its elasticity. If you apply tea containing catechins in advance, the peroxide (free radical) content in the skin is reduced by more than 25%.

7. Protect nerve cells.

Green tea polyphenols can have a protective effect on nerve cells. Polyphenol compounds can activate factors that support cell survival and inhibit factors that cause cell death and neurodegenerative lesions, thereby improving the survival rate of nerve cells and reducing nerve cell damage caused by acidic substances.


5 factors that affect green tea storage

1. Humidity

This is the number one enemy of green tea. Chlorophyll, one of the ingredients of green tea, is easily oxidised, which causes the colour of the leaves to turn brown and affect the taste of the tea. Store in a closed airtight container to minimize moisture exposure. It is also helpful to ensure that the container is not opened frequently.


2. High temperature

The high temperature will accelerate some chemical processes and cause the decomposition of certain components (such as amino acids). On the other hand, lower temperatures slow down oxidation. Therefore, keeping it cool is recommended.


3. Oxygen

Most tea compounds react with oxygen. For example, vitamin C is highly oxidised. This causes the colour of the tea to change to red or brown, which will lessen the freshness. To prevent this, please store it in an airtight closed container.


4. Light

Artificial and direct sunlight will adversely affect the quality of green tea. Chlorophyll is the main component of tea colour and is very sensitive to light. When exposed to light, a series of chemical reactions occur and the colour changes to yellow-brown. Visual evidence that tea has gone bad. To prevent this, store green tea in an opaque container.


5. Odour

Green tea often absorbs the surrounding odour. Avoid storing it in kitchens and keep away from smelly odours and items.


How to store Yunnan green tea?

Green tea contains highly oxidisable ingredients. Therefore, care should be taken when storing green tea. If stored properly, green tea can be kept in good condition for 24 months.

  

The main point to tell the quality of green tea is mellow taste, grassy aroma, light green leaf colour, and a yellow-green infusion colour. If the above factors change, then the tea is outdated.

  

In order to get the maximum health benefits from green tea, a good preservation method should be taken, an airtight box in a cool area is recommended, but you can also store it in an air-tight opaque container in the refrigerator for more preserved storage. If you do put it in the refrigerator, make sure it’s well sealed to prevent moisture and odours from other foods in the refrigerator. When you remove the tea from the refrigerator for use, make sure to bring it to room temperature before opening. The temperature difference will cause condensation, which in turn will affect the quality of the tea. Wait at least half a day before opening.


The quality of tea depends on how it is grown, harvested, and processed. Tea grown naturally with the least amount of chemical fertiliser is better. Correct harvesting and processing methods also play an important role. The best time to buy Yunnan green tea is early spring as the tea is harvested between February and April, and is considered fresher and of higher quality.


How to brew Yunnan green tea?


1. The glass cup is more suitable for brewing green tea. It can be observed that the tea slowly relaxes, swims, and changes in the water.  


2. First scald the cup with a small amount of hot water, which is conducive to the development of the colour and fragrance of the tea. Then put in an appropriate amount of green tea.  


3. After putting the tea in the cup, pour a small amount of boiling water to cover the tea leaves and gently shake the cup to let the tea wake up. Then add boiling water to 80% full.  


4. It is advisable to brew green tea three times. When the tea soup is about 1/3 left in the cup, add boiled water to make it more uniform.

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