It surprises many people new to tea to learn that green tea and black tea originate from the same exact plant species—Camellia sinensis. It’s ultimately the variety of tea plant and how the tea leaves are processed that defines how green tea becomes “green” and black tea becomes “black”.
For green tea, the tea leaves are harvested from theCamellia sinensisplant and are then quickly heated—by pan firing or steaming—and dried to prevent too much oxidation from occurring that would turn the green leaves brown and alter their fresh-picked flavor.
A brewed green tea is typically green, yellow or light brown in color, and its flavor profile can range from grass-like and toasted (pan fired) to vegetal, sweet and seaweed-like (steamed). If brewed correctly, most green tea should be quite light in color and only mildly astringent.