The Green Teaist travels the world to bring to its customers and friends the most interesting and current news about green teas, their provenance, attributes, qualities and uses assembled from a wide range of sources, including leading authorities on all matters relating to teas as well as our own staff’s research, insights and comments. Each monthly issue includes relevant information on what is happening in the world of green teas. The following notes are intended to provide a brief background to suggest the type of information and comments which may be contained in our Newsletter and trust you will find them interesting and encourage you to be added to our circulation list. If you would like to do so, simply send an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Real” green teas originated in Japan over 1,000 years ago and, to this day, truly authentic green teas are produced and processed, exclusively, in Japan. This fact is comparable, in many ways, to “Champagne” which originated in the Champagne region of France. Producers of sparkling wines outside of the region would like to have their sparkling wines referred to as “champagne,” but are legally prohibited from using the word with a capital “C.” Another example is the “Basmati” rice of India, which should mean that it is imported from India and, also, “Kobe Beef,” which should mean that it is imported from Japan. However, in the latter two cases, what you see is not necessarily what you get. Only at The Green Teaist may you be assured that you are being served or purchasing real green teas, flown in several times a month, directly from Kyoto. We guarantee it.
The process for making green tea is based on steaming freshly-picked tea leaves from Japanese cultivars of the Camellia Sinensis (the original tea plant, similar to vitis vinifera, the original grape plant, from which most tea and grape cultivars, respectively, have produced the teas and wines known today), In the case of green tea cultivation in Japan, the tea leaves are watched carefully from early spring to late fall, and depending on the type and grade of green tea desired, they are quickly picked, washed, then steamed to retain most of their natural flavors, deep green colors and antioxidants After being lightly dried in a special kiln, they are then graded, packaged and shipped for consumption. To protect their relatively short shelf life, they are flown several times a month to The Green Teaist’s specially-designed Tea Cellars which are climate-controlled and permit the green teas to retain their freshness and goodness for about one year.
In contrast to the green teas distributed by The Green Teaist, teas from other countries of the world, primarily in Asia, use an entirely different process, consisting of withering in the sun or pan-firing tea leaves and then, depending on the type of tea desired, allowing them to ferment or oxidize in various degrees to produce different characteristics. This process allowed Indian and Chinese teas to be compressed into “tea bricks” which could withstand a journey of almost one year from Shanghai to Liverpool during the height of the British Empire and the relatively fast Tea Clippers which were responsible for generating enormous wealth for England from the 1600’s to 1900’s. The “tea bricks” and other forms of Indian and Chinese teas, having been almost totally oxidized, will last for many years without any refrigeration.
This is not to say that such teas from India or China are inferior or less desirable than the green teas of Japan. It is to say that the green teas of Japan offer a different tea experience which is quite different and in stark contrast to the other teas of the world. It is ultimately up to the consumer to make a decision as to any preferences. What is truly unique is that The Green Teaist, perhaps, for the first time in America, is pleased to be able to offer the “real green tea experience,” in the widest array of types and grades of green teas possible, without any flavorings or additives, just all-natural, pure green teas, just as they have been enjoyed in Japan for over a thousand years.
TGT green teas, in various varieties and grades, are available at retail in whole loose leaf form as well as in TGT’s exquisite, biodegradable tea sachets. In addition to being retailed in TGT’s Salon in Lake Forest, TGT tea sachets are also currently available in select grocers and specialty markets, including certain Whole Foods Market stores in the Chicagoland area, the Sunset Foods stores on the North Shore of Chicago, the Central Markets throughout Texas, certain Neiman Marcus stores and other fine retail outlets. TGT green teas are also served in many of the finest restaurants and hotels in the country, too numerous to mention. The Green Teaist is working with other fine retailers in other regions of the country to expand its market reach, including an entirely new packaging concept for prepackaged whole loose leaf teas to retain maximum freshness.
These and other facts and references to the differences in tea cultures are some of the subjects covered in The Green Teaist Newsletter, on a monthly basis, together with up-to-date information on green teas in the media and events sponsored by The Green Teaist throughout the country. We look forward to including you in our circulation of almost 1,000 customers and friends of The Green Teaist to receive this monthly publication by Email. We sincerely appreciate your interest and will endeavor to make each issue scintillating, even evocative, but, always, fun to peruse.