Types of Green Tea for Weight Loss

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Types of green tea

Did you know? About 159 million Americans drink tea on the daily, or at least that’s what the Tea Association of the USA says.

That equals to 84 billion cups of tea in a year!

That’s an awful lot of tea, if you ask me. 

Luckily there are many different types of green tea for weight loss.

According to the Tea Council of the USA, 86% of Americans consume various types of green tea while 59% prefer black, white and oolong teas.

Truly, there must be a reason why millions of people are getting hooked on green tea, right? Of course!

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TYPES OF GREEN TEA FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Benefits of Green Tea

There are many different types of green tea but the benefits you get from each one are more or less the same.

That’s because green tea, when consumed as is (meaning no honey, sugar or milk) has zero calories, fat, sodium and sugar.

It is literally one of the healthiest drinks around!

It is packed with powerful antioxidants in the form of flavonoids that help fight free radicals.

If you’re not familiar with them, free radicals are molecules that can damage cells, proteins and DNA, has been linked to illness and premature aging.

But what’s really astonishing about all green tea is that it’s been scientifically proven to help with weight management!

It turns out that flavonoids found in green tea also boost your metabolic rate and boost fat oxidation or your body’s process of converting fat into energy.

The even greater news is that you don’t have to drink tons of green tea to enjoy its fat burning effect.

Studies show that 2 ½ cups of green tea is enough to burn calories, translating to an average weight loss of 2.9lbs in  just 12 weeks without going on a diet.

It doesn’t matter what green tea variety you drink as all green tea naturally contain fat-busting flavonoids.

But of course, different types of green tea offer different flavor profiles depending on the how they were grown, when they were picked and how the green tea leaves were processed.

6 Most Popular Types of Green Tea

You may have come across different kinds of green tea from various parts of the world.

But all of them actually come from the same plant – the Camellia Sinensis.

Legend has it that a long time ago in China, leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant fell into Emperor Shennong’s cup of steaming hot water.

The accidental combination of fresh tea leaves and just boiled water is thought to be the first ever cup of green tea that billions of people now enjoy across the globe.

Unlike the ancient times, however, green tea has become quite a sophisticated drink these days.

It is now grown in many countries, with China and Japan growing the more widely-consumed and popular types of green tea. 

Green tea leaves undergo various processes from plant to cup including steaming, pan firing, rolling and drying among others. 

These processes help bring out flavor profiles that are unique to certain types, allowing you to pick green tea types that suit your taste better.

It now also comes in different forms and packaging, requiring different preparation methods.

Here are 6 of the most popular or widely-consumed types of green tea in no particular order.

1. Japanese Sencha Tea

I know I said this this green tea list is completely random.

But the first green tea that came to mind while writing this is sencha tea, the most popular and widely-consumed type of green tea in Japan. 

Over 80% of green tea grown in Japan is processed to become sencha.

And if you’ve been to the land of the rising sun, chances are you’ve had a cup or two of this type of green tea, whether or not you knew!

Japanese Sencha green tea leaves are grown in direct sunlight.

The tea leaves are plucked twice during the harvest season, with the first flush or the first plucking of leaves yielding the best quality sencha tea.

The freshly-picked green tea leaves are then steamed and dried out.

Tea leaves then undergo rolling, a process that gives sencha its characteristic long, needle-like but flat appearance.

The rolling process also helps make up sencha green tea’s unique vegetal and grassy flavor profile as it helps release juices from the tea leaves.

How you prepare sencha leaves greatly affects how your green tea will taste.

I find that Japanese sencha leaves taste quite bitter and astringent when made with boiling water. 

Water with a temperature of about 70°C works so much better, giving you a smooth and slightly sweet sencha tea experience.

Sencha green tea is chockfull of Vitamin C and E, carotene and catechins, a natural antioxidant part of the flavanoids family.

This is probably why sencha is consumed all year long in Japan, where peope enjoy it hot or ice cold.

It’s been linked to better immune system and helps keep cholesterol and blood sugar levels under control.

Sencha is also believed to ward off osteoarthritis and cancer.

2. Hojicha Tea

Sencha and other types of green tea leaves (like bancha) that are roasted in a 200°C roasting pan make hojicha.

Roasting the green tea leaves disperses most of its caffeine content and also gives it a distinct roasted aroma and slightly nutty flavor.

The leaves are instantly cooled after the roasting process.

Because it has lesser to no caffeine content compared to regular green tea, hojicha is quite popular among households with children.

But Japanese tea merchants didn’t seem to have kids in mind back in the 1920s in Kyoto, when the first cup of hojicha tea was enjoyed.

It is said that hojicha came about as an attempt to make use of the byproducts of mechanical tea plucking which included lots of green tea stems and stalks that would’ve gone to waste otherwise.

This popular roasted green tea may give you brown-colored tea but it still brings all the benefits of green tea with each cup, minus the caffeine!

If you’re new to drinking green tea and aren’t a fan of its usually grassy, vegetal and sometimes seaweed-like taste, the mellow yet caramel-like flavor of hojicha will make a great first cup!

You will still taste the creamy undertone of green tea but trust me when I say it is much friendlier and familiar – at some point, even coffee-like, if that helps!

3. Genmaicha Green Tea

Speaking of roasted green tea, here’s another popular and great entry-level ocha that’s very fragrant you can actually smell it from meters away!

Genmaicha is essentially sencha mixed with brown rice in a 50-50 ratio.

The brown rice is soaked, steamed, roasted and popped before combining it with sencha green tea.

Genmaicha was initially made to cater to poor families who couldn’t afford to buy pure green tea like sencha.

Mixing green tea with roasted brown rice significantly lowered the cost while still keeping your body warm and giving it all the health goodness of green tea, so praise genmaicha green tea!

4. Gyokuro Green Tea

This type of green tea is processed almost the same way as sencha but is covered to keep from sunlight in the last 3 weeks leading to harvest.

Tea growers often use cloth or reed screen (net) to shade green tea leaves for gyokuro.

The process of shading greatly alters the appearance, flavor and nutrients contained in the green tea leaves.

Gyokuro, being a shade-grown green tea, appears deep green in color and naturally has higher caffeine content than other green tea types.

It also contains more theanine, giving gyokuro tea a sweeter, more savory flavor.

In terms of flavor profile, it is rich and bursting with umami, with that familiar aroma of nori seaweed.

Overall, gyokuro is a high quality starter green tea to jumpstart your weight loss journey. It is sweet, mellow and flavorful – makes me want to drink a cup, really!

However, since the process of manufacturing this shade-grown tea is quite meticulous, it is generally priced higher than other green teas.

If that doesn’t bother you, the most prized and precious tea of Japan could be the right green tea for you!

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5. Tencha Tea

Tencha is another shade-grown green tea that is shielded from sunlight in the weeks leading to harvest.

However, unlike gyokuro, tencha is shaded longer than 3 weeks.

The process is also a bit different as it is only steamed and dried, skipping the rolling process.

The stalks and veins are then removed, resulting in flat flecks of tea leaf that’s ready for brewing.

Since tencha isn’t rolled or kneaded, it has a different flavor profile compared to gyokuro and sencha.

The process of rolling or kneading brings out juices from the leaves, giving your favorite type of green tea its distinct flavor.

They say only the best quality tencha leaves can give you a flavorful cup of green tea and I completely agree!

Tencha isn’t that easy to prepare as the green tea leaves are so lightweight that some of them end up floating on the water.

It is customary to add twice the volumetric amount of tencha green tea leaves compared to your usual brew in order for you to fully experience the flavor of this type of green tea.

6. Matcha Green Tea

Last but not the least is Matcha

Matcha is probably one of the most popular kinds of green tea in the past years. 

I dare say it has fueled a green tea craze across the globe, making its way into desserts and even savory dishes.

It may be surprising but traditional Japanese sweets and some food have long been flavored and infused with matcha, mainly because of its powder form.

But how is matcha produced?

Matcha green tea is actually tencha that is grounded into powder right before it is shipped off.

Unlike other green teas, there’s no seeping when it comes to matcha. 

When you drink it, you consume whole green tea leaves, only in powder form. 

To make a savory cup, simply sift matcha green tea, add water (just under boiling) and vigorously whisk until frothy.

You don’t have to use a bamboo whisk to properly make matcha green tea but it makes a whole lot of difference!

When it comes to taste, matcha gives you that distinctive vegetal flavor with a sweet aftertaste that really lingers.

It is quite savory and a bit astringent, sometimes.

Honestly speaking, you’ll either love matcha or not like it at all. It is, shall I say, an acquired taste.

But don’t let that stop you from trying this green tea!

Studies show that matcha green tea contains more caffeine than other types of green tea.

It is probably because you ingest the entire leaf instead of just green tea leaf-flavored water.

Matcha also has higher catechin content, specifically epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG which is thought to help fight off cancer.

Is Green Tea Good For You?

The short answer is yes!

Green tea is a powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins that can do wonders for your body.

Best of all, it is sodium-free, has zero calories and doesn’t need sugar.

Different types of green tea have scientifically been proven to improve overall health, including weight issues.

But like everything else, green tea is best consumed in moderation.

Since some types of green tea naturally have caffeine content, you should always be careful, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine or suffer from insomnia.

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About the Author

Hey! I'm Emma part of the FoodyWhale team. It is my mission to help people in their weight loss journey succeed. On FoodyWhale you can find my tips, tricks and secrets that I've used in my own weight loss journey.