Green tea is heated immediately after being picked, preventing any oxidization of the leaves. In China, the tea is fired in a wok or oven; in Japan, it’s steamed. The resulting tea is very delicate, with a wide range of leaf styles depending on varying production techniques and traditions.
To prevent cooking the leaves and destroying their subtle, vegetal or grassy notes, green tea should be brewed in water that is well below boiling. Green tea has a short life span—enjoy it close to harvest, at its peak freshness. People often come to green tea for its purported health benefits, but they become lasting fans for its nuanced flavors.