Green tea is made from the same fresh growth of the tea shrub as white and black tea. Green teas come primarily from China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, and use different finishing techniques. Unlike black tea, green tea is not oxidized. Instead, green tea is finished with dry or steam heat, depending on the region, and then rolled.
Chinese and Taiwanese green teas are finished with dry heat in a wok over a flame or with hot air blown through a revolving cylinder. This method results in a yellow-green dried leaf. Japanese green teas are fixed by directing steam up through the tea leaves that are suspended in baskets. Steam-fixed green tea retains a deeper green color. All green teas are then rolled. In Taiwan and China, hand rolling is used to form pearl or twisted shapes, while in Japan and South Korea, the leaves are shaped into long needle shapes like pine needles.
White tea is made from the same young buds of the tea shrub as green and black tea. White teas are the least processed of all teas. They are air dried, often in the shade or by moonlight to limit the natural oxidation of the leaves. The humidity must be carefully monitored and controlled to avoid rotting. White teas are the most difficult teas to produce because of this intricate process.