By Jessica Girdwain
If the only time you’ve tried green tea is after being served a scalding-hot cup (no handle!) at a local Japanese restaurant, you’re missing out on its many flavors and forms. “All green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, but the final aromas and tastes differ depending on where the leaves are grown and how they’re produced,” says Mary Lou Heiss, coauthor of The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas.
More surprising? In Asia, green tea is a common recipe ingredient, which is a great–and sneaky!–way to incorporate this nutritional powerhouse into your diet. Here’s a quick primer on six different varieties, plus ideas for how to cook with each.