A bowl of vividly green color green tea

What is Green Tea Color? Yellow, Green or Brown?

There aren’t many things in the world naturally beneficial as green tea. Green tea is dried leaves, light in color and astringent in taste. They change the color when brewed.

Green tea has many types, all with different colors and properties. The color of all kinds of green tea may range from yellow to green to brownish.

This article is all about figuring out green tea color, why it changes when brewed, and which green tea is green in color and much more.

So, let’s explore it.

Is Green Tea Green in Color?

It is a common fact that green tea is not always green in color. Some green tea leaves are yellowish, brown, or even white.

The brew of these colored leaves may turn out to be whitish to dark brown. It all depends upon the process it goes through in making and the time given to steeping.

What Is the Real Color of Green Tea?

To know the real green tea color let us look at the process that green tea goes through.

Green tea is grown in shade or sunny areas. When the tea leaves are ready, professional tea pickers pick the tea leaves with care.

After the green tea leaves are plucked from their growing areas, the green tea is heated and then dried through steaming or frying as soon as possible. This stops the oxidation process and thus green tea leaves remain natural and green in color.

Dry green tea color

Although it can turn to brown the more it stays outside. The green teas which are not stored immediately change their color and flavor.

Therefore, the real color of green tea is green but sometimes changes during processing and packaging and due to oxidation.

What Color Should Green Tea Be?

Thinking about green tea, the color green comes to one’s mind. This is not true.

Most dry green tea leaves may be green in color but brewed green tea should be pale yellow, green, or even whitish.

Green tea should be brewed at a certain temperature and not more than 5 minutes. When steeped correctly it turns out the beautiful pale or light green in color and a little grassy in flavor. When over-brewed the green tea color may change to a shade of brown and a little bitter.

Why Is Green Tea Called Green Tea?

You may wonder if green tea is not always green then why is it called green tea? We did too, so we researched, and here is the answer.

Firstly, the name of green tea is related to its dry leaf form which is usually are differently shaded green. Green tea is not referred to as the color of its infused liquid rather than the color of its loose green leaf.

Green tea is made from very fresh young leaves of the plant called Camellia Sinensis. These leaves are very bright and green in color. Green tea is also called that because these tea leaves unlike other teas like black teas are not fermented.

These are minimally oxidized and therefore, stay green in color even after heating and drying. Thus, the name green tea.

If you ever had a chance of drinking Japanese green tea like Matcha tea, you will see how delicious it is and how beautiful the green tea leaves steep in water. Even after brewing the green tea leave are vividly green and very pleasing to the eyes.

7 Famous Types of Green Tea with Colors

The main cause of the color of green tea is chlorophyll, it produces the green color in the leaves. Preventing the leaves from changing color after picking from the plant is nearly impossible.

Still, the producers do their best in stopping the fermentation by storing them as soon as possible in their original form.

There are many varieties of green teas with different colors and shapes, the most famous types of Japanese and Chinese are as follows:

1) Houjicha

This is a type of Japanese green tea. This tea is not green in color even before steeping. Its tea leaves have zero moisture because they are roasted fully. This results in brown color.

It is a great tea with very low caffeine and is light for the stomach. It is a subtle green tea with bright transparent brown color when brewed.

2) Konacha

Konacha is mostly served at sushi restaurants after eating the food sushi. Kona means powder. And this is in form of a powder.

It has a deep green aroma and its bitter taste complements sushi because its after-taste is raw and spicy.

The color of Konacha is deep dark green.

3) Sencha

The most common and famous green tea in Japan is Sencha. Easily available and of great quality. Sencha green tea leaves are bright and green before brewing.

A glass showing sencha green tea color

It is a sweet and astringent mix of tea. The color turns out to be yellow to light green after it is steeped.

4) Matcha

Matcha is a tea known for its sweet taste and aroma. It is made in a way that the umami component is stopped from making it bitter.

Matcha is ground into powder. Therefore, when you drink Matcha you are drinking green tea leaves.

It has a thick consistency, fresh aroma, and beautiful vivid green color.

5) Gyokuro

This is a premium green tea of high quality. It is specially cultivated through a process called Oiga. It is covered for 20 days before harvesting.

The steeped tea has a sweet seaweed taste and the color turns our pale or transparent yellow.

6) Dragon Well

Dragon well is one of the most popular Chinese green tea. It is also called Long Jing. It turns into a delicate yellowish brew with light nutty notes.

The leaf shape is flat and it is a pan-fried tea.

7) Gun Powder

Chinese teas are known and sold worldwide. The leaves of this tea are dark green. The flavor is very strong which even can taste bitter.

You can pair up this tea with fruity ingredients to make it flavorful.

Why Green Tea Sometimes Is Not Green?

We relate to the green tea when it’s in the final form, a steaming cup of hot drink. But the green tea colors are related to the tea leaves not the shade of the tea we drink.

Tea leaves are processed differently and this makes them healthier than other teas. Also due to this process, the green tea leaves mostly remain green. But the liquor of green tea may become yellow or brown.

  • Green tea is sometimes not green because after it dries until the packaging is done, some teas get oxidized and thus change their color.
  • The sun-grown green teas may also change their color and shape due to more heat.
  • The color is because of a compound called Chlorophyll. It may change over time due to decomposition, due to handled roughly, or oxidation.

5 Reasons Why My Green Tea is Brown?

Green tea looks lovely with shades of yellow and green. It sometimes does turn brown. What could be the reason behind this? Due to the following factors.

1) Too Much Sun

Chinese green tea is grown in sunny areas. Exposure to sunlight makes it oxidized and dry it out. Thus, the brew becomes brownish.

Also, green teas are initially green and fresh when it is plucked. But due to the process, it goes through it may turn brown later.

2) Brewing Process

The best brewing time for green tea is 3-4 minutes. If you over steep the tea it creates dark pigments which turn the tea brown.

A cup of green tea with brown shade

Never use boiling water for green tea and don’t brew it for more than 5 minutes for better color.

3) Oxidation

The more green tea is left to oxidize, the more green color will fade from it. Oxidation makes green tea brew into brown color. That’s why the green tea which is near expiry will remove its green color and turn brown. It needs to be stored in a cool and air-tight jar.

Thus, oxidation changes the composition of tea. Another thing to note is that broken tea leaves & teabags also have dark brews.

4) Adding Honey

Adding honey to green tea benefits you a lot and also changes its shade. Honey has a natural brown color and strong oxidizing agents. Wen added to green tea oxidizes it as well and turns it brown.

5) Natural Decay

Over time green tea may lose its essence and natural shade. Microbial reactions and sunlight cause the decay of chlorophyll, which is responsible for green tea color.

Thus, it should be stored away from sunlight and moisture.

Why Is My Green Tea Red?

Green tea usually does not turn red. It may happen either due to the heating process or sometimes because of the oxidation process.

Your green tea may have some red parts due to overheating that turns your tea into a red shade.

If you brew your tea and leave it out for a long time or overnight it becomes red or brown. This is also because of oxidation.

What type of Green Tea is Green in Color?

There are famous types of green tea. The Chinese And Japanese green tea. Most Chinese green tea is yellow because they are pan-fried and moisture is taken out of them.

The Japanese green teas are green. This is because of the steaming process that Japanese green tea goes through, also they are mostly shade-grown.

This prevents fermentation and makes the green tea preserve its natural shade.

The two teas that brew vividly green color are Matcha and Gyokuro. Both are types of Japanese green tea.

Can Green Tea Change The Color of Your Urine?

There are no studies that validate green tea changing the color of your urine but it does makes you pee. If you drink more water the color of urine will be clearer and vice-versa.

However, if you are drinking green tea in place of your daily water intake. Then green tea may make your body dehydrated and turn your urine into a light brown shade.

Thus, green does not change the color of your pee but the fluctuations in the level of hydration may become the cause of changing color.

Why Green Tea Changes Color When Sugar or Honey Is Added?

Most people drink green tea with sweeteners. The options usually are sugar or honey. When these are added to green tea its changes their shade The yellowish-green tea becomes a shade of darker brown. Why does this happen?

The reason may be the agents in these sweeteners. The oxidizing agents may oxidize the tea rapidly. When you leave the brewed green tea overnight it gives the same darker color.

Why Green Tea Changes Color When Lemon Is Added?

When you add lemon to the green tea it mostly changes its color. This happens due to the citric acid in lemon juice. It reduces the pH level of tea and thus the color of a few molecules is changed.

a glass of green tea with brown color

Green tea is alkaline which lemon is acidic.

Therefore, the acid is the reason for the changed green tea color which usually goes colorless.


In conclusion, we can say that not all green teas are green in color. The color change is due to a lot of factors. The shade-grown green teas are mostly bright green when brewed.

Mostly original green brews come from Japanese teas like Matcha. Chinese green teas are most common but turn out to be yellowish in shade.

The processes that it goes through, brewing time, and temperature all affect the green tea color.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *