Traditionally associated with freshness, youth, and spring, China's green teas are richly varied and elusively flavored—fresh, grassy, light, sweet, delicate, with hints of chestnut or licorice. They offer a completely different experience for the senses—taste, sight, smell, even touch—than the black teas that are so familiar throughout what was once the British Empire, including the U.S. They're also distinct from the Japanese green tea. In color, the dry leaves range from soft gray-green to yellowy green and clear jade. The nuanced liquor they produce may be pale jade-green, like the color of young willows, or yellow-green, or even pale yellow. If you think you've tasted green tea in the States, chances are it was nothing like this.