Japanese Tea – all you need to know

There are a number of varieties of Japanese tea which are all made from an identical tea plant, Camilla Sinensis but are processed differently.

  • Sencha. – This is the most well-known kind of Japanese green tea. It has a revitalizing natural flavor which can be described as vegetal but in a delicious way. It has a balance of bitterness and sweetness in its flavor. The tea has a pleasant light green look. This green tea is first steamed in order to prevent the leaves from oxidizing. The leaves are then shaped, rolled and dried. Lastly, the leaves are then fired in order to preserve it better and add flavour.
  • Gyokuro Karigane –  This is superior and cautiously cultivated tea. When sprouts come out of the trees, they are covered for 2-3 weeks in order to avoid direct light from the sun. This type of Japanese tea has a clear green colour and has a tender and sweet flavour. This tea is suggested for people who enjoy Japanese green tea but wish to try a new taste of the best tea.
  • Matcha – This type of tea is commonly used in tea ceremony. It is made of shade-grown tea leaves known as Tencha, which have been carefully stone-ground into fine powder. This tea comes with a rich and bold herbaceous flavour.
  • Guricha – This is a delicate Japanese sencha that has distinctive curly shaped leaves. It tastes sweet and earthy. This variety can be difficult to find as it is only 5% of the whole Japanese tea production.
  • Genmaicha – This is a favorite Japanese tea. It can be Sencha blended with roasted premium Matcha and brown rice. The roasted brown rice adds to a toasty and warm flavour to the energy of green tea, making a smooth general taste. When combined with premium Matcha powder, it can create a rich color and deep taste.
  • Houijicha – This is roasted Japanese green tea. This type of tea is fired at high temperature, changing the leaf color from green to reddish brown. The process of roasting can also reduce the caffeine content of the tea. Houjicha has a caramel flavour and is light roasted but doesn’t have a smoky or char flavor. This type of tea blends well with any meal from breakfast to dinner.
  • Konacha – This is a powdery and coarse tea which is a by-product after the buds and stems are removed. In Japan, sushi restaurants serve this as a perfect combination to their meals because of its refreshing and distinct dark green taste.