Types of Tea

What is the difference between Black and Green tea?

Although the colour and flavour of tea is very different, black, green and Chinese tea are indeed made from the same type of tea plant (Camellia sinensis), which is native to East and South Asia.

The main difference between Japanese green tea and other teas is that green tea leaves are steamed after the harvest. The steaming process stops the oxidation process and maintains the natural green colour, fragrance and important nutrition. It is one of the less processed types of tea.

Different types of Green tea

Gyokuro


Gyokuro is one of the world's most premium teas. Only 0.3% of tea produced in Japan is Gyokuro.

The tea plants are shaded for 3 weeks prior to harvesting, which reduces astringency and enhances flavor. This procedure gives the tea its smooth, full-bodied flavour and mellow sweetness. 

Due to its rareness, Gyokuro usually costs 2-3 times more than Sencha. 

Sencha : Most Popular Japanese green tea. It is produced all over Japan and 70% of Japanese tea production is Sencha.

The higher the grade, the more delicious the tea with the fragrance of soft leaves.

Grown in full sunlight, its refreshing flavour and the right balance of bitterness & sweetness is perfect as an everyday tea. 

Fukamushi Sencha

¬ĀFukamushi means deeply steamed. The leaves are steamed about twice longer than regular Sencha.

Due to the longer exposure to the steam's heat, they become powdery and provide stronger aroma with darker green colour.

Matcha


Matcha is finely powdered tea made from Tencha, which like Gyokuro is grown in the shade and then processed.

It is used for traditional tea ceremony and a wide range of Japanese confection.

Matcha is like a finely ground form of Gyokuro - the plantation is covered to avoid sunshine about 20 days before picking. Unlike Gyokuro, there is no rolling process after steaming. The leaves are dried and stone-ground just before shipping.

Since it is in a powder form, it can readily used in cooking and baking.

Genmai-cha:  Green tea combined with roasted brown rice, some grains of which have popped. It has a distinctive savoury aroma and flavour.

Matcha Genmai Cha


Matcha Genmai-cha is Genmai-cha mixed with Matcha powder.

Matcha Genmai cha has a similar flavour to plain Genmaicha but offers richer taste because of added Matcha power. Nutty and fresh. The colour is more green than light yellow.

Harvest seasons and grades

  • First harvest (Shin-cha, Ichiban-cha) : Harvested between late April and early May, shin-cha offers the best quality and aroma in Sencha kind. Tea bush saves nutrients in winter and release them in spring when new shoots start growing.
  •  Second harvest tea (ni-bancha): After 2 weeks of first harvest, new shoots start growing and they will be ready for the second harvest in about 45 days (likewise for the 3rd harvest). Second harvest tea grows quickly in full sun. Compared to Shin-cha, second harvest is less rich in flavor and less expensive.
  • Bancha: Late harvest (3rd harvest and after) is called Bancha. Bancha tea leaves are harder and stems are also used to make this tea.
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