Monday, November 29, 2010

Choosing Japanese tea

One of our customers, a newbie in Japanese tea, asked me if there are any types of Japanese tea that I can recommend. So today I would like to write about choosing Japanese tea for beginners.

I do not have any particular brand of green tea that I want to recommend you. But, here are a few suggestions …

 Try sencha first
 What grade to choose
 Two major types of sencha
 Good leaves and bad leaves
 Reliable tea shops

 Try sencha first
In Japan we have some types of tea such as sencha, hojicha, gyokuro, kukicha, tamaryokucha, genmaicha, matcha and so on. If you want to know about Japanese tea, try sencha first. It is the most common and popular green tea in Japan. Sencha is what Japanese regard as green tea. Please do not determine if you like it by trying only one sencha. You can find great variety of sencha in Japanese tea shops. I would like you to try several different senchas. The flavor is slightly different by region, maker, process and grade. Exploring your favorite sencha will be fun. I will tell you a guide to find your sencha (^-^)

 What grade to choose
Sencha has a wide range of grades. There are reasonable ones from 300yen/100g, average ones are at around 700yen/100g, and expensive ones are up to 2000-4000yen/100g. I will recommend starting from a little nice middle-grade sencha around 1000-1500yen. At the price range, you can choose from wide selection. In Japan, green tea is our daily beverage so we do not always have high grade tea. But I noticed that people overseas tend to enjoy expensive Japanese tea. I guess green tea is enjoyed more as a hobby or pleasure. So for those who are overseas looking for a type of green tea to start with, the nice middle-grade of sencha is the best. Do not buy one big package. Buy small packages if possible, and try many different kinds.

I will write about other remaining tips regarding choosing Japanese tea on the next post.

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