Monday, April 4, 2011

Types of Japanese tea

How many types of Japanese tea can you name? Today, I want to talk about the types of Japanese tea. Here are the 13 major types.

Sencha - The most common green tea -
Fukamushi-sencha - Deep-steamed sencha -
Bancha - Coarse tea -
Kabusecha - Covered tea -
Roasted tamaryokucha - Roasted curled tea -
Steamed tamaryokucha (Guricha) - Steamed curled tea -
Matcha - Powdered tea, which used in the tea ceremony -
Gyokuro - Premium green tea -
Hojicha - Roasted green tea -
Genmaicha - Brown rice tea -
Konacha - Flake tea -
Mecha - Bud tea -
Kukicha - Twig tea -



These Japanese teas are all made from the same tea plant, but they are produced slightly different. How many of them have you ever tried? I guess you have tried sencha, the most common green tea. That’s my favorite.


Can you think of what is in common among of the following three teas?
Kabusecha - Covered tea -
Matcha - Powdered tea, which used in the tea ceremony -
Gyokuro - Premium green tea -

Yes, the tea plans for these teas are covered with a screen to shut out the direct sunlight about 10-20 days before the tea leaves are picked. Those teas have richer umami and more expensive than other teas.

Kabusecha and gyokuro are made with the same process of sencha, but the difference is the degree of the covering of the plantation. Tea plant for sencha is not covered and gyokuro is covered about 20 days before picking. Kabusecha is somewhere in between.


How about the following two teas? What do you think in common for them?
Hojicha - Roasted green tea -
Genmaicha - Brown rice tea -

They are secondly processed tea. Hojicha is made by roasting sencha, bancha or kukicha. Genmaicha is sencha or bancha blended with roasted brown rice. They are popular and a casual tea. They are often served at restaurants in Japan, as well. They have nice roasted aroma smell.

If you are a beginner of Japanese tea, you may wonder which one is good or where you should start from. Tomorrow, I’ll recommend the four types for you. See ya!

8 comments:

  1. Hi Kohei - thanks for sharing your knowledge about Japanese teas. My knowledge of Japanese teas is really limited to sencha, genmaicha, and matcha. I have heard of other varieties, but didn't really know that much about them. It's so great to be able to read about Japanese tea here - I specialise in Chinese teas, but really want to broaden out. I have found gyokuro teas for sale online, but I'm really unsure of whether it would be a good idea to buy it. I like to be able to sample the teas before I buy them, so online buying is a bit risky - also, given the fact the gyokuro is such high-grade, it's quite expensive, so I would want to make sure I'm getting the real thing. Do you have any tips on what to look out for, or any reliable sellers in Japan who could ship to the UK? Thanks! ^-^

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  2. Hi, pekingtea-san, I have more systematic information about types of Japanese tea with photos on Facebook.
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    As you mentioned, finding reliable shop is the best way to buy good tea online. How about Ippodo Tea in Kyoto? I have never tied their gyokuro, but I have tried their Ultra-Premium Sencha, Kaboku. It was great.
    >>> http://shop.ippodo-tea.co.jp/kyoto/shopf/index.html

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  3. Excellent! Thanks for the recommendations. I'm currently looking at their site - and they do ship to the UK, which is wonderful! It will b good to be able to buy Japanese tea directly from Japan, as the only Japanese tea I've had before has been bought from UK companies - and so the price, as well as the quality, has been less than satisfactory usually. When I was studying in China, a Japanese classmate received a 'care package' from Kyoto, and I was lucky enough to be able to try some of the sencha her parents sent, and it was absolutely wonderful! So I'm very excited about the prospect of buying from Ippodo Tea. Thanks again ^-^

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  4. I’m glad that you loved the Japanese tea that you tried. I member when I tried some Chinese teas, I was fascinated with the richness and elegance of their aroma^^

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  5. I have tasted gyokuro, sencha, hojicha, genmaicha, matcha and sakura flower

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m glad to know that you enjoy different kinds of Japanese tea and sakura!

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  6. saw your online page and i love your sakura white teapot... i will check all your items... I have some japanese friends here in Mexico... regards Kohei

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting my blog and shop!

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