Japanese Green Tea – 9 varieties of tea to try

It seems we in the West are finally learning that Japanese Green Tea is healthy and good for us. Choose the one you like from our nine varieties of Green Tea

Not just Green Tea, Japanese Green Tea

japanese green tea
The world of Japanese green tea is vast, with literally thousands of varieties, each featuring subtle differences in taste and aroma.

However, a fair number of those new to Japanese green tea, seem to be taking a strong dislike to the flavor.

But, if you don’t like the flavor the answer isn’t to give up on green tea but to try another type.

You may have mistakenly tried Chinese Green Tea or teabags from one of the brand name tea makers – a big mistake.

Nine Varieties of Japanese Green Tea to try …

Japanese Green Tea connoisseurs spend their lifes blending and tasting them, but that’s not for us.

All we need to do is sample some of the nine basic Japanese Green Tea types below.

Many are available at natural food stores and some supermarkets are starting to stock different varieties. Just find one you like and enjoy the taste along with the health benefits.

  • Matcha …

    • Drink Japanese Matcha Green TeaMatcha is the quintessential experience of Japanese green tea. It is made from skillfully cultivated, shade-grown tea leaves that have been meticulously stone-ground into a fine powder.

      To prepare Matcha, take a teaspoon of matcha and stir it vigorously with hot water using a bamboo whisk. Because it is made from the entire tea leaf, matcha has a bold, rich herbaceous flavor in the mouth. It is traditionally served with delicately flavored sweets to balance this intense flavor.

  • Sencha …

    • Drink Japanese Sencha Green Tea

      Sencha refers to a broad category of loose leaf green tea meant to be infused. Senchas can range from simple, unassertive teas that may be enjoyed daily to bolder teas.

      In general the top few tea leaves from the shoot are used since they are rich in flavor. The finished tea may consist of small, almost powdery particles, or long, delicate, slender strands. For the best balance of flavor and color, many senchas are a mix of leaves of different sizes and shapes. The final brew will be yellow-green to a deeper green in color. The taste will range from mellow with a hint of maize or wildflower to lively and herbaceous with a palate-cleansing astringency. Sometimes the leaves are deeply steamed to create a bolder sencha known as fukamushi-cha.

    • Gyokuro …

      • Drink Japanese Gyokuro Green TeaGyokuro translates as Jade Dew, referring to the deep green color of its leaves.

        An elaborate form of Sencha, Gyokuro leaves are meticulously shade-grown in the same manner as leaves for matcha. The shading creates a tea that is intensely rich in flavor and low in astringency. The intense labor required to produce Gyokuro, make it one of Japan’s most expensive teas.

      • Kabusecha …

        • Drink Japanese Kabusecha Green TeaKabusecha is similar to gyokuro in that it is also shade-grown, but for a shorter length of time.

          Its flavor lies between sencha and gyokuro, offering a mild sweetness and great depth of character.

        • Bancha …

          • Japanese Bancha TeaBancha is made from more mature leaves than sencha, picked during the later harvest season.

            Not as complex a flavor as sencha, but it is mellow and easy to drink. It is also low in caffeine and high in antioxidants, making it an ideal tea to drink daily.

          • Genmaicha …

            • Japanese Genmaicha TeaGenmaicha is one of the most popular Japanese green teas. It consists of a mix of roasted rice and either sencha or bancha tea. The roasted rice imparts a warm, toasty flavor to the green tea, creating a rich, smooth taste. Genmaicha’s popularity grew out of the lean war years when fresh tea was scarce and the small amounts available were mixed with rice to make it go further.
            • Hojicha …

              • Japanese Hojicha Tea

                takes its name from the Japanese words hoji, meaning roasted and cha meaning tea.

                The Hojicha story relates how a Kyoto tea merchant had a large stock of green tea that he was an unable to sell and instead of disposing of the tea, he roasted the tea leaves and offered free tastings to the public, who took an instant liking to it.

                To create hojicha, the finished tea leaves or stems are roasted for a few minutes, which turns them a dark brown color. The resulting tea has a smooth flavor with no astringency, making it ideal with to have with meals.

              • Kukicha …

                • Drink Japanese Kukicha Green Tea

                  Kukicha is a tea made mainly from stems, or kuki. Its flavor is vibrant with a mild astringency. Kukicha is often referred to in macrobiotic circles, but this is actually Hojicha made from stems.

                  Kukicha is strictly made from stalks produced by the harvesting of one type of bud and three types of tea leaf. The leaves go on to make gyokuro and high graded sencha. The main characteristics of Kukicha are its light flavour, and fresh green aroma with a very light yellow-green colour. For Kukicha drinkers, the thinner and less green the infusion; the higher the quality of the tea. The flavor of the best Kukicha tea is considered to be as good as the highest quality sencha. It is an inexpensive and an enthusiasts tea, rarely seen outside Japan.

                • Konacha …

                  • Drink Japanese Konacha Green Tea

                    Konacha is made from from fine, powdery tea leaves. It brews to a vibrant green and yields a clean, brisk taste. It cleans the palate and is often the recommended tea to have with sushi.

                    Konacha is the tea served by most sushi shops in Japan, because of its refreshing astringency.

                    While processing Gyokuro and Sencha, the components are categorized into three groups: stem, leaf and powder. Konacha is made from the powder and the small parts of the leaves. It is best brewed with steaming hot water and poured through a fine mesh strainer, which keeps the smaller parts of the tea leaves our of your cup. This tea is prepared quickly and is often used when large groups have to be served quickly.

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