Tea 201 – Why Japanese Greens Are Unique

Matcha Powder Tea 201   Why Japanese Greens Are Unique

Japanese Matcha

Japanese Tea.  Usually this means green tea of some kind but why is it so special?  Honestly, it is because the Japanese have come up with several different ways to process their little Camellia sinensis plant.

Like typical green tea, it is the least oxidized of all of the teasJapanese green teas are also steamed so that they can maintain their bright green color.  Then they’re prepared several different ways.

Sencha is the most popular green tea in Japan.  It is harvested in the early season.  It is created by grinding the tea leaves.  It represents about 80 percent of the tea produced in Japan.

Gyokuro is a high grade of green tea that is grown in the shade.  In fact, it is actually grown in the shade for at least twenty days.  There is actually a different type of green tea that is grown in the shade known as kabusecha.  This type of tea differs from Gyokuro only because it is shaded for approximately a week.

Matcha is the well known green tea powder.  The leaves are steamed, dried and then ground into powder.  This is the tea that mostly used in traditional Japanese Tea ceremonies.  Today matcha is also used to flavor and dye foods like mocha, soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety of Wagashi (Japanese confectionery).

Hojicha is made by roasting the green tea leaves unlike most Japanese green teas that are steamed.  The tea leaves are fired at a high temperature which alters the leaf color from green to reddish brown.

Genmaicha is a blend of green tea leaves and popped rice.  It is also known as popcorn tea because a few grains of the rice pop during the roasting process.  This type of tea was normally drunk by poor Japanese farmers because the rice acted as a filler for and reduced the price of the tea.

Bancha is a tea made from the leaves picked in the late summer.  That’s about all the difference between Bancha and Sencha.

What about you, dear readers? Have you tried the different Japanese green teas?  If so, what do you think? Which ones are your favorites?

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Morning Cup #34 – Sen Cha

MorningCup Morning Cup #34   Sen Cha

Today’s cup is a Sen Cha (Sencha) from Sugimoto USA.

This lightly grassy green tea grows up nice and comfortable. The pyramid sachet is used well here with nice sized leaves allowed to unfurl properly.

The aroma is grassy with a hint of spinach and artichoke. The flavor holds a mystery akin to fresh leeks.

mc 00034 Morning Cup #34   Sen Cha

Morning Cup #34

What’s in your cup?

Posted in Bagged Tea, Green Tea, Japanese Tea, Morning Cup, Tea, Tea Bags | No Comments »

Pineapple Guava (52teas)

Wednesday is Green Tea, White Tea, Rooibos, Oolong and Tisane (Herbal) Review Day!

I’ve  been on a fruit kick recently. I bought a big container of grapefruit. I’ve been eating apples constantly. And There’s this Pineapple Guava Green Tea from 52teas to close the chapter out!

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Posted in 52 Teas, Flavored Tea, Fruit Tea, Green Tea, Loose Tea, Reviews, Tea | 1 Comment »

Niagara Peach Sencha (Tropical Tea Co.)

Wednesday is Green Tea, White Tea, Rooibos, Oolong and Tisane (Herbal) Review Day!

Some days you want something strong in your cup, some days you want something light. This Niagara Peach Sencha from Tropical Tea Co. is certainly of the light variety.

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Posted in Flavored Tea, Fruit Tea, Green Tea, Loose Tea, Reviews, Tea, Tropical Tea Co. | No Comments »

Yanagi Style Sencha (Harney & Sons)

Wednesday is Green Tea, White Tea, Rooibos, Oolong and Tisane (Herbal) Review Day!

Japanese Sencha has many a style and flavor profile. Some are very grassy and bold. Others are light and sweet. One of my all-time favorites is the Yanagi style sencha which many say resembles the “needle” like leaves of the willow tree. Leading to it’s nickname “willow tea.”

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