There are countless blends of teas in Japan made by mixing the different basic types or even adding such things as cherry or plum blossoms to make unique or seasonal products. Here is just a brief look at some of the most common types of Japanese green teas.
The Most Common Types of Japanese Tea
Sencha Is the most common type of Japanese Green Tea and is brewed and served on a daily basis in most Japanese homes. Sencha is steamed and rolled soon after it is harvested.
Fukamushi Sencha Fukamushi Sencha is the same as Sencha but it is steamed two or three times longer.
Other than Sencha, there are many kinds of Japanese Teas. Below are some more common types of tea.
Gyokuro is made from from "Shinme" the first flush of tea leaves, and is shaded from sunlight for about 20 days before it is harvested and processed. Gyokuro is the highest quality tea available.
Tencha Tencha is of the same class as Gyokuro and is also kept shaded from the sunlight before harvesting. The main difference is that Tencha is not rolled.
Matcha Match is a fine powder made from Tencha and is dissolved in hot water rather than brewed like Sencha Teas. Matcha is recognized mostly for its use in the "Tea Ceremony".
Additionally, there is Kabusecha which is made from the second flush of leaves and is shaded from sunlight for 5 to 15 days before harvesting.
Bancha After the second flush of tea leaves are harvested, the tea plant continues to grow. Bancha tea is made from the later flushes of more firm leaves and stems. It is a coarse tea. The lower quality of Bancha makes it less expensive than Gyokuro and Sench. Bancha is also a popular and commonly served tea.
Houjicha is roasted after it is dried. It is made from the remains of Bancha. Houjicha is brown in color.
Genmaicha is a blended tea. It is made with Bancha, dry roasted brown rice and popcorn rice. It has a distinct and fragrant aroma.
Kukicha also called "stem tea" is actually what remains after sifting Gyokuro and Sencha. It has a light sweet taste and is very mild. It is often served with traditional Japanese snacks.
Konacha is a powdered tea and is usually made into tea bags. It is often served in Sushi restaurants.
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