There are many and many types of Japanese green tea available today. These varieties differ from each other based on cultivation method, harvesting conditions, steaming and processing methods, etc. each type holds its unique flavor, aroma, and benefits. Japanese Green Tea also offers many health benefits to your body. Below we are discussing only a few types that are popular and commonly used.
Sencha is the most common and popular green tea variety around Japan. It is made with a special process that makes it different from other varieties. Only the young leaves are chosen from late February to the end of May and are processed with a common method. The leaves are steamed, rolled, and dried, resulting in a uniquely flavored and textured crude tea. It perfectly balances the acidity and sweetness of green tea. It is high in Vitamin C too. Due to its delicate sweetness and mildly astringent flavor, and people enjoy drinking it every day.
Fukamushi 茶 深蒸し茶
Fukamushi is the same as the Sencha, but the difference lies in the steaming process. The name Fukamashi also means “steamed for a long time.” It is steamed twice longer than sencha which results in withered and powdery leaves that allow more flavor to seep through and result in a darker color. The taste remains sweet but also moderate and the aroma doubles and gives you rich fragrance. Its unique characteristic is that it holds many active components that easily get absorbed in the body even if it does not dissolve in water. It is light on the stomach, too, despite the richness.
It is picked from the same plant as Sencha. The picking of sencha takes place in February to end May, and then later in June, August, and October, new buds emerge from the same plant. These are tougher as compared to the last picking and mainly include upper stems and some leaves. It has less fragrance and astringent level as compared to Sencha and makes a great after-meal drink. It is best against tooth decay and halitosis due to high calcium levels in it.
Matcha Green Tea 抹茶
The matcha green tea is widely popular not only in Japan but around the globe too. It is recognized by its vivid green color and earthy fragrance. It has a harvesting and processing method. Before harvesting, the tea plants remain in the shade, strengthening the flavor, color, and caffeine level. It results in bright green color leaves, which have a higher caffeine percentage than other tea varieties. The tea leaves are only steamed and then dried and do not include rolling in the process. It is then grounded into a fine powder, which is the final form and called match, the unpowdered form is known as tencha. The leaves completely dissolve into the drink or dish which allows you to consume its whole flavor and nutrients. There are several places to buy matcha tea online but japanesegreenteain.com is the best place to buy.
Gyokuro green tea, also known as Jade Dew, is the best quality green tea and famous for its rich taste and fragrance. Its harvest process is almost the same as matcha. Before picking the leaves, the plant remains under a cloth or red screen for at least 20 days. Due to a lack of sunlight reaching the leaves, the leaves produce fewer catechins from the amino acid. In this way, it gives you rich flavor and low astringency level in green tea. It contains a lot of chlorophyll and caffeine nutrients and has unique umami and a slight seaweed taste. People who like their tea with a strong flavor, then this is a good pick.
The bancha and sencha leaves are roasted on high heat, approximately 200 degrees and then cooled instantly. The new form turns into brownish leaves, which are known as hojicha. It is rich in savory fragrance and taste and contains relatively low caffeine and tannin particles due to the roasting process. The mild taste of tea and little to no caffeine level is best for little children, older people, and patients recovering from illness. You can enjoy this light, clear, and less bitter green tea after dinner.
Genmaicha got its name from the Japanese word for brown rice, the rice grain, which still has bran coating. Brown rice is soaked, steamed, roasted, and popped and later mixed with Sencha tea leaves in a 50:50 ratio. This new form of green tea is known as Genmaicha. It combines the savoriness of roasted rice and freshness of sencha leaves and makes one great cup of green tea full of health benefits. Sencha leaves include caffeine, but by mixing it with brown rice, the level drops down and results in a healthier version. It is suitable for children and the elderly.