Japanese Green Tea. Why is it special?
Most types of Japanese green teas are briefly steamed vs. pan-fired Chinese tea styles. The heat has to be applied to halt oxidation process in tea leaves. The result is a vegetal, umami cup of tea, full of aroma and amino acids. Best of Japanese green teas have a distinctive bright emerald color and rich brothy flavor with subtle notes of seaweed and ocean iodine.
The Art Of Tea
Green tea is omnipresent in Japan. Once served only to Buddhist monks, aristocrats, and warriors, it became widespread. Now, it is a part of nation’s culture with its own traditions and rituals. Japanese Tea Ceremony is an ancient form of art and a spiritual way to commune with nature and with friends.
The Price Tag
Japanese green tea is not exactly cheap and there are some valid reasons for this. Japan is a small, densely populated country, hence the skyrocketing price of the agricultural land. Add to this labor cost of highly skilled tea workers and limited availability of Japanese tea. Japanese produce only about 10% of world green tea and leave most of it for themselves. Japanese tea constitutes less than 2% of all exported green tea in the world.
Types Of Japanese Green Tea
Most of the tea consumed in Japan is green and it is simply referred as ocha (tea). That being said, Japanese green tea has assorted types and flavors that vary significantly depending on numerous factors. Here are some of them:
- growing regions
- methods of production
- time of harvesting
- parts of the tea plant used for the tea production
Which Japanese green tea is the best?
The world of Japanese green tea is diverse, and we encourage you to get lost in it! But if you’re intimidated by the immense variety in flavor, texture and aroma (and of course the price of the tea), here’s a quick summary. If you like a sweet and mellow cuppa, go for a Japanese green tea that is grown in the shade. Popular choices are Gyokuro and Matcha, both featuring high levels of theanine. Gyokuro in particular is an exquisite umami-flavored tea, and is priced accordingly! If you prefer crisper notes, go for a refreshing cup of Sencha. This tea is grown in full sunlight and is rich in antioxidants. The Japanese have also developed creative green teas and tea blends using lower grade leaves, or by mixing twigs, stems or toasted grains with the tea leaves. Kukicha, Hojicha, and Genmaicha are popular examples.
One of the best brands that offers quality and authentic Japanese teas online is Art of Tea. You will not find a vast assortment of teas here, instead, there is a selective collection of premium products. This brand is not exactly cheap, but this is for a reason: only the best, highest quality Japanese teas here!
Here are two distinctive products that we love the most.
One is Matchasticks & Matcha Shaker Bundle. It offers you an easy way to make Matcha on-the-go. Great for travel or preparing tea in the office. It would make for an amazing gift to any tea lover.
Matchasticks & Matcha Shaker Bundle
Another absolute favorite is Kyoto Tea. The wedded bliss of Genmaicha and Matcha is delicious in this tea. We are obsessed with unique nutty flavor of roasted brown rice and savory taste. The brew smells amazing!
Here’s more Japanese tea options for you. All are offered by the most reputable tea brands online and consistently scoring positive customers’ reviews.