Last Updated on 07/01/2019 by Desmond
The so-called Japanese tea is a general term for traditional tea in Japan. Among them, the most common is Sencha, in addition to Gyokuro, Bancha, Hojicha and so on.No matter which kind of tea, is processed from the tea tree.
Types of Japanese Tea
In Japan, the most common type of tea is “Sencha.” “Sencha” in a broad sense refers to all Japanese teas except Matcha, but if viewed from the cultivation method and quality of tea, it refers to the tea between the high-level tea Gyokuro and the low-level Bancha tea.
It may say, Gyokuro, Sencha, and Bancha are different kinds of tea. Gyokuro and Sencha are cultivated in different ways; Sencha, which processed from the young leaves of the tea trees, and Bancha is processed from the mature leaves.
The high-grade Gyokuro looks bright green, leaves are soft, and the leaf stalks will become needle shape(commonly known as “sword”) after rolling with fingers.
Gyokuro tea with a strong impact of fresh and sweet, accompanied by a special smell – the aroma from the covering process.
The shape of Sencha looks like needle, tight and feel heavy, less difference in length and thickness. The color is showy deep green, and the surface is bright. The tea leaves smell fresh(and something smell from baking). The drink tastes sweet and a little bitter, but the two tastes are harmonious, make you feel clean and fresh.
Took from the open air tea garden, the leaves relatively thick and mature, not suitable for processing for Sencha. Use the same way with Sencha processing, but compared with other kinds of tea, it is relatively low-grade.
Hojicha tea is made by baking Sencha tea and Bancha tea and is divided into several grades according to the quality of raw tea. Baking significantly reduces bitterness and gives Hojicha tea a robust aroma, which is often served in winter restaurants.
So when we are talking about “green tea,” what “green tea” means
“green tea” originally meant tea that was non-fermented, in fact, almost all the tea in Japan is non-fermented tea. So all the Japanese tea can be called green tea.
Production Process of Japanese Tea
After the tea leaves are rolled, the tissue will be damaged and oxidized. However, because Japanese tea (green tea) is non-fermented tea, so to prevent the fermentation of tea, first of all, the picked tea should be immediately heated treatment, inhibit the fermentation of tea (fixation). In the fixation process, Chinese green tea is usually using the “Frying” way, while Japanese green tea generally using the “Steaming” way. “Steaming” is a unique way of fixation Japanese tea, and then through “Rolling” tea to shape, at the end to dry the tea after the production is completed.
Japanese tea picking time
Japanese tea is generally classified according to different picking periods:
Second Picked (June 1th – July 31st)
Third Picked (August 1th – September 10th )
Fourth Picked (September 11th – October 20th )
Autumn-Winter Picked (October 21th – December 31st)
Winter-Spring Picked (January 1th – March 9th)