Did you know that all the tea is made from the leaves of exactly same tea plant, Camellia sinensis? They might be grown in different countries in different climates, but yes, English Breakfast tea, Japanese Sencha tea, Chinese Oolong tea or Sri Lankan Ceylon tea … any tea is from the same leaves. The difference is just the process of how to make them from leaves into a tea. I found it very fascinating that the same tea leaves can taste so different just by how it is treated.
In Japan we have several types of tea. Unlike Chinese tea most of Japanese tea is steamed and unfermented. That is why it has kept a clean green colour and aroma with lighter flavour. Some of the famous ones are as follow.
- Sencha (generally drunk, very good with Japanese sweet)
- Bancha (everyday use, slightly brown colour and mild taste)
- Gyokuro (higher graded tea with more process in growing)
- Matcha (powdered tea normally used for ‘Tea Ceremony’)
- Hojicha (roasted tea, reddish brown colour and aromatic)
- Genmaicha (green or brownish tea with dried rice grain, aromatic)
These are the most known types of Japanese tea. I personally drink either ‘Sencha’ or ‘Hojicha’ normally and occasionally ‘Matcha’ when I have a good Japanese sweet. In summer time we have chilled tea called ‘Mugicha‘ but this is made from roasted Barley and not from Tea plant.
I am amazed these days that lots of people started knowing about Japanese tea. Many people believe the great health benefit factor especially in Green Tea.
‘Matcha’ is a Powdered Japanese Green Tea which we traditionally use for Tea Ceremony. Only the soft part of young leaves are carefully picked, steamed, dried without fermentation and powdered. I thought Matcha would be the least tea Western people could be interested but I was wrong. More and more people are liking Japanese tea especially ‘Matcha’ Green Tea and know it as ‘Matcha’ in Japanese. That is amazing!
Another amazing thing is that it became so much easier to get ‘Matcha’ outside of Japan. You can find it in a Japanese food shop of course but even a local health food shop sells it nowadays. If you don’t know where to get it, buying it from on-line shop is the easiest choice.
One of the online shops with a good selection of Matcha Green Tea I found is Grace & Green. Great thing about this shop is that all their Matcha tea is Organic.
Happy Teatime 🍵