> Tea Guide

Tea Guide

  A note for those new to gourmet teas: Fine teas can be compared to fine wines, they may all look the same but there are some very subtle differences in taste, color, nutritional value, and aroma. Also it can be said that it is not necessarily the fact that the most expensive product is the best one for you. If you are new to Japanese teas and experimenting we suggest starting with a mild mid-priced tea so that you may develop a understanding of that tea type, then branch out and discover what is best for you.

When you find a tea you are interested in please click on its name and browse our selection

Matcha - While we drink only a part of nutrition from tea made with tea leaves, with Matcha we can consume the entire nutrition of Green Tea and attain its health benefits. Matcha is not only used for the tea ceremony, but also for cooking and various desserts and drinks. Matcha contains relatively high caffeine level. The way to distinguish the quality of a matcha is by its color. The more vivid and greener the color is, the higher quality and fresher it is.

Sencha - Its name means infused tea. This is the every day green tea of Japan. You can find it in some form in most Japanese households. Sencha have the strongest potency of all Japanese teas in Vitamin C, and Vitamin B2 (aka Riboflavin, which helps formulate the red blood cells). This tea contains a moderate to high caffeine level.

Genmaicha - It is a blend of Sencha and roasted brown rice. The light brown hue has rich toasty taste. Many Japanese have been consuming this tea as a natural appetite suppressant. Its caffeine level is normal, but has a high level of Vitamin B1, which helps burn more calories in our body.

Gyokuro - Drops of Jade is what Gyokuro literally means in Japanese. A high prized Japanese Green Tea, which is rich to the taste and very pleasing to the eye. When the tea plants are covered a few weeks before the harvest, they produce a glutamine acid that sweetens the taste of the tea. Gyokuro is that tea with a very special taste. Gyokuro is called the "King of Teas." For best tasting, boil the water and cool it around 50 degrees. Gyokuro's natural sweetness and its high caffeine level helps our body system for better blood circulation, eliminate sleepiness and revitalize various body functions.

Uji - It's named after a region in Kyoto. This is a very select green tea only grown in Uji Kyoto. Uji have a strong potency in Vitamin C, and Vitamin B2 (aka Riboflavin, which helps formulate the red blood cells). This tea contains a moderate caffeine level. This tea's flavor is a cross between Gyokuro and Sencha. Slightly sweeter and gentler than sencha, yet deeper flavor than Gyokuro. This tea leaves a refreshing after taste of sweetness.

Fukamushi - This sencha is one of the most popular Japanese green teas in tradition. "Fukamushi" meaning "deep steamed". Fukamushi senchas undergo longer steam processing than standard senchas. The longer steam processing allows smooth passage of the stems and leaves which extracts the refined flavor tones. Typically atringent in taste with lingering aroma and beautiful amber color.

Tamaryokucha - Its name means coiled green tea, because the shape it obtains after processing. Tamaryokucha have a strong potency in Vitamin C, and Vitamin B2 (aka Riboflavin, which helps formulate the red blood cells). This tea contains a low caffeine level. This tea's flavor is sweet and mild, with strong floral fragence and flavor. When processed the leaves are steamed then rolled to obtain its unique shape. The sweetness comes from the tea not reaching as high temperatures in processing and being hand arranged instead of mechanically done. Read more on its History and Origins

Hojicha - The tea was first harvested in the Kyoto region of Honshu peninsula in the early 20th century by a tea merchant. The larger leaves of tea plant are roasted to achieve a very grassy and strong flavor. No astrigency is present. Houjicha has the lowest caffeine level, but its unique aroma helps some people from sleepiness. Some researchers say it prevents puffiness.

Japanese Black Tea - This tea has recently gained substantial popularity in Japan. The production of Japanese black tea started in Mariko, Shizuoka, Japan. Its production is very limited and unpredictable, but its only made from the highest quality tea, thus it is typically valued as a rare delicacy. Though it is likely to expand production due to this popularity, hopefully reducing costs, and increasing availability. Japanese black tea unlike other black teas is known for its extremely smooth flavor and lack of bitterness. Therefore, it is most often served without the need of sweetener or milk. Its caffeine content is quite high, about double that of the same quantity of matcha. Read more on its History and Origins

Kukicha - This tea is mainly composed of stems and twigs of the tea plant along with the tea leaves. Kukicha is a cousin to hojicha, the main difference being that kukicha is not roasted. Kukicha has a mildly nutty, and slightly sweet flavor. This tea also has a very low caffeine level similar to that of hojicha.

Bancha - A Kind of tea made from coarse leaves, usually picked late in the season. This tea produces a light yellow hue and a toasty taste. Bancha was the driniking tea for common people in Japan until Sencha was introduced sometime during the Edo Era. Bancha is naturally high in vitamin C, and has a moderate caffeine level.

For brewing and storage information please visit our Proper Brewing page

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