Japanese Tea—More Than Just Green
In my parent’s house in a suburb of Tokyo, there are a couple of the tea trees. Trimmings of the tea leaves are picked two to four times a year in Japan — today we picked tea leaves and made green tea by ourselves this morning. How we enjoyed the rich flavor! The most popular Japanese tea is called sencha which refers to Japanese ryokucha and is made into the green tea beverage by infusing the processed whole tea leaves in hot water. Among the types of Japanese green tea prepared by infusion, “sencha” is distinguished from such specific types as gyokuro and bancha. It is the most popular tea in Japan, representing about 80 percent of the tea produced in Japan. The flavor depends upon the season and place where it is produced, but shincha (new tea) from the first products of the year, is considered the most delicious. Tea-picking in Japan begins in the south, gradually moving north with the traveling spring warmth. During the winter, tea plants store nutrients, and the tender new leaves which sprout in the spring contain concentrated nutrients. Why not try different types of ryokucha (Japanese tea) when you are in Japan? All the teas mentioned below are ryokucha aka green tea. ・matcha ・sencha ・gyokuro ・houjicha ・genmaicha Won’t you come and have a cup of tea with us?