What is gyokuro, sencha, matcha, etc.?
All green teas
come from the same Camellia sinensis plant. The differences
are in the way they are grown and harvested.
The most common green tea, about 75% of all teas harvested in
Japan is sencha. Healthy, aromatic, and delicious. Despite its
reputation as a "common" tea sencha is highly variable
in quality and price.
Gyokuro leaves are shaded from direct sunlight for approximately
3 weeks before the spring harvest. Removing direct sunlight in
this way enhances the proportions of flavenols, amino acids, sugars,
and other substances that provide tea aroma and taste. After harvesting
the leaves are rolled and dried naturally.
Gyokuro is slightly
sweeter than sencha and has is famous for its crisp, clean taste.
Matcha is finely ground gyokuro leaves.
from gyokuro in that the leaves are not rolled at all. After steaming,
the leaves are thoroughly dried. This is tencha. The tencha is
then ground into a superfine powder, and that powder is what is
known as matcha.
Tea Online carries 2 varieties and they vary in quality and price.
The health benefits for both of our matcha teas are about the
Matcha is the
tea of chanoyu (Japanese Tea Ceremony) and whips into a thick,
invigorating brew. An excellent morning tea, or an energizing
beverage before any form of aerobic exercise.
Genmaicha and Hojicha (Low Caffeine)
Genmai cha is sencha mixed with genmai (puffed brown
rice). Most genmai cha consists of low quality second harvest
Our genmai cha
is made from premium first-leaf sencha, genmai, and a pinch of
matcha. This low caffeine tea has a crisp, slightly nutty taste.
The pinch of matcha gives it an extraordinary bright green color.
Hojicha is roasted sencha leaves. The roasting gives the tea an amber color and reduces affeine. Aromatic and delicious.
In Japanese "shin" means new and "cha means tea.
Shincha is, literally, new tea. Shincha consists of tea
leaves that have been harvested and very lightly steamed immediately
Shincha has the
aroma of freshly picked leaves. Perishable and highly aromatic,
shincha is only sold at Japanese Green Tea Online from May through
July, or as long as supplies last.
Sencha and gyokuro
remain fresh year-round because of the way they are steamed and
stored under optimum conditions. Sencha and gyokuro teas that
are bought in January are just as fresh as teas bought in May
right after the harvest.
This is not the
case with shincha. Because it is so lightly steamed immediately
after the harvest true "shincha" is only available
at tea shops in Japan from May through July.
If you see shincha
at other shops during the winter it is not real shincha,
sencha. Tea growers only process a very small percentage
of their harvest as shincha. They take the same leaves and process
them as sencha.
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