Japan is known for green tea, in fact, most of the tea produced and consumed in Japan is green tea. It differs from Chinese green tea because of different processing techniques. One especially unique Japanese technique is the steaming of harvested leaves to halt the oxidation.
Rona Tison, green tea expert and Vice President of Ito En tea company, discussed the five main Japanese teas to an audience of tea lovers at the San Francisco International Tea Festival 2014. Here’s what I learned about them at her presentation:
|Photo by Hattie Hagedorn|
|Photo by Masa Sinreih in Valentina Vivod|
|Photo by Chahltd|
|Photo by A Girl With Tea|
So, what is it about Japanese teas that I like? Perhaps the flavor of the steamed leaves, or the thick liquor of a whipped brew of powdered matcha, or the savory notes when roasted rice is mixed in, or perhaps just the beautifully refined cha-no-yu culture. For me it’s all good.
Tison's presentation was a good start for my forays into Japanese teas. Explore for yourself, if you haven’t already. Here’s a link to a video where Christine Savage, tea expert at the Samovar Tea Lounge, introduces several types of Japanese green teas. She gives a great overview on how the teas are processed and what their particular characteristics are.
|Click the image for link to video.|
- Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties, by The Camelia Sinensis Tea House (Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, Hugo Americi. Firefly Books Ltd, 2014, p.90
- Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties, by The Camelia Sinensis Tea House (Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, Hugo Americi. Firefly Books Ltd, 2014, p.116