Teas of the World: Japanese Teas, Round 3

Matcha (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
Matcha (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

And here’s still more teas from Japan (continued from Round 1 and Round 2):

  • Maccha or Matcha — Powdered gyokuro whisked into water. It used to be reserved for the Japanese tea ceremony, but recently people began drinking it as an everyday tea and using it in cookies, cakes, and ice cream. See Matcha vs Dust-in-a-Teabag, Tea Review: English Tea Store’s Izu Matcha, The Growing Popularity of Matcha.
  • Mecha (“bud tea”) — Made from a collection of leaf buds and tips of the early crops;  harvested in Spring; made in same manner as rolled leaf teas that are graded somewhere between gyokuro and sencha in quality; renowned for its depth of flavor, considerable astringency, and bitter green aftertaste that makes it a good tea to drink after meals to cleanse the palate; the liquid has a clear, soft yellow appearance.
  • Mizudashicha — Gyokuro or Sencha leaves broken so they can be infused in cold water.
  • Mugicha (“roasted barley tea”) — Barley and corn roasted and then infused. This is not a green tea and contains no Camellia Sinensis leaves. Quite popular in Japanese restaurants. Called “boricha” in Korean.
  • Sencha (“roasted tea”) — Japan’s most famous tea, crafted from smaller leaves with a more refined taste; steamed then dried for a fresh, vegetal, yet naturally sweet flavor that’s lively on the tongue, assertive, and clean. Steep 1 minute or less using water that is much below boiling (about 165° F) in a tall, handleless cup or in a kyusu teapot. The infusion is green, not yellow, in the cup. See The Many Moods of Sencha, Pairing Tea and Food — Pomegranate Vanilla Scones and Sencha Tea, Making Sense of Sencha.
  • Tamaryokucha (“curly tea” or “guricha”) — Processed in the same way as regular sencha, but at the last stage the leaves are rolled, giving them a curly appearance. From southern parts of Japan; suitable for festive occasions. Berry-like, grassy, sweet taste and low in caffeine.
  • Tencha — A very special tea, rare even in Japan, used as the base tea for making powdered Matcha, dark green color and the flakes of tea are unique, made in the same way as gyokuro by drying without rolling. The brew is sweet and ethereal.
  • Tokumushicha — Specially deep-steamed leaf fragments, dispersed by extra-long (120 sec) stir-steaming.
  • Ujicha — From the small town called Uji in the Kyoto region.

Spreading appreciation for the distinct flavor of Japanese teas is quite a job but one that is seeing a lot of success. Part of this is spurred by the popularity of sushi and other Japanese cuisine here in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Give one of the teas listed in Round 1, Round 2, or here in Round 3 a try and you may find that you have a new favorite!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

4 thoughts on “Teas of the World: Japanese Teas, Round 3

  1. Pingback: 5 Signs That You’re “Going Anime” at Tea Time | Tea Blog

      1. James Kennedy

        I’ve just checked them out… this is a very comprehensive summary. I clearly have a lot of tea-tasting to do when I one day go to Japan 😀

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