Nihoncsa – japán teák
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Classification Criteria:

- Producing LOCALITY = prefecture ( town {its 'quality-brand tea' (=MEICHA) or local special tea*} ) selection:

Aichi ( Nishio {maccha} ) , Fukuoka ( YAME {gyokuro} ) , KAGOSHIMA {sencha} , Kochi {Goishicha*} , Kyoto ( UJI {Kyoobancha*, gyokuro, maccha} ) , Mie {sencha} , Miyazaki {Aoyagicha*} , Nara {bancha} , Saga ( URESHINO {kamairi} ) , SHIZUOKA ( Hamamatsu {koocha}, Kawane {sencha}, Okabe {gyokuro} ) , Saitama ( SAYAMA {sencha} ) , Toyama {Batabatacha*}...

- Picking SEASON (earlier season gives better tea - later: more sunlight increase tea bitterness / seasons differ with latitude and elevation):
1) ICHIBAN-CHA (=SHINCHA) - 1st sprouts picking (50% of year' harvest) - around beginning of MAY
2) NIBAN-CHA - 2nd picking (35%) - around beginning of JUNE (or later)
3) SANBAN-CHA - 3rd picking (optional) - around beginning of AUGUST
4) YONBAN-CHA - 4th picking (optional/ usu.suspended) - around beginning of OCTOBER

- Growing, Harvesting & Crude-Green-Tea (=ARACHA) Manufacturing Methods (heating, kneading, drying):
A) tea from COVERED FIELD (OOI-CHA {Covered-Tea} = shaded for less or more days before picking - to increase leaf surface, resulting in higher content of amino-acids, chlorophyll, carotenoids, caffeine...):
1) under DEEP SHADE (c.5% of full sunlight):

a) UNROLLED (for grinding) = tencha (for maccha)

2) or under WEAK SHADE (of shorter period) = kabuse
B) or from OPEN FIELD:
1) PARCHED (std., deep) = (kamairi-sei) tamaryokucha, bancha
2) or STEAMED (low, std., deep):

a) (ROUND-) ROLLED = (mushi-sei) tamaryokucha
b) or ROLLED WITH NEEDLE-SHAPING (swing-rolling) = sencha

3) or BOILED =(bancha)

- Refining Methods (sort, cut, re-fire (low, std., strong), blend : uniform dry tea, long storage, better flavour):

A) HON-CHA {'main-tea'} SORTED OUT fine leaves (=sencha, gyokuro, kabuse, tencha, tamaryoku)
B) DEMONO h {'secondary-tea' (by-product)} = kukicha & yanagi & mecha, konacha (& soft dust)

- Re-processing Methods (mix, grind, roast, compress,... extract, decaffeinate...)

KAKOO-CHA d {(Re-)Processed Tea} =genmaicha, funsai-cha, hoojicha, dancha,...

- SPECIAL: Growing (Cultivar), Picking or Manufacturing, Quality Grades, Packaging, (Company) Brand Names,...:

Tea-plant cultivars : YABUKITA {'Grove-North'}, ...
Operations by hands (TEZUMI {hand-picking}, TEZUKURI {hand-made}, TEMOMI {hand-rolled}...)
HAKKOO-CHA {fermented teas} (late-plucked mature leaves / twigs):
= GOISHICHA* - deep-steamed, cover-piled, weigh-down-pickled, cut to flat lumps & sun-dried
= BATABATACHA* - steamed & late-fermented...
Quality : FUTSUU- {common},... JOOKYUU- {high grade}...
Special packaging: PURE MACCHA GREEN TEA CAPSULES (soluble capsule from gelatine with tea-powder dose for easy handling)...
Names : Tenka ichi (gyokuro) {No.1 under heaven} , Hoo'oo (gyokuro) {"Phoenix" (mythical bird appearing when peace prevail)} , Unro (sencha) {Cloud-dew} , Chatsuujin (sencha) {Tea-expert} , Unkaku (maccha) {Cloud-crane} , Tsuki no shiro (maccha) {Moon's white} , Nishiki no shiro (maccha) {Brocade white}...


The representation of GREEN TEAs. About 85% of Japanese teas are SENCHA.
The higher class teas are better to the taste and smell.

  1. Pour boiled water into tea cups which is the same number of persons, and cool them down to about 70 to 90 °C. It is better to use 70 °C for high class teas.
    You may also warm the pot up by using this water.
    The quantity of water is about 60 or 90ml per each (It is better to use less water for high class teas).
  2. Put about 2g of tea for each persons into the pot.
  3. Pour the water into the pot, and wait about 60 seconds.
    Pour the water to the cups little by little in turn, as all cups are made same.
  4. The last drop of tea is good taste, so you never leave the water in the pot.
  5. You can serve the second tea by using other cooled water and waiting 10 seconds.


High-quality green teas raised for less bitter and better taste by avoiding direct rays and manuring about 3 times than SENCHA. GYOKURO means "the dew of jewels".

  1. Pour boiled water into pot and cooled it down to 50 to 60 Ž. This also means to warm the pot up.
    In the case of GYOKURO, the water for one person is only 20 ml. (The exclusive pot and cups are very small as shown above).
  2. Pour the water in the pot into cups. This also means to warm the cups up. Throw away if the water left in the pot.
  3. Put about 3g of tea for each persons into the pot.
  4. Pour the water into the pot, and wait about 2 to 2 and half minutes.
  5. Pour the water to the cups little by little in turn, as all cups made same. Then serve them with Japanese cakes.
  6. You can serve the second tea by using other cooled water and waiting 30 seconds.


Same way as SENCHA, except to use more and hotter water. Use about 130 to 150 ml of boiled water per each persons.


Same way as SENCHA, except to use more water. Use about 130 to 150 ml per each persons.

Matcsa = őrölt zöld tea, tealiszt, teapor

Powdered green teas which are raised by similar way to GYOKURO and are ground by hand mills. MACCHA is made with bowl and tea wisk (CHASEN).

  1. Pour boiled water into a tea bowl and stir the water by a tea whisk to warm the bowl and the whisk up.
  2. Throw the water away and wipe the bowl to dry it.
  3. Put about 2g of MACCHA into the bowl, and pour 100 ml of boiled water in it.
  4. Mix the water and MACCHA by a tea whisk to bubble the water. It is better that the bubbles are smaller.
  5. Burst the big bubbles and make the surface of the tea good condition.
  6. Serve it with a sweet Japanese cake.

Types of sencha tea

Sencha tea can be graded according to the quality of the tea leaves used into top-grade gyokuro tea, regular tea and bancha tea. Another popular type of tea is hojicha tea which is made from roasted tea leaves.

These types of sencha tea are all brewed the same way, by spooning them into tea pots, adding hot water and leaving them to steep.

Regular tea

Regular sencha tea has a light greenish-yellow tint and a good balance in flavor between pleasing astringency and sweetness.

(Supplement) Bancha tea, which is made from coarse tea leaves, has a more yellowish tint and a more astringent taste.

This is the most common tea. The tea leaves for regular sencha tea account for about 80 percent of all Japanese green tea including maccha tea leaves. The deeper the green of the leaves, the higher in grade.

Gyokuro tea

Gyokuro tea is strongest in both fragrance and flavor. A deep yellowish-green in tint, it is thick and smooth on the tongue and has a pleasing, slight astringency and sweetness.

It is made from the choicest, tenderest leaves, which are protected with blinds (usually made of straw) for a few weeks during the last stage of cultivation.

Hojicha (roasted) tea

Hojicha tea has a clear, light reddish-brown tint and a robust, roasted fragrance and flavor.

The leaves for hojicha tea are made by roasting regular sencha and bancha leaves until they turn brown. The roasting gives the tea a smoky fragrance and flavor.

Tea leaves


Tea trees bud from late April to early May. At first farmers pick young buds and fresh leaves. And then farmers steam and crumple them by hand or by machine. Finally farmers dry them. Steaming and crumpling fresh tealeaves ruins the oxidizing enzyme. But steaming and crumpling make it possible to keep aroma, color, and Vitamin c. There are the most various kinds of Sencha. Japanese drink Sencha in our daily life. Its leaves grow bigger and bigger under the sunshine. And their leaves grow thick and deep green and smell strong. Sencha tea tastes strong compared with Gyokuro. Sencha also contains vitamin c that is hard to be broken down by heat. Sencha contains catechin, a sort of tannin, that has strong sterilizing effects. Sencha draws many peoplefs attention because of its strong effects against Verotoxin-producing Esherichia coli.also known as O-157. Many students of primary school died two years ago because of O-157 found in their school lunches.


Gyokuro is the one of the highest quality tealeaves. The farmers carefully select old and excellent teatrees. The farmers monitor the fertilization, cultivation of the tea trees and adapt to changing conditions daily. The farmers cover the field of Gyokuro tealeaves with black screens made of a ditch reed or rush twenty days before they pick tealeaves. The farmers block the sun's rays with black screen and pick the buds of the Gyokuro tealeaves. They steam and knead them on the day they pick them.

Gyokuro tealeaves contain more Amino Acid ( a kind of pigment ) compared with Sencha tealeaves, while Gyokuro tealeaves contain less Tannic Acid and other substances that taste rough and sharp. So Gyokuro tea looks bright green and tastes uniquely sweet. The unique taste of Gyokuro and Sencha is often compared to man and woman. The taste of Sencha is generally described as being strong man while the one of Gyokuro is like a kind woman. The total yield of Gyokuro tealeaves is limited. Because it requires long labor to cover a vast field of tealeaves with the screens and pick young buds of Gyokuro by hand.


A farmer roasts Bancha tealeaves approximately for seven minutes at one hundred seventy degrees centigrade by machine. Houjicha smells delicious. Tealeaves of Bancha, Kawayanagi, Kukicha or the medium quality of Sencha are ingredients of Houjicha. If you drink Houjicha as soon as you roast tealeaves, you can enjoy the wonderful aroma. If you roast it in your house, you can enjoy the strongest aroma. If you buy Houjicha at the tealeaves shops, you are recommended to buy it by a little at once and at the shops where the tealeaves are actually roasted on the spot. It is like ice cream and chocolate. The nearer it is to being manufactured, the better it is.


The farmers pick the first leaves for Gyokuro and Sencha. The last leaves are left for Bancha. The process of making Bancha tea is almost the same as for Sencha tea. The dry Bancha tea includes many hard leaves, stalks and stems. Bancha tea has a peculiar flavor that is different from Gyokuro and Sencha tea. Bancha is consumed as everyday tea.


Leaves and thin stems of Sencha and Gyokuro tealeaves become ingredients of Kukicha tea. We also call Kukicha Karigane. Its taste is different from only the tealeaves and very unique. Many people love its taste.


Sencha or bancha tea leaves and roasted unpolished rice compose Genmaicha. The mixture ratio of unpolished rice depends on the tea store. But many stores have added the roasted rice to half the amount of leaves.


The tea dust comes out while a farmer processes sencha and gyokuro tea leaves. Sushi shops service kocha tea. More fine dust than kocha tea becomes industrial material for caffeine.


The same kind of tea tree as gyokuro is used. The process of Maccha tealeaffs growing and the methods of blocking the sunrays are the same as gyokuro tea leaves. But first Maccha tealeaves are steamed and are not crumpled. But each leaf is spread and dried in the sun. They grind tealeaves into powder with fine grade stone mill. The stems and stalks are removed and only tealeaf blades are used. The powdered tea can become bad easily. When you buy the powdered tea at the shop, you should not buy much at one time. You are recommended to buy powdered tea a little at a time at the shop where it is ground into powder. The difference between thick and thin tea depends on the place and the process of the cultivation, which causes a different taste of each tea.


Kawayanagi is medium and large seized tealeaf. A farmer sifts out the large tealeaves that are left on the sifter during the process of making of Sencha tealeaves. Kawayanagi ranks as a medium quality Sencha tealeaf and as the highest quality Bancha tealeaves.

Powdered tea(Chanoyu)

Matcha(powdered tea)

The same kind of tea tree as gyokuro is used. The process of Matcha tealeaves growing and the methods of blocking the sunrays are the same as gyokuro tea leaves. But first Matcha tealeaves are steamed and are not crumpled. But each leaf is spread and dried in the sun. They grind tealeaves into powder with fine grade stone mill. The stems and stalks are removed and only tealeaf blades are used. The powdered tea can become bad easily. When you buy the powdered tea at the shop, you should not buy much at one time. You are recommended to buy powdered tea a little at a time at the shop where it is ground into powder. The difference between thick and thin tea depends on the place and the process of the cultivation, which causes a different taste of each tea.

There are various kinds of green tea. Green tea of different flavor and aroma is produced depending upon how it is cultivated and processed.In this chapter, we would like to introduce to you nine typically dofferent kinds of green tea such as Sencha and Gyokuro. (Please read Chapter 2 for the right way to brew it.)

The name Sencha is said to be derived from the way it was originally drunk, that is, by decocting in Japanese word of SENJIRU. The leaves are first steamed and then hand-rubbed and dried. This is the most popular kind of tea among the Japanese and consists about 80% of all Green tea produced in our contry.The trees are not covered with a shade so that their leaves contain a high percentage of Caffein, Tannin and well-balanced Vitamins and are particularly rich in Vitamin C.
High quality Sencha leaves have a beautiful green color and the shape of thin straight needles. The latter is the result of a skilled and elaborate handiwork of rubbing which helps the components to be readily dissolved into hot water. When poured into a cup, Sencha is colored bright yellow. Its aroma is light and refreshing and its taste a perfect harmony of sweetness and bitterness.
For these qualities, Uji Sencha has been tea lovers' most popular choice in our country.

Gyokuro tea leaves are picked from the trees that are cultivated under a shade. When new leaves start shooting, the whole field is covered with a reed shade over which are spread straws. (Nowadays straws made of synthetic resin sometimes take the place of natural ones.) By doing so, we can control the photosynthetic activies in tea leaves to a certain point at which Vitamins composed in the leaves and nutritions absorbed from the roots attain their maximum level. Because it contains a higher percentage of amino acid,Gyokuro is richer in taste and because it has less Tannin, Gyokuro tastes milder and more refined. 15 days after the field is covered, tea leaves are picked and processed in the same way as Sencha.
In order to enjoy this highest quality tea to the full, we would advise you to let it linger on your tongue, and that only a sip or two, while its rich and sweet flavor fills you palate to your satisfaction.
Let us give you another advice for the same purpose. Use smaller sized tea pots and cups exclusively for preparing Gyokuro.

Why is it that some people are good at making an especially delicious tea while you are not? For those who have had too little time to learn how to best brew Green tea so far, let us help you become a master tea maker yourself. Here are some useful information you can start making use of from today !

Preparation 1
The key to success : Water and its Temperature
Water is of primary importance. An ideal choice should be Natural water or Soft mineral water. For daily use, however, taking into account the cost of purchasing bottled water, we would like to show you how to make your tap water fit for brewing tea. Most of the European mineral water is hard water, therefore should never be used for brewing Green tea. It is essential, first of all, to remove chroline contained in tap water. If possible, put the water into a pot and leave it as it is for one or two hours before boiling. When the water has started boiling, take a lid off and be sure to let it continue to boil for a few minutes. If you use an electric pot, reset it to boil a few times. A proper temperature of water varies according to the kind of tea you use. Let it cool off till it reaches at the right temperature : another essential for you to keep in mind.

Preparation 2
Different tea pots and cups for different kinds of tea
Through hundreds years of experience, we have learned that a certain kind of tea tastes best when brewed in a certain type of pot and served in cups likewise.


  1. Adding new tea leaves for a second brew.
    Throw away the old ones and do not ever mix with new leaves. The flavor of the new leaves will be absorbed by the old ones.
  2. Leaving some unpoured water in the pot.
    Pour the water to the last drop. In this way, a good flavor will be retained in a second and a third brew.
  3. Making a second brew some time after the first.
    A second brew should be made immediately after the first. Do not let the used tea leaves sitting in the pot.
  4. Keeping tea leaves in a wrong place.
    Tea leaves absorb the smell of other things easily. Take great care to keep them properly stored. Unopened packages should be kept in the freezer and not be opened before they have been out of the freezer long enough to be warmed up to the room temperature. Once opened, they should be put in an air-tight container and kept in the refrigerator.


Green tea contains bio-active agents within.No matter how carefully you preserve it, after a certain period of time, the quality begins to deteriorate. The package may tell you BEST BEFORE, but it is always better to use it up within one month once it is opened. Do not buy more than you can consume in one month. Make a little more frequent visit to your tea shop and you will always enjoy drinking Green tea that is fresh and flavorful.

On special occasions and for daily tea breaks,
give yourself and your guest a treat you deserve
by having Uji Tea on your table.

Gyokuro : for an important guest and for your special
personal pleasure.
As the name "Drops of jade" indicates, Gyokuro should be drunk at a very small sip, practically a few drops at a time, which will be enough to surprise you with its rich aroma and mellow sweetness. There is no more cordial welcome you can give to your guest than a cup of Gyokuro. Why not send it as a gift, too ? It will certainly be received with a great pleasure and gratitude. Give yourself a gift of luxurious moment sometimes with a cup of Gyokuro at home, alone and with your family.

Sencha : a necessity of your social and personal life
Sencha is less sweeter than Gyokuro but has a moderate sweetness and a pleasant degree of bitterness which will cleanse the palate after a meal and after a night's sleep. Have a cup befeore breakfast and enjoy a perfect ending of your meal with another cup, till not later than evening meal. Enjoy sharing a lovely Sencha tea time with your guests and friends.

Genmaicha : refreshing with and after a heavy dish
A combination of the flavor of Green tea and the aroma of roasted brwon rice is a well-liked characteristic of this tea. It has a light and refreshing taste that goes with a heavy dish. Enjoy easy-to make Genmaicha with a meal as well as after the meal.

Hoji-cha : for your late evening comfort
Pour a very hot water into the pot, and the aroma of Hoji-cha will immediately come wafting out. It is an irresistible sort of smell that roasting produces which you already know from your experience. As it has little stimulant, there is no concern of its preventing you from having a good night's sleep.