Understanding Japanese Green Tea

Learn about the different types of Japanese Greens from field to cup.

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In this video, we give you the lowdown on all the different types of Japanese Green teas from Sencha and Bancha all the way to the lofty Gyokuro. After watching us exploring the farms and producers of Japan you will know all the basics of Japanese tea and will decipher a tea menu with ease.

Japanese Green tea are quite rightly revered worldwide as some of the best tea on Earth. They are very different from Chinese Greens and has reflections in the differences in the two cultures.

Artisan Chinese tea is all about individual craftsmanship and a hundred different ways to make a tea whereas in Japan they have raised the overall quality level through standardisation and exacting control over every process. Interestingly, tea made in Taiwan seems to blend the two approaches!

The use of technology and a production line approach to maintain efficiency and reduce unwanted variability is something which the Japanese are famous for and it certainly produces tea which is crafted to fit an exacting flavour profile - rich with natural theanine and fresh minerality. The Japanese farmers are some of the most exacting producers we have ever witnessed and it is admirable how they control all of the elements to continually produce high quality tea despite nature's variables.

The issue that Japan is facing is that this approach engenders inflexibility and as the teahead's excitedly search for exclusive and small batch tea with individuality, the Japanese tea sales are stalling. Thankfully the farmers are making changes and more Black and Oolong tea experimentaion is happening. I am excited to watch this area of the market bring them success.

But whatever the future of other tea types, Japanese Greens are undisputed kings in the tea world and we thoroughly enjoyed sampling our way through the country.

To taste the tea sourced in the video click on these links:

Kanaya Midori Sencha

Okumidori Gyokuro

Uji Hikari Matcha

Genmai Matcha

Houjicha

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