Japanese teas have multiple tea types.  Here are some characteristics by tea types.

 

Powder or Leaf?

Powder

For powder types, Japanese teas mainly include Matcha, Funmatsucha, and Konacha

Matcha is well known as tea for ceremony.  And nowadays you enjoy variety of Matcha taste food, such as ice cream and Matcha.  Therefore Matcha is the most popular among Japanese teas.  Then we think no need to introduce in this segment.

Funmatsucha is a powder tea made from Sencha.  As the original cultivation method is different, Matcha and Funmatsucha have different color, flavor, taste and nutrition.

Konacha is a byproduct in the process of making final tea products.  They are small pieces of tea leaves.  If you ate sushi in a fine Japanese sushi restaurant, you might already have it.  Because Sushi restaurants often offer Konacha as tea, by the name Agari.

Leaf

If you go for leaf style brewing, Japanese teas have more varieties.  In addition to the teas in the matrix below, Kabusecha, Bancha, and Houjicha are included in this category.

Kabusecha is between Gyokuro and Sencha.  Farmers grow tea leaves in the shade under screens like Gyokuro.  But Kabusecha receives more sunlight than Gyokuro.  And with this shading cultivation, it maintains more amino acids and caffeine than Sencha.

Bancha has a broad range of products.  Tea producers use a variety of tea leaves and have unique production processes depending on region.  Typically, fully grown leaves and stems are used to make Bancha.

Houjicha gives you a roasted aroma.  The tea is reprocessed from Sencha and Bancha.  The roasting process  extracts much of the caffeine from the tea leaves.

 

High grade or Average grade?

All tea types have different ranks.  Those ranks are made by farmers or producers.  They set their ranks among their tea leaves, and each of their criteria is different.  We hope you will find your favorite tea from our marketplace.

 

Taste or nutrition?

Taste

If you do not like bitterness or astringency, you may prefer a sweeter flavor and umami.  In this case, we recommend teas cultivated under shade.  Gyokuro, Matcha, Kabusecha contain greater levels of amino acids and caffeine (less catechin).

If you want a balance of sweet, umami, bitterness, astringency, let’s try Sencha and Tamaryokucha.  For Sencha, deep steamed takes 2-3 times longer steaming time than  standard Sencha.  Deep steamed Sencha makes umami richer and takes out grassy tastes and aromas.  Tamaryokucha has two types: steamed and roasted.  Roasted Tamaryokucha is the origin of Japanese teas.  Upon serving, the tea color is clear and offers a pan-parched flavor.  Other than the leaf shape, steamed Tamaryokucha has similarities in leaf color, flavor, and taste with Sencha.  It doesn’t go through processing  to make the leaf straight like a needle.  Because of this, the tea leaves are slightly curved.

Nutrition

If you want to compare the major natural chemical components by tea types, you can check this page.

Gyokuro

High quality luxury tea

Needle shaped

Deep green leaf color

Deep aroma from shading

Slightly blue & no saturation water color

Rich umami, sweet and slightly bitter taste

Matcha

Popular for drink and cooking

Fine powder

Bright dark green leaf color

Green laver aroma from shading

Thick green water color

Rich umami and sweet

Sencha(Standard)

Popular standard tea

Needle shaped

Bright dark green or dark green leaf color

Fresh young bud aroma

Bright yellow green water color

Good balance of umami, sweet, astringency, and bitteness

Sencha(Deep-Steamed)

Less grassy than Standard

More powdery than Standard

Bright yellowish green leaf color

Deep aroma and no grassy

Yellowish thick water color

Rich umami, no grassy, and pleasant aftertaste

Tamaryokucha(Steamed)

Similar to Sencha

Slightly curved

Bright dark green or dark green leaf color

Fresh young bud aroma

Thicker water color than Sencha(Standard)

Between Standard and Deep steamed Sencha

Tamaryokucha(Roasted)

Refreshing pan parched flavor

Curly shaped

Slightly whitish dark green leaf color

Pan parched aroma

Clear and slightly red water color

More refreshing, umami, and less bitterness, grassy taste