Japanese Tea Varieties: A Primer

Gyokuro

The highest grade of green tea, gyokuro is brewed at lower temperatures than normal. It’s very rich and highly savory.

Sencha

This archetypal green tea is made with whole, dried leaves. Sencha has a balanced bitterness and refreshing aroma.

Houjicha

The leaves are roasted, producing a rich, nutty tea with a reddish-brown color.

Matcha

A finely ground powder that is whisked with hot water, this is the tea used in tea ceremonies. It’s rich, almost creamy, and full of flavor.

Mugicha

Cold-brewed from roasted barley, toasty mugicha is especially popular in summer.

Genmaicha

Dried green tea leaves are mixed with popped brown rice to give a nutty flavor.

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