Would you like to try the best green teas? I have prepared a Japanese teas list for you to choose from the best quality green teas in the world. Japan is a tea country, no doubt. It is a country that contributes to the top teas that we can enjoy.
They have regions that are especially appropriate for growing tea. Moisture from the fog and rich soil enables to grow the best tea. The high altitude of the mountains prevents insects to harm the tea crops.
Japan produces different types of green tea which differ in taste, aroma, and color. You can choose the type that suits your taste. These are 4 types that are popular these days to drink.
Sencha is a Japanese green tea, which is one of the most popular and recognizable drinks. It has a very strong aroma with a concise taste with a dominant note. It is particularly suitable for those who enjoy the aroma of the more powerful green teas.
Sencha has a higher amount of caffeine since it is harvested in the spring. It also contains a lot of antioxidants and is appropriate to drink in the morning.
Dispense a half of teaspoon of Sencha. Boil 2 dcl of water and cool it down to 70° C. Then pour it over the tea leaves. Wait for 2 minutes and strain. You can use the same leaves 2-3 times.
Macrobiotics introduced Kukicha tea to the West 40 years ago. It contains 10 times less caffeine than Sencha and is a perfect complement to a vegetarian diet.
How Japanese decrease the caffeine amount in tea? They do it by selecting only older twigs, which are harvested in autumn and winter. At that time the caffeine levels are low because the tea trees rest. They parboil the twigs, dry and keep them in the paper bags for 2-3 years. This way the drink develops the best flavor.
Then they cut and roast the twigs, so they obtain a characteristic sweet flavor reminiscent of hazelnuts. You can drink it at any time you want; it suits children and the elderly, who don’t tolerate so much caffeine. Cook Kukicha for 10 minutes on a very low heat and drink it slowly.
Gyokuro is a high-quality tea. They call it pearl dew. Japanese produce very little of this tea sort compared to Sencha. It takes up only a percentage of the total production of tea in Japan.
They shade the tea bushes with bamboo sheets during the sprouting buds, so that the young leaves develop in the shade. The gentlest young buds are harvested for this type of tea which are twisted by hands. Young buds contain a high amount of chlorophyll and amino acid L-theanine.
Gyokuro is distinctly green, cloudy, full-flavor drink, with a full aroma that is much less bitter than other Japanese teas. People of Japan drink Gyokuro on special occasions. They show attention and respect to their guests by serving it.
Matcha is a special type of Japanese green tea. The Japanese drink it on special occasions, where it is prepared in the traditional way.
It’s not the form of tea which we are used to; instead of tea leaves, you use grounded tea leaves or green tea powder for making this popular drink.
Matcha contains a lot of vitamin C and 5x more caffeine than coffee. We consume whole leaves from tea tree and not just extract from tea leaves, thus we consume more antioxidants.
Matcha has a specific nutty flavor with a slightly bitter note. The darker and richer is the shade of green, the stronger the aroma it has. It is very popular these days.
Japanese tea ceremony
Japan and China are the oldest nations in the world who are engaged in tea production. Tea is still an important part of Japanese popular culture with more than 1200 years long history. They have an old ritual, which tradition stayed the same since the 16th century, and is carried from generation to generation.
The ceremony is not reserved only for the high circles; all classes have it as a part of their daily lives. Tea has a very large impact on their culture.
It has an impact on religion, philosophy, poetry, architecture, flower arranging, painting, as well as crafts such as art carving, carpentry, and pottery.
Tea popularity and rich offer
Their relationship to tea and drinking tradition is deeply rooted. Japan is known for its fantastic and rich cultural heritage. If you visit this wonderful country these days, you will quickly notice that this drink has become very modern.
They have standing machines with soft drinks all across the country, where you can buy hot or cold real tea beside other usual unsweetened drinks.
You will also get fresh prepared suitable tea in every restaurant with your meal. Japanese never lack it at their homes because they drink it at any time. They have a huge offer of green tea and every person can find his best.
You can simply choose Sencha or Kukicha. If you want to enjoy green tea in its purest form, choose Gyokuro or natural Matcha. Japan is undoubtedly the country of tea, so get to know her well also from this side.
Japanese tea growing regions
The northern country is the coldest region for tea production. Although it is technically possible to cultivate it in the whole area of Japan, it is economically questionable. The border of production goes via the island of Honshu and the area Niigata. This border is on 38 degrees latitude and is the most northern point for growing tea.
The best regions for the tea production in the country are those regions that are a hundred meters away from the sea or mountainous areas near rivers. The fog occurs at the course of rivers and this gives perfect conditions for growing it (temperature and humidity).
The most famous tea growing area in Japan is the Shizuoka region with Kawan and Shimizu production zones. This region gives extremely delicious varieties of tea thanks to the consistently warm and humid climate.
Shimoyama region is one of the most important regions for the production of biological tea in central Japan. It lies close to another well-known region Nishio, which is famous for the production of Matcha.
Shimoyama means “Fog Mountains”. This region is located about 500 m above sea level and is much cooler than arable areas in the flat part of the country. It gives natural protection against pests and other insects that are below this threshold.
Nishio is one of the oldest agricultural regions in the world. People of Nishio are producing tea for over 850 years and specialized mainly for the production of Matcha. More than 50% of Japanese tea is produced here.
Saga, Fukuoka, and Kagoshima
Areas of Saga, Fukuoka, and Kagoshima are the best areas of tea production on the island of Kyushu. Fukuoka is famous for its warm and pleasant climate and the volcanic soil that is rich in nutrients. The first tea in Japan was produced here.
Here we have an important place Kirishima, which literally translates as “hazy island”. The fog in the southern part of the country surrounds volcanic mountains so much that you can only see the tops of the mountains, which look like islands in the misty sea. This is where its name comes from. Another famous growing region in Japan is Kyoto.
Enjoy in every sip!
I hope I gave you enough information from the Japanese teas list so you can choose the right green tea for yourself. Now that you know the characteristics of each tea type you can choose the one that should satisfy your taste buds.
You can enjoy this drink in the morning instead of coffee or drink it in the afternoon for the energy boost and relaxation. If you make drinking green tea as a habit you will do much good for your body and soul as it is a very healthy drink.