Green tea is quickly becoming a popular beverage throughout the Western world. However, many people are unaware that there are a variety of green teas. This may be shocking to you as well. This article will be written to briefly give an introduction to the names of the different kinds of Green Tea and how they are different. Other articles will focus more on each type of green tea. Among these types of green teas are sencha (煎茶), fukamushi sent (深蒸し煎茶), gyokuro (玉露), matcha (抹茶), bancha (番茶), and hojicha (ほうじ茶).
Let’s start with sencha. Sencha is a Japanese green tea that is made by infusing the processed whole tea leaves in hot water. Sencha is very popular in Japan. The perfect color for sencha is a green-gold color. The strength of the taste depends on the temperature of the water the tea is brewed in. The hotter the water, the more astringent the taste.
Next up is fukamushi sencha. Fukamushi sencha means “deep steamed green tea”. It is called this because during the process of making it, the tea is steamed for a longer period of time than other green teas. Because it is steamed longer, the tea tastes less bitter, less astringent, and has a deep but striking green color.
Another type of green tea is gyokuro. Gyokuro is different from sencha because it is grown in the shade, as opposed to in full sunlight. The leaves are grown for at least 20 days under straw mats before they are harvested. It is one of the highest grades of tea in Japan. The way to prepare gyokuro is also different, using a lower brewing temperature and a longer steeping duration.
Matcha is a type of green tea that has become extremely trendy these days. Matcha flavored drinks are selling quickly at places like Starbucks, even outside of Japan. Matcha is powdered green tea leaves, which are then dissolved into hot water to make tea. Matcha is also used in many desserts. It has definitely become the first thing many foreigners think of when they think of green tea these days. It is also high in antioxidants, which is good for your health.
The next type of tea is called bancha. Bancha is cultivated and also has the same production method as sencha, but many people consider it to be a lower grade because the leaves that are used to produce bancha are either from later harvests (third or later) or they come from the lower part of the shoots of the tea plant. This means that the leaves are larger and tougher, lowering the price of bancha.
The last type of tea is called hojicha. Hojicha is different from the other types of green tea in this article because it is roasted in a glass pot over coal, comparing to the other teas that have been talked about, which are all steamed. Hojicha is often made from bancha, but other kinds are also around. Hojicha has less caffeine than other green teas and has a mild taste.
I hope by reading this brief introduction to the different kinds of green tea, you have learned a little more about the world of green tea. These descriptions have been very short, but if you would like to know more about each kind of tea, please check out the other articles. Some of the teas have their own articles, where you can learn more about them in depth.