There are several Japanese tea types, and you may wonder what each tastes like. This article will explain the differences between Sencha, Gyokuro, Asamuchi, and Hojicha. You may also be interested in the history of each type. Then you can make your Japanese tea at home! Whether you choose a flavored variety or a traditional one, you’ll find it all delicious!


Sencha is one of the most popular kinds of Japanese green tea. Its vibrant green color and fresh taste are derived from its steamed processing instead of the pan-fried or baked process typically used for Chinese green tea. In 1738, Nagatani Soen developed the first type of sencha. Nowadays, sencha represents 60% of Japanese tea production. Its high content of umami is responsible for its flavor and thickness.

The process of steamed tea is the primary step in producing sencha. The method of steamed tea leaves prevents them from oxidizing, thereby preserving color, flavor, and nutrients. There are three main types of sencha: fukamushicha, asamushi, and chuumushi. Asamushicha is the lightest type of sencha, while chuumushi is the medium type of steamed sencha.

When brewing sencha, water temperature is critical. It should be no more than 158 degrees Fahrenheit, although the temperature should be slightly higher. A general rule of thumb is that one teaspoon per cup is best. However, you can use tea filters to enjoy sencha with ease. While paper filters can leave a paper note, cotton tea filters are recommended. Likewise, sencha can be enjoyed with a teapot with premade teabags.

The first harvest of sencha is shincha. It is the freshest type of Japanese tea. The younger leaves are considered to be of higher quality than older leaves. It also has less astringency than the others. However, it cannot be enjoyable if over-brewed. You may want to avoid chukicha if you have any astringent tastes in your tea. There are two types of sencha: ichibancha and kocha.


A popular premium green tea from Japan, Gyokuro is a shade-grown rolled tea. The shade prevents the tea leaves from growing too quickly, thus allowing the bitter compounds, catechins, to stay in the plant. When consumed, the resulting beverage is sweet and reminiscent of seaweed. The tea is usually compared to the sun-grown Sencha grade of tea.

Because of its high caffeine content, gyokuro tea is shipped directly from Japan. Before allowing your child to drink this product, consult a doctor or nutritionist to determine if this tea is safe for consumption. However, it is not recommended for children under the age of four. Although gyokuro is delicious, babies or young children shouldn’t drink it.

Drinking Gyokuro tea regularly can improve your overall health. It contains polyphenols, which boost the immune system and fight against diseases. The catechin content of this tea makes it an excellent way to relax and stay hydrated. It is also beneficial for digestion. Drinking a soothing cup of gyokuro tea will help you relax and stay hydrated. It can also help prevent or treat diabetes.

There are several variations of gyokuro tea. In addition to sencha, you can also find genmaicha, which is made of lower-grade leaves and roasted rice. Bancha is made from the lower leaves and stems of sencha. They both contain caffeine but are common in tannin content. So, when considering gyokuro, it is essential to use the proper water temperature.


While domestic consumption of green tea has declined, its popularity is steadily increasing abroad. Although a small portion of the world’s tea is oxidized, Japanese green tea is a potent, unique drink that can neutralize heavy flavors. Because of this unique taste, tea must be steeped at the right temperature. The higher the water temperature, the more tannin and caffeine are dissolved, resulting in bitter tea. Aim for a lower temperature to achieve a better flavor and taste.

There are several ways to brew Japanese tea. Some are made using longer steaming, resulting in darker teas. Fukushima teas are cooked for a more extended period and are typically stronger. They are often made from green leaves and are grown in the shade for the last month before harvest. This tea has high levels of theanine, caffeine, and chlorophyll.

During the harvesting season, tea plants are harvested in two parts. The first is cultivated in April, and the second begins in June. The third harvest occurs in December and is referred to as fukamushi. The tea leaves are more significant during this time than the previous year’s harvest, making this tea a lower grade. While fukamushi is also known as ocha, it is steamed for about one minute longer and has a much darker, richer flavor.

Asamuchi is the most famous Japanese green tea. Its grassy and earthy flavor inspires the senses. It is popular in restaurants across the country and has been embraced as part of modern food trends. Green tea has made its way into chocolate bars and ice cream. However, it has a unique history and is an excellent choice for the health-conscious.


While most Japanese tea types have been around for hundreds of years, Hojicha is a relatively recent development. It was first introduced to the public in the 1920s in Kyoto and later gained popularity in Japan and overseas. In the past, only the leaves were handpicked, and mechanical harvesters left the stems and twigs. In recent years, modern tea harvesting techniques have resulted in a much smoother flavor and higher value for this Japanese tea.

Hojicha is made from the stems of Bancha or other green teas. When roasted, the branches retain more ingredients and a mellow fragrance, making them much less bitter. The leaf portion of the tea has some flavor, but Hojicha loses a lot of it during the roasting process. Nonetheless, its smooth taste and low price make it a perfect drink for young people and the elderly.

The roasting process used for Hojicha removes the tannins and produces a more delicate, low-caffeine tea. Unlike more robust green teas, Hojicha doesn’t have the grassy flavor that comes with more potent varieties. It is an excellent choice for pairing with savory snacks and sweet treats and is naturally low in caffeine. It’s no wonder it’s popular with the elderly in Japan, as it is not too strong and doesn’t contain caffeine.

While most green teas can be steeped in 90 degrees of water, Hojicha is the only tea type requiring roasting. The process reduces the water content of the leaves and allows the tea to stay fresh longer. Its smoky flavor also makes it a popular choice for lattes and desserts. It pairs well with maple syrup, sesame, caramel, fig, and vanilla.


When brewed, bancha is a refreshing, light beverage. In addition to being very stimulating, bancha contains many health benefits. This tea is high in catechin, the astringent substance responsible for many of the health benefits of green tea. However, the catechin content of bancha varies from harvest to harvest, as the first flush of leaves is considered to be pesticide-free. While this tea is typically not as healthy as sencha, it does provide a refreshing drink.

When preparing bancha, it is essential to use filtered water – never spring water. Avoid boiling the water because cooking the tea will destroy the natural oils in the leaves. The first infusion should be steeped in a Japanese tea pot for three minutes. This tea is relatively low in caffeine and has a soothing, calming effect. However, if you prefer a more potent beverage, you may consider other varieties.

Bancha, also known as green tea, was produced before the introduction of Sencha. Before the mid-Edo period, Japanese families used tea trees to fence their gardens. They would then collect the tea leaves and make homemade green tea. While Sencha spread across the country, Bancha remained popular. Compared to Sencha, Bancha should be grown without pesticides. Also, it is recommended that you buy organic tea to avoid chemicals.

Bancha contains a high amount of iron, vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium. It helps regulate the pH levels in the body. It is caffeine-free, making it suitable for pregnant women and children. Bancha has a wide range of health benefits, and different types are preferred in other regions. In Shizuoka and Tokyo, bancha is commonly found in unroasted form, while bancha grown in Kyoto is more roasted and conventional. High-grade bancha, known as senryu, is rich in vitamins and has long, thin tea leaves.