Green tea ( ryokucha) is so ubiquitous in Japan that it ismore commonly known as "honorable tea" ( ocha) and even "Japanese tea" (nihoncha). Types of tea are commonly graded depending on the quality and the parts of the plant used.
Matcha ("rubbed tea") is the highest grade of green tea, usedprimarily
in the tea ceremony . The tea bushes are shaded from sunlight for3 weeks
before harvesting, producing amino acids that sweeten the taste. The leaves
are then ground to a fine powder, which issimply blended in lukewarm water
Gyokuro ("jewel dew") is unground matcha leaf, prepared forconsumption by infusion.
Sencha ("broiled tea") is the most common type of green tea in Japan, accounting for 75% ofproduction. It is made from the young leaves of uncovered plants.
Shincha ("new tea") is newly harvested, lightly steamed sencha. It is aromatic but highlyperishable, lasting for only about 3 months.
Genmaicha ("brown rice tea") is senchamixed with roasted brown rice .
Bancha ("number tea")is from the last harvest of the season. It is milder, cheaper and contain less caffeine than other varieties.
Hojicha ("roasted tea") is prepared by roasting bancha leaves.
Kukicha ("stem tea")is made from tea twigs instead of leaves. It contains only a tenth of the caffeine of leaf tea and its flavor is commonlycompared to oolong teas.
There are large variations in both price and quality within these broad categories, and there are many specialty green teasthat fall outside this spectrum. The very best green tea is said to be that from Uji region of Kyoto. Buy green tea online Teabase.com