Types of Japanese Teas
Sencha, the most popular, is from the first picking.
Fukamushica is steamed 2 to 3 times longer before drying and tends to be gentle on the stomach.
Kukicha is brewed from the stems and stalks.
Konacha is tea powder, the dust left from rejected buds after processing sencha and gyokura.
Bancha is made from the new shoots after the first picking as well as the upper stems and discarded larger leaves. It tends to be more astringent and less fragrant. It is often sipped after a large meal and contains more fluoride than some of the other teas.
Matcha is only made from the finest leaves of the first harvesting days. They are ground into a fine powder, which has a bright green colour and a mellow sweetness with slight astringency. This is the tea formally used in the traditional tea ceremony.
Gyokuro leaves are shielded from the sun 2-3 weeks prior to picking, in order to preserve the chlorophyl and concentrate the caffeine.
Hojicha is the result of roasting bancha or sencha over high heat. It tends to have less caffeine and tannin and is very aromatic.
Genmaicha is bancha or sencha mixed with roasted, popped brown rice. It has a nutty flavor and is good to drink after eating deep-fried foods.