Green tea (緑茶)

Green tea (ryokucha, green tea in English, lchá in Chinese) refers the one processed by heating treatment to prevent fermentation, within the tea in which produced from tea leaves. Or a drink, its component is extracted by pouring hot water over the tea leaves. In Japan, it is often used synonymously with Japanese tea.


Most kinds of Japanese tea is green tea and it is most commonly drunk in Japan. Most kinds of Chinese tea are also classified as green tea, including jasmine tea. The most popular tea in People's Republic of China is also green tea. Oolong tea and Pu-erh tea are considered relatively rare in China and they are not commonly drunk outside the production areas. They are treated just like Gyokuro, refined green tea, and Maccha, powdered green tea in Japan.

Major processes of making green tea are slightly different between Japan and China, leading to different flavors. While the major process to stop fermentation is steaming in Japan, Kamairi (roast and roll method) is the major process in China. Some kinds of green tea in Japan are made through the Kamairi process, such as Ureshinocha in Saga Prefecture and Aoyagicha near the border between Miyazaki and Kumamoto Prefectures.

Sometimes, so-called Aracha (unsorted green tea) is sold as "Aoyagi", it is necessary to make a distinction between such unfinished tea and refined Aoyagicha, which should be prepared by steaming, crumpling or drying, unpicked, half-finished products, or tea leaves (raw tea leaves) including stems, buds, and hard leaves,

Like green tea, the following kinds of tea are called unfermented tea: freshly-picked tea leaves heat treated in order to minimize oxidizing fermentation, which is caused by enzymes contained in fresh tea leaves. The heat treatment mentioned above is called Sassei (shāqīng), and the heat treatment conducted by steaming is called Josei (zhēngqīng). In Japan, Sassei is mainly done by steaming process, while Sassei is quite unusual worldwide. It can be said that Sassei is currently peculiar to Japan. However, green tea is mainly consumed in China and Japan, and in the old days, Sassei was frequently done in China. There are other methods as; roasting (Kamairi), boiling (for Bancha [coarse tea], etc.), baking, sun drying (exposure to sunlight).

There is a group of tea drinks designated post-fermentation tea (Kurocha), using the activities of microorganisms after treating tea leaves the same way as green tea. Awa-bancha and Goishicha are examples of those teas. They are classified into Tsukemono-cha among special teas. Jasmine tea, which is green tea flavored with dried jasmine petals, is classified as flower tea, flavored tea.

In Japan, it was common to drink hot tea with sushi or with sweets or after meals. Recently plastic bottles of green tea have become popular and more people have become health conscious, and as a result, more people drink iced tea outdoors or during exercise just like drinking water or soft drinks. Beverage makers sell their products, using "calorie-free" or "catechin effects" as their catch phrases; there are also green tea booms in Europe, America and Asian countries.

Japanese green tea

Maccha (Matcha) (Hikicha) (=>tea ceremony)
This is made by grinding Tencha (powdered green tea) into fine granules using a stone mill.

Sencha (green tea) (in a broad sense) (=>senchado [tea ceremony with leaf tea])
Gyokuro (refined green tea)
Yame City, Fukuoka Prefecture has the largest production.

Sencha (in a narrow sense)
The most common in Japan.

Bancha (coarse tea)
Boiled tea
Kuki-cha (Bocha, Shiraore)
Konacha, (powdered tea)
Hojicha (roasted green tea)
This may not be regarded as green tea.

Genmaicha (tea with roasted rice)
Kamairicha (tea by roast and roll method)
Bancha of Kamairicha
Tsukemono-cha (fermented tea)
Sometimes it is not regarded as green tea, but as "Kurocha."

Chinese green tea

Long Jing tea
Produced in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province
Huang Shan Mao Feng
Produced in She County, Anhui Province
Liu An Gua Pian
Produced in Liuan City, Anhui Province
Lu Shan Yun Wu
Produced in Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province
Zhu Ye Qin
Produced in Emeishan City, Sichuan Province
Xinyang Maojian
Produced in Xinyang City, Kanan Province
Duyun Maojian
Produced in Duyun City, Guizhou Province
Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun
Produced in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Produced in Baochan City, Yunnan Province, and other places.

Processes for producing green tea

Japanese green tea is produced by the following processes.

Production (cultivation, harvest)=>steaming=>primary process of drying and rolling=>crumpling up leaves=>secondary process of drying and rolling=>final process of drying and rolling=>drying process=>sieving and cutting=>separating process of stalks and branches(=>extraction)

In short, the process for producing Japanese green tea is steaming, crumpling up harvested leaves, and then drying and fixing their shapes.

Green tea drink products

In Japan, green tea drinks are relatively popular, and produced by almost all the beverage makers. Green tea drinks in cartons, cans, and plastic bottles are sold widely.


In both the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, plastic bottles of green tea drink are sold, but main products are drinks with honey or sugar added. Moreover, some contains lemon juice. For this reason, Namacha produced for the Kingdom of Thailand contains sugar. In Thailand, in addition to Namacha, plastic bottles of green tea is produced and sold largely by a local enterprise, "Oishi Group Public Company Limited", and all contain sugar. In Japan, Coca-Cola Japan Co., Ltd., Lipton, and others sell green tea drinks with honey or sugar added.

In Australia, green tea has been highlighted as well because of a fitness boom. Green tea drinks sold there contain sugar like green tea drinks in Asian countries, smiler to English black tea drinks in Japan.

In the U.S., green tea alone may be thought of as too weak, and some flavors are sometimes added to enjoy green tea.

For cooking

Chazuke (Ochazuke)
Cooked rice with (green) tea poured over it.

For food

Green tea leaves are eaten in some dishes.

Tempura using new tea leaves
Green tea leaf Kakiage (deep-fried green tea leaves)
Long jing xia ren
It is a dish of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province; stir-frying shelled river shrimps and new leaves of Long Jing tea

For seasoning

Green powdered tea is used to flavor sweets including ice cream, to make cha soba (green tea buckwheat noodles), or to season tempura with salt.

[Original Japanese]