Green tea and sencha made easy: 8 varieties you need to know

Welcome to the wonderful world of green tea - a universe full of taste, tradition and health. Green tea is not just a drink, it is a way of life. From the misty slopes of Japan to the vibrant streets of modern cities, green tea enchants the senses and calms the mind.

The magical world of green tea

But with so many varieties, it can be difficult to keep track. Don't worry, we'll take you on a journey through the world of green tea to introduce you to the eight most important varieties that every tea lover should know.

8 types of green tea

Sencha – Sunshine in a tea glass

Let's start with Sencha, the heart of Japanese tea culture. Sencha is the most commonly drunk green tea not only in Japan but worldwide. But what makes it so special? It is due to its balanced taste, which lies somewhere between a pleasant bitterness and a refreshing sweetness. The tea is made from the first, tenderest leaves of the tea plant and dried under direct sunlight. This gives it a distinctive aroma reminiscent of freshly mown grass and summer rain. Preparation is simple: Sencha is best prepared with water that is just about to boil to fully develop its delicate aromas.

Matcha – The green gold

A star among green teas: Matcha. This bright green powder is not only a drink but also a symbol of the Japanese tea ceremony. Matcha is made from tencha leaves that are shaded before harvesting. This process increases the chlorophyll content and gives the tea its unique, intense color. Matcha is known for its rich, umami-laden flavor that is both bold and subtly sweet. It can be enjoyed on its own, but is also used in modern cuisine - from baked goods to smoothies. To prepare it, you need a bamboo whisk to foam the powder in hot water and achieve a perfect, creamy consistency.

Gyokuro – The Shadow Whisperer

Gyokuro, often referred to as the finest of all green teas, is a true masterpiece of tea art. Like matcha, gyokuro is shaded before harvesting, resulting in higher theanine content and giving it a sweet, almost melony flavor. Gyokuro leaves are fine and dark green, almost like jade beads. Preparation is an art in itself: Gyokuro should be infused with a lower water temperature (around 50-60 degrees Celsius) to fully bring out its complex range of flavors. Sipping Gyokuro is like traveling to a quiet, shady garden - an experience every tea lover should have at least once.

Genmaicha – The Rice King

Genmaicha could be described as the folk hero among green teas. Originally known as "poor man's tea" because the rice served as a filler to stretch the expensive tea, genmaicha has become a popular drink for all classes. The addition of roasted rice gives this tea a unique, nutty flavor and makes it a perfect meal accompaniment. Genmaicha combines the freshness of green tea with the hearty taste of rice, creating a perfectly balanced taste experience. This tea is ideal for those looking for a less bitter but aromatic green tea.

Bancha – The everyday friend

Bancha, often referred to as the "everyday tea" of Japan, definitely deserves a place in our green tea universe. It is usually made from later-harvested tea leaves, which gives it a slightly more robust taste and lower caffeine content. Bancha is an excellent starter tea for green tea newbies as it is less bitter and has an earthy note. This tea is the perfect accompaniment to any meal and offers a wonderful balance of quality and affordability. A cup of Bancha is like a relaxing walk through a sunny, autumnal garden - simple yet fulfilling.

Houjicha – The Roasty Cozy One

Houjicha stands out in the world of green tea because instead of being steamed, the leaves are roasted. This roast gives Houjicha a distinctively rich, smoky aroma and a beautifully amber colored cup. The roasting process reduces the caffeine content, making Houjicha a great evening option. It is soft, with an almost caramelized taste, perfect for cold days. Houjicha is also an excellent introduction for those who are normally more drawn to coffee but want to explore the world of tea.

Kukicha: The branch tea

Kukicha, often affectionately referred to as "twig tea," is unique because it is made from the stems and twigs of the tea plant. This original approach results in an exceptionally mild, sweet taste with a slightly nutty note. Kukicha is particularly rich in minerals and has a low caffeine content, making it an excellent option for all ages. It is a symbol of the Japanese appreciation of efficiency and respect for nature - nothing is wasted and everything has value.

Tencha: The hidden ingredient of matcha

Last but not least, Tencha – the hidden hero behind matcha. Tencha is shaded similarly to Gyokuro, but instead of being ground into a powder, it is left in leaf form. It is rarely drunk as a standalone tea, but its role in the production of matcha is irreplaceable. Tencha has a gentle, sweet and at the same time profound taste. For those who love matcha, Tencha offers a fascinating insight into the subtle nuances that shape matcha's distinctive taste.

Conclusion: Green tea – a universe full of flavor

We have taken an amazing journey through the world of green tea. From the classics like Sencha and Matcha to unique varieties like Houjicha and Kukicha, green tea offers an incredible variety of tastes, aromas and experiences. Each variety tells its own story and invites you to discover the deep and rich culture behind this wonderful drink. Whether you are an experienced tea connoisseur or just starting your journey, there is always something new to discover in the wonderful world of green tea.

Green tea is not just a drink, it is a journey through tastes, cultures and traditions. Whether you choose an invigorating Sencha, a luxurious Gyokuro or a relaxing Houjicha, every sip of green tea is a celebration of the moment. Let yourself be enchanted by these wonderful varieties and discover your own love of green tea.