Among all the varieties of Japanese green tea, gyokuro tea leaves fall at the very top. Gyokuro goes through a very special process which produces a sweeter flavor and a gorgeous green color fitting for its name, which literally means “jade dew” (玉露). See just why gyokuro is crowned as the best in class among Japanese green teas, and why it’s one of our favorites!
The Green Tea Tiers
Green tea in general, or ryokucha (緑茶), is the most common type of tea in Japan. Within this category of tea, there are numerous grades of teas, and variations in between! Let’s take a quick look at three common green tea options:
This is the finest quality green tea due to the extra care that goes into its processing and earlier harvesting. Its leaves are protected from sunlight, which gives it its distinct flavor.
Next in the lineup, sencha is also harvested early in the season. This is the green tea that is most widely consumed across Japan. These tea leaves are grown under full sunlight. Teas that fall under this category include houjicha, a type of roasted green tea, and genmaicha, which consists of sencha tea leaves with toasted rice.
This lower grade tea is harvested later in the season, after sencha. Easy to brew, with a more woodsy flavor and lower caffeine content, bancha is also widely drank as a daily tea for regular consumption.