Different kinds of green tea offer different amounts of nutrition, flavor, aroma, and caffeine. Japanese green tea is not fermented and is the least processed among green teas. Thus, the Japanese method preserves green tea antioxidants the most. There are different types of Japanese green tea and this table shows the relationship of Catechins or EGCG and flavor in each type of green tea. SEI MEE TEA offers a variety of organic Japanese green tea. Choose the best Japanese green tea for your quality "Mee" time!
Green tea, Camellia Sinensis, offers Caffeine naturally. Green Tea leaves also contain a natural relaxant, L-Theanine (L-the-ah-nyn). With a good balance of L-Theanine and Caffeine, Green Tea offers steady energy instead of Caffeine jitters and energy crash.
L-Theanine content is highest in shade grown tea leaves, and is the source of savory, rich flavor, called "Umami (oo-mah-me)".
The longer a tea leaf is covered, the higher the L-Theanine and Caffeine. The highest grade Matcha and Gyokuro (g-yo-koo-lo) are grown in shade for more than 20 days prior to harvest, and are higher in L-Theanine and Caffeine.
Higher L-Theanine means more "Umami", rich flavor. The longer period with cover slows down growth of the tea leaf and the production cycle. This is another reason the higher grade Matcha and Gyokuro are more expensive.
Matcha is traditionally used for the Tea Ceremony in Japan. Always found in powder form. Matcha benefit is a good balance of Caffeine and L-Theanine. High in Caffeine and L-Theanine, Matcha provides energy without caffeine jitters. The Tea Ceremony was originally developed for Zen monks and Samurai warriors, and they loved the "Calm Alertness" that Matcha provided for them.
When covered, the tea leaf increases chlorophyll, which gives the bright green color to the ground tea leaf. The longer shading period makes brighter green and higher Umami and lower Catechins than green tea leaves grown in full sun.
Good Matcha provides creamy texture on the tongue. To enjoy this creaminess, use water at 150 to 175 ºF. A bamboo whisk or a frother can be used to create thick foam.
Gyokuro (g-yo-koo-lo) is a shade grown steeped green tea. Gyokuro means "jade dew" in Japanese. The color of Gyokuro leaf is richer and darker green than green tea leaves grown in full sun. Gyokuro benefit is the steady energy from Caffeine and L-Theanine, and the supreme taste. When properly prepared, Gyokuro provides the most pleasant experience on your palate: round, rich, slightly nutty with a hint of sweetness. To enjoy 'serene elegance," use pure water at 150 to 175 °F, or brew with cold water in fridge overnight.
Kabusecha (kah-boo-sé-cha) means "green tea grown under cover" in Japanese. It is considered "lower grade Gyokuro" since Kabusecha is grown in shade for a shorter period of time than Gyokuro.
Mother nature made green tea with more than 450 identified compounds, including Catechins and EGCG. They work in synergy in our body. So many elements affect phytochemicals in the tea leaf and not all teas provide the same benefits.
When the green tea leaf is grown in full sun, ample sun exposure increases the amount of Catechins in the leaf. On the other hand, sun exposure decreases Caffeine in the tea leaf.
In order to stop oxidation after harvest, green tea leaves are "steamed" in Japan. Chinese green tea uses "panning" or "roasting" method. "Steaming method" was invented in Uji, Japan, during the 18th century. "Steaming method" produces green tea with richer flavor, greener color, and more natural healthy compounds preserved in tea leaves.
Sencha (cen-cha) is Japanese green tea grown in full sun and treated by a steaming method after harvest. Authentic, quality Sencha tea leaves are straight in shape, and rich in green color. Tea leaves are are straight rather than round or bent, because they are kneaded in a specific way to make tea leaves more flavorful. The most important Sencha benefit is powerful healthful antioxidants: Catechins and EGCG. Due to minimal processing, the natural healthful substances as well as fresh green color are well preserved in Sencha.
Sencha powder has become popular after modern science discovered Sencha tea leaf contains more Catechins and EGCG than Matcha green tea powder. Other Sencha powder benefits include easy preparation; in fine powder form, no brewing technique is required to make a perfect cup. The delicate, soothing flavor is also an important healing aspect of this tea. Edible Green® is our trade mark for Sencha green tea powder. Choose our product by name--there are imposters.
Fukamushi (foo-kah-moo-she) means "deeply steamed". A longer steaming time creates shorter and finer tea leaves than regular Sencha and Fukamushi Sencha, when brewed, makes a full bodied broth-like tea. Fine particles of tea leaves are the signature of this tea, and it is the reason why Fukamushi Sencha is known as "healthier tea" in Japan; the small particles containing health benefits are consumed with tea.
Shincha (shin-cha) means "new tea" in Japanese. Shincha is the first flush Sencha green tea and it becomes available between April and mid June each year, depending on the region. Shincha tea leaves are young and have not been exposed much to sun light, so the character of tea leaves are similar to shade grown tea. Japanese culture puts premium value on such seasonal items as a demonstration of "sophistication" and "awareness of finesse". Shincha is considered a premium tea because of the limited availability as well as the freshness of the tea.
Bancha (ban-cha) is Japanese green tea harvested in later summer to early autumn. Bancha is usually made by the steaming method, but some products are made with panning method and some are even fermented. Bancha tea leaves may be flat or bent, not straight like Sencha tea leaves. Since mature tea leaves are used, Bancha tea offers high levels of Catechins with a robust, strong astringent flavor.
Kukicha (koo-key-cha) is also known as "twig tea" as kuki means "stem" in Japanese. Kukicha uses mostly stems rather than tea leaves. Since stems are low in bitter substances, such as Caffeine and Catechins or EGCG, Kukicha makes a sweeter tea than other types of green tea. Kukicha can be roasted at home to make 'home made Hojicha'. The roasting aroma is so relaxing and almost addictive. Making a cup of tea using freshly roasted Kukicha stems makes a wonderful quality "Mee" time.
Hojicha (ho-jee-cha) means "roasted tea" in Japanese, which may include both stem and leaf. Aroma from fire-roasting Hojicha tea has shown an increase of alpha waves in the brain. Roasting decreases the amount of Caffeine in the tea leaf. Hojicha benefits are the relaxing aroma and low level of Caffeine; Hojicha makes a perfect evening tea. SEI MEE TEA's organic Hojicha offers delicious roasted flavor with a hint of round sweet note.
Genmaicha (g-en-my-cha) is Sencha green tea blended with toasted brown rice. The nutty, toasted flavor of Genmaicha pairs well with Asian meals. SEI MEE TEA has found a wonderful organic Genmaicha, which provides fresh toasted flavor and vibrant green tea flavor.
SEI MEE TEA also offers organic Genmaicha in powder form. Genmaicha powder is easy to use; just mix powder with water, hot or cold. It also makes a great ingredient for ice cream and baked goods. The best benefit of Genmaicha powder: it provides the same amount of Catechins and EGCG as Sencha green tea powder, Edible Green®.