10 Types of Japanese Green Tea

In this article I will talk about 10 different types of Japanese green tea that are available and list some of their characteristics and health benefits.

We all know the benefits of green tea. But what many of us do not know is that green tea comes in many varieties. There are two main categories of green tea – Chinese green tea and Japanese green tea. In fact in Japan 99.99% of all tea produced is green tea. Green tea means tea that has not been fermented  – to produce green tea, oxidation of the tea leaves is stopped as soon as possible after they have been picked and in Japan this is done by heating using water vapor.

Types of Japanese Green Tea

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha Green Tea is a popular Japanese variety of green tea. It is a powdered green tea variety grown in the Uji region of Japan. Dark Matcha (Koicha) is used in Japan’s traditional tea ceremony. Matcha green tea is also used to make traditional Japanese confections and various savory dishes. Matcha is considered to be one of the most powerful super foods on the market today.

Some of the health benefits of Matcha Green Tea are as below:

  • They are high in antioxidants and hence better able to fight many diseases
  • High content of catechin / EGCg has anti-cancer properties
  • L-theanine in Matcha boosts memory
  • Makes one calmer
  • Detoxifies the body

Shincha Green Tea

Sencha Green Tea is the most commonly consumed variety of Japanese green tea. Its leaves are steamed and rolled to make crude tea. It undergoes minimal processing and no fermentation. There is a huge variation in types and quality. Shincha tea is the first picking of the season. Its major feature is the fresh flavor of new leaves, and because of its lower catechin and caffeine content it is only mildly astringent.

Some of the important health benefits of Sencha green tea are as follows:

  • Antioxidants decreases risk of certain diseases
  • Helps fight against heart diseases
  • Potential cancer fightig benefits

Fukamushi Sencha Green Tea

Fukamushi Sencha Green Tea is one that has been steamed for a longer time than ordinary sencha tea. It is powdery and the tea takes on a stronger taste and darker green color.

Gyokuro Green tea

Gyokuro Green tea is the best variety of Japanese green tea, having smooth tatse with a light fragrance. One of the unique characteristics of GYokuro tea is an aroma similar to nori seaweed. It is very rich in flavor and low in astringency and is one of the most expensive kinds of Japanese tea. It is produced essentially in Kyoto and Fukuoka prefectures.

Bancha green tea

Bancha green tea has a comparatively weaker flavor than other green teas. It is high on antioxidant and low on caffeine and is popular for its mellow flavor.

Houjicha green tea

Houjicha green tea is brown in color on account of being roasted. Hojicha is easy to drink for children as well as elderly because of its lower caffeine content, savory aroma and clear light taste.

Kabusecha green tea

Kabusecha green tea is similar to gyokuro in how it is made, but has a mildly sweet flavor. the largest kabuse-cha producing area is Mie Prefecture.

Tencha Green Tea

Tencha green tea is the main ingredient of Matcha.

Genmaicha Green Tea

Genmaicha green tea is a mixture of brown rice and Sencha tea is 50:50 ratio. It is famous for its savoriness on account of roasted brown rice and the refreshing taste of Shincha. Because of lower caffeine content it is suitable for you children and elderly. Genmaicha is popularly known as popcorn tea.

Kukicha green tea is made from white stalks (kuki) produced by harvesting one bud and three leaves. It has a chestnut like flavor, mildly astringent but vibrant.


There are a lot of varieties of green tea, each having its own signature taste, texture, flavor and benefits. While Matcha is the most popular green tea, especially in the west, it is by no means the only one and there are 9 other varieties of Japanese green tea.

You may also like


  1. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02854/Nine-Green-Teas.html
  2. http://www.itoen.co.jp/eng/allabout_greentea/varieties.html
  3. http://www.teadiscussion.com/types/green-tea-types.php
  4. http://www.naturallivingideas.com/10-amazing-benefits-of-matcha-green-tea/
  5. http://www.livestrong.com/article/351244-sencha-tea-health-benefits/
  6. http://www.thes-du-japon.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=4&chapter=0&language=en
  7. Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_tea_kabuse-cha.jpg

Thank you for reading “10 Types of Japanese Green Tea”. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments in the comment box below and do share with your friends and family.

Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay

I am an independent Management Consultant. In my previous corporate career, I have worked in Banking, Private Equity and Software industry. I like doing equity research and financial analysis in my free time. I also enjoy reading and writing on history and current affairs related matters.

8 thoughts on “10 Types of Japanese Green Tea

  • Pingback:11 Types of Chinese Green Tea – Hooray For Life

  • April 14, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing such detailed post. Never knew there were so many varieties.

    • April 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you. Glad you found it informative.

  • April 15, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Informative post. I should try some of those.
    I actually like green tea, but don’t or can’t really have it regularly or daily. There is something special about our own desi chai without which the mornings and evenings aren’t complete 🙂

    • April 15, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      Well said. I am more of a Darjeeling tea person. 🙂

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  • April 17, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Nice and detailed article. Japanese do love their tea.

    • April 17, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Japanese are an aesthetic people … even their teas are very artistic.


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