Tea is a beverage that is enjoyed all over the world. And though it may sound like a common everyday item, there’s more to tea than meets the eye. Let’s take a look at tea from its origin.
All teas come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis tea plant. But that’s where the similarities end. After the leaves are picked, different types of processing result in the 3 main types of tea: black tea, oolong tea, and green tea.
Unlike black tea (highly oxidized) and oolong tea (partially oxidized), green tea is generally free from oxidation. In the case of Japanese green tea (processed differently than Chinese green tea), the leaves are steamed immediately after being picked in order to prevent oxidation. The leaves are then tightly rolled during the drying process. This allows each leaf to retain its original flavor and natural green color, hence the name "green tea".
Within the green tea classification, there are 2 main categories, depending on the cultivation process: (a) tea grown under full sunlight, and (b) tea that is shade-cultivated.
At Ippodo, we offer teas from both categories. Teas grown under full sunlight include sencha and the banchas (yanagi, hojicha, and genmaicha). Teas that are shade-cultivated include the full-bodied matcha and gyokuro. Each tea has its own distinct taste and character. We hope you will take the time to experience and appreciate each one, and discover the differences that make each tea unique.