Japanese Green Tea
Alongside high-quality matcha tea we offer selected Japanese green tea in the premium segment. The country’s specialisation in the exclusive production of green tea makes Japan unique and the taste of Japanese green tea is exquisite: fresh and intense, the top-quality products from the land of the rising sun impress tea connoisseurs the world over.
THE PRODUCTION OF JAPANESE GREEN TEA
Japanese green teas are produced using gentle methods: almost all teas are steamed over hot water vapour, which enables optimum preservation of the substances in the tea leaf.
PRODUCTION OF PREMIUM GREEN TEA FROM AIYA – THE TEA:
- The fresh tea leaves are harvested and transported to the tea farmer’s factory as quickly as possible (“aracha” factory).
- It is here that the tea leaves are steamed. This stops the fermentation and keeps the leaf green, fresh and juicy.
- Then the tea leaves are alternately rolled and dried several times. This step in production gives the tea its typical form. It is at this stage that the tea is known as aracha.
- The aracha is delivered to AIYA. Now the tea qualities need to be sorted, along with undesirable parts (rough leaves, stalks, etc.).
- The sorted tea leaves are mixed with other batches to create a blend, and the tea product is finished.
Japan produces two categories of leaf tea: shaded teas and non-shaded teas. You can purchase both sorts of green tea in our online shop.
BLENDING THE GREEN TEA
All teas that come to AIYA are sampled by our experienced tea tasters. Only those found to be excellent by our tea tasters are then produced by AIYA. Every tea farmer produces different qualities, and each field of tea and every day of production generates different taste characteristics. The art of the tea taster is turning these thousands of individual building blocks into a complete, well-rounded tea variety – a process known as blending.
QUALITIES OF JAPANESE LEAF TEA
High-quality Japanese leaf tea can be recognised by four criteria:
The ideal form for Japanese tea leaves is a long, thin, straight needle shape. The more finely this shape is defined, the better the quality of the tea. High-quality Japanese teas have a rather small leaf – the shaded tea varieties grow more slowly and are more delicate than the classic teas of later harvests. The more ordinary a tea is, the bigger and rougher the leaf.
A brilliant green leaf colour stands for high quality, whilst more ordinary leaf tea qualities have a light, yellowy colour.
Fresh, green, juicy, as if it had come directly from a lush, sweet-smelling alpine meadow – that’s how Japanese tea should smell. If the tea’s scent is not very intense or it simply smells like hay, then either the quality is not very good or the tea has aged.
The better the tea, the milder and sweeter it is – provided that it is poured correctly. For high-quality teas one rule applies: always brew using water at 80° Celcius. Good Japanese green tea does not taste bitter. Poorer qualities are brewed at hotter temperatures and taste slightly herby, but should still always retain that fresh green note.