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Green Tea
Green Tea
When the Japanese talk of ocha, or tea, they’re usually referring to ryokucha, or green tea. But that is not to say that the Japanese drink only one kind, since the term covers a multitude of varieties. All green tea originates from the plant Camellia sinensis but the difference is in where the plant is grown, how it is grown, when it is harvested and how it is processed.
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1/ Okumidori
Okumidori is deep-steamed green tea, prized for its rolled leaves, the vivid deep green brew, and rich, nutty aroma. Oritaen’s organic okumidori is harvested certified organic by Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) and harvested 88 nights after the first day of spring, when the plants are just beginning to sprout and considered the finest quality.

Matcha is the only tea used in chado, the traditional tea ceremony. The powder is made from shaded tea leaves that are grown in the same way as that of gyokuro. The deep green powder can be added directly to water, where it needs to be whisked with a bamboo chasen (whisk) until frothy.

3/ Genmaicha 
Genmaicha sees green tea mixed with roasted brown rice, which lends it a smoky aroma absent from pure green teas. Because the brown rice is roasted, the caffeine content is relatively low, making the tea suitable for children and the elderly. Pair the drink with ginkgo nuts for the complete experience.
4/ Yame Sencha
This Yame tea is grown in Fukuoka prefecture, a major tea region in Japan. The most popular and commonly drunk green tea, sencha leaves are processed simply by rolling and steaming. The grade of sencha depends on the region where the tea plants are grown and the time that the leaves are picked.

5/ Kukicha
Also known as twig tea, kukicha is derived from the stalks, stems and twigs of the tea plant, which are usually removed before the rest of the plant is processed. Kukicha is milder in flavor than most green teas and usually has a nuttier taste.

6/ Hojicha
Hojicha is roasted green tea. The leaves are roasted at about 200°C, which lends it an intense, earthy aroma that is distinctly different from that of typical green teas. The roasting process also reduces the caffeine content and makes the tea suitable for babies, the elderly and those who want to enjoy a cup of tea before bedtime.
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7/ Matcha and Brown Rice Infused Imari Green Tea
This tea is a mixture of matcha and genmaicha. The tea plants are grown in the mountains of Imari in Japan’s Sata prefecture. Also called popcorn tea, it is rich and robust, combining the nuttiness and smokiness of roasted brown rice and the clean, heady flavors of matcha.

8/ Deep-Steamed Sencha
Most green teas are typically prepared by steaming the leaves for 20 seconds. Deep steaming – known as fukamushi – means the leaves are steamed two or three times longer, up to about one minute, resulting in a finer texture, stronger flavor and deeper color.

9/ Gyokuro
These tea leaves are grown in the shade for 20 days before they are picked which is why gyokuro is called a shadow tea. The limited time the plant spends in the sun lends the tea a rich, grassy, sweet flavor and nori-like umami. It is the highest-grade and most expensive tea available.
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10/ Gyokuro Tea Bags 
Gyokuro may be a traditional luxury but modern times call for modern methods of preparation. For those of us unfamiliar with the customary method of brewing Japanese green tea, gyokuro tea bags allow tea drinkers the opportunity to enjoy all of the quality without the fuss.

11/ Shincha
When the leaves are picked often determines the type of tea. The later the leaves are picked, the more the quality deteriorates. Shincha is made from leaves that are picked first in spring. The tea is available only between late April and the middle of July. It always sells out quickly.

12/ Green Tea Powder   
Ever-popular green tea powder can easily be mistaken for matcha. Unlike matcha, powdered green tea can be ground from any grade of tea leaf. What is common to both is the teas are easily absorbed by the body, delivering great health benefits. Best enjoyed either hot or cold.