Sasaki Green Tea Company stands out by producing a variety of green tea product.
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The most commonly enjoyed variety of Japanese green tea is sencha. The freshly-picked tea leaves are steamed and then dried as they are rolled. After the leaves have been shaped, they are blended to achieve the best flavor for the consumer.
The processing of fukamushicha is the same as for sencha, except that for fukamushicha the leaves are steamed two or three times longer. As a result, the leaves become withered, and the color is also darker. However, the taste remains just as "sweet" and moderate, and the fragrance is richer and deeper. Despite the stronger aroma, fukamushicha is gentle on the stomach, and you can drink as many cups as you wish.
Bancha is mainly made from leaves plucked during late summer and is produced using the same procedure used for sencha. However, the Umami of bancha is more delicate than that of sencha, containing just enough tannin to offer an astringent, yet light and fresh flavor.
Kukicha consists of tea leaf stems and stalks normally discarded in the production of sencha or gyokuro. Kukicha produced from the stalks of gyokuro is known as "karigane" and is highly prized. Kukicha made from either gyokuro or sencha is served in the same way as its base tea. The clear taste and light fragrance are sure to help you wake up feeling refreshed. The leaves also are full of amino acid ("Umami") and other ingredients.
At the final stage for processing Sencha, the tea leaf is sifted with coarse mesh net. Mecha is round shape leaf that is dropped from the net at that stage.
Konacha (not the ground tea leaves) is the tea served at sushi restaurants, where it is called "agari". It consists of the rejected fine buds and leaves left over from the processing of sencha. Konacha is often used as tea leaf for the tea bag because it has a character of having thick green color when brewed within shorter period of time than other green tea leaves. It is reasonably priced and has strong flavor, and aroma, making it an ideal cooking ingredient.
Sencha tea leaf is milled by the machine and becomes a Matcha like powder. We call it "Green tea (Sencha) powder". The particles of Sencha powder usually are bigger than the one of Matcha and that makes Sencha powder particles not to stick together when the powder is served in the hot water. Sencha powder has stronger astringent taste than Matcha because it has more Catechin. There is an instant green tea powder (Instant Sencha) which Sencha powder and maltodextrin are blended. It has lighter green color and taste. It also has a tendency to be easily dissolved in the cold water.
This fragrant and refreshing Japanese green tea is made by roasting sencha or bancha over a high flame. The roasting process diminishes the tannin and caffeine content of the leaves to suppress astringency and bitterness and draw out fragrance. Houjicha is a warm brown color, and since it has a somewhat mild flavor, is popular with children and the elderly. Low in caffeine, houjicha is also the green tea of choice for infants in Japan.
Genmaicha is a richly-flavored Japanese green tea made by mixing roasted rice with sencha or bancha. Before being blended with the tea, the rice is steeped in water and steamed then roasted at a high temperature, and the popped rice stands out white amongst the tea leaves. Genmaicha allows you to enjoy the special savory fragrance of the roasted rice together with the refreshing taste of sencha or bancha. Because of its low caffeine content, genmaicha is recommended for all ages, from children to the elderly.
The finest grade of Japanese green tea, gyokuro is sweet with a unique and mildly astringent aroma and mellow Umami. The tea leaves are cultivated using the ooishita method, which involves shading the young tea leaves from direct sunlight for around 20 days after they first start to appear. This distinctive process inhibits astringency, producing tea leaves with large amounts of "theanine" , an amino acid that enhances Umami.
Matcha is a fine powdered green tea commonly used in sadou (the tea ceremony). The young tea leaves are shaded from direct sunlight and steamed in the same way as for gyokuro, then turned into tencha (non-ground leaves) by drying without rolling, and finally ground in a stone mill. Its elegant aroma and concentrated sweetness make matcha a sheer pleasure to drink, and as the powder is dissolved in hot water, all of the tea's beneficial nutrients can be taken in.
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