So what's the real difference between a Chinese Tea and a Japanese Tea? Other than the obvious that they are produced in to different countries, are these types of tea really that different? The answer: yes, let me explain.
While both countries and cultures have been consuming and producing tea for thousands of years, the types of tea grown and the process in which the teas are manufactured is vastly different. The island of Japan mainly produces and consumes Green Tea with almost 60% of that being Sencha Green Tea alone. China on the other hand produces and consumes about 50% Green Tea with the other half being made up of Black Tea, Oolong, White Tea, and Yellow Tea. Japanese Teas are almost always steamed whereas Chinese Tea is almost always pan-fired. These two different drying methods give a very distinguishable flavor difference as well as color of the cup. Chinese Teas are also almost always rolled or withered which is rarely found among Japanese Tea.
So how do these teas really taste different? A Japanese Tea normally will have an earthy almost grassy flavor with slight bitter notes. A Chinese Tea will normally be lighter, sweeter, and almost have a toasted finish. Examples of these Chinese Green Teas would be Young Hyson, Chun Mee, or Gunpowder Green. Our Chinese Black Tea Flowery Orange Pekoe is a more oxidized sweet dark cup. As we mentioned Sencha is the most popular of the Japanese Teas however Genmaicha as well as Hojicha are cultural staples along with stone ground Matcha Green Tea.
There truly is a tea for every occasion and it is stunning how two countries so close to one another can produce such different cups coming from the same Camelia Sinensis plant. If you haven't taken the time to learn and taste through these families of teas it can be a fun and rewarding experience.
Revival Tea Co.