Here at LUPICIA Australia, we bring you the best selection of freshly picked Japanese green tea: including Sencha, Shincha, Gyokuro, Houjicha and Matcha.
The tradition of drinking tea in Japan came originally from China, dating back to the Tang Dynasty around 1500 years ago, although it may actually date back further.
Modern tea plantations in Japan can be traced back to the 12th century when they were mainly cultivated by Buddhist monks, and interestingly, the Matcha form of green tea was most popular.
Nowadays, Japanese green tea is grown all over Japan except in the colder, northern areas.
Sencha traces its history back to the 17th century when it first became popular amongst the Japanese. Today it's the #1 form of green tea consumed by both Japanese & tea drinkers all over the world.
Sencha is produced from green tea grown under full sunlight, as opposed to Gyokuro. The highest leaves & shoots are picked when young resulting in an overall higher quality finished tea.
As soon as the tea is picked, it is processed with steam to stop oxidation. The tea is then dried & the leaves are processed into their final "needle" like shape. The amount of processing is kept to a minimum which accounts for the fresh, green taste of sencha and helps to preserve the multitude of healthy properties & components.
We have a wide range of Japanese sencha green tea on offer here at LUPICIA. Feel free to browse or contact us if you have any questions.
The term shincha translates literally to "new tea" & refers specifically to the new harvest or first harvest of Japanese green tea. It is renowned for its fresh and subtle sweet flavour. The shincha harvest begins in the the warm southern region in early Spring and follows a northward path much the same as Japan's famous "sakura" cherry tree blossoms.
Shincha is very popular locally in Japan so it is hard to find good quality product internationally. Fortunately, here at LUPICIA, we specialise in all kinds of Japanese green tea & offer shincha (new harvest) tea every year. Sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of this page so we can keep you informed!
Renowned as the highest quality form of Japanese green tea, Gyokuro is the most expensive and rare of all the green teas.
What sets gyokuro apart is the method used to cultivate it. Firstly, a shade cloth made from a special kind of traditional black fabric is used. This results in only around 10% of the sunlight being able to filter through. Sometimes, straw is added on top of the shade cloth to reduce the sunlight even more.
What does this "shade-grown" method achieve? Science has shown us that it causes a retention of chlorophyll which results in a reduction in bitter tannins. Furthermore, the shade-grown effect means gyokuro has higher levels of theanine and fructose which accounts for the naturally sweet & potent taste. Also, the leaves and shoots grow differently compared to sencha. They are more delicate, small and darker in colour which further represents its uniqueness & results in a more pronounched needle type shape.
Because Gyokuro is so famous & rare, it can be difficult to find the authentic article. The same goes for all quality green teas. That's why it is always best to deal with a highly reputable company that sources its tea direct from the source via Japan. LUPICIA is a perfect example. In fact, our parent company is Japanese & is of course based in Japan! Read more about us here.