Genmaicha Yame is a sencha tea where roasted rice has been added. The roasted rice gives the tea a very crispy taste.
5. Hojicha /Bancha
Don't be mistaken by the brown color, Hojicha is a green tea: it has been steamed tight after the harvest to stop the oxidation of the tea. After steaming, Hojicha is roasted, giving the tea leaves the brown color. The roasting is a natural way to remove the caffeine from the tea. That's why in Japan people enjoy Hojicha mainly in the evening. Azumaya Hojicha has a deep strong taste, making it perfectly suited as an alternative to coffee. Also great for making Ice-tea: just make the fresh tea, and pour it in a glass filled with ice cubes to cool it down.
The last weeks before harvest, the tea plants are covered with shadow nets. This forces the plants to create extra polyphenols in order to make its photosynthesis, making the Matcha tea very rich in anti-oxidants. The caffeine in Matcha is absorbed slowly by the blood, giving a 3 hour lasting boost of concentration. In order to enjoy the slight bitter taste, Japanese tend to eat something sweet prior to drinking Matcha tea. This way you get the perfect balance between sweet & bitter.