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, Hoji-Bancha is a green tea: it has been steamed tight after the harvest to stop the oxidation of the tea. After steaming, Hoji-Bancha 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 soft taste, making it perfectly suited to drink with (Japanese) food. Bancha tea is from the last harvest, making it very rich of minerals
During the last weeks before harvest, the tea plants are covered with shadow nets. The shade forces the tea plants to produce more chlorophyll in order to make its photosynthesis. The extra chlorophyll gives the tea leaves a very sophisticated and deep taste. It is also very rich in anti-oxidants. If brewed correctly, a sip of Gyokuro brings an explosion of taste in the mouth!
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.