Japan has a very old and established history of tea. However almost all tea produced in Japan is consumed domestically.
Tea is grown mainly in the Southern prefectures (regions) such as Kagoshima, Shizuku and Kyoto.
Sencha teas where the harvested leaves are steamed to enhance flavour and appearance, make up almost 80 per cent of teas produced in Japan.
Matcha tea, a bright green powdered tea used in the famous Japanese Tea Ceremony (Chanoyu) is also sought after. Bancha is another style of Japanese tea.
The highest quality of Japanese tea is Gyokuru tea, where the plants are shaded for weeks before picking and processing. Gyokuru is a rare tea which produces a pale green infusion.
Genmaicha, a green Sencha tea with the interesting addition of roasted rice (popcorn) has a distinctive and nutty flavour.
Among the flavoured teas, Sakura (Cherry Blossom) is a popular blend due to its refreshing and crisp taste.