tamaryokuchaTamaryokucha (玉緑茶, ball green tea) has a different shape than most Japanese green teas. Instead of straight leaves, they are round and curly.

This tea has a mellow flavor, with light astringency, and when brewed it gives off a yellow tone.

How is tamaryokucha made?

The cultivation method and the processing is the same as for sencha, except in the last step. Instead of the tea leaves being  rolled and straightened out, they are placed in a revolving drum and dried with hot air.

Actually, there are two types of tamaryokucha, the first one is steamed (just like most Japanese green teas) and the second one is pan fried (a Chinese process). Pan fried tamaryokucha is known as kamairi tamaryokucha(釜炒り玉緑茶).

The term tamaryokucha by itself refers to the steamed version, and is also called mushiguri (蒸しグリ) and guricha (ぐり茶).

kyushuTamaryokucha producing regions

Tamaryokucha is mostly produced in Kyushu (a southwestern island of Japan), especially in the prefectures of Saga, Nagasaki, and Kumamoto.

Tamaryokucha was exported to the Soviet Union and the Middle East, because they preferred the shape of Chinese teas. Nowadays, I’m not sure how the state of that market is.

brewed tamaryokuchaHow to brew tamaryokucha

Tamaryokucha is brewed using the same method as for sencha, but the water temperature should be 80 °C (176 °F).

For each cup, use a teaspoon of tamaryokucha (4 grams), 60 ml of water at 80 °C (176 °F), and brew for 1 minute.


3 Responses to Tamaryokucha

  1. Chuck Bauman says:

    Great, informative website and postings. We just returned from a tea trip via JETRO and your website is giving us a lot of fill-in background information. I need to spend more time cruising it and soaking up information. Thank you so much!

  2. Oliver Strub says:

    “For each cup, use a teaspoon of tamaryokucha (4 grams), 60 ml of water at 80 °C (176 °F), and brew for 1 minute.”

    This would make roughly 60g for a litre of tea while I am using about 8 to 10g for this amount of water. Are you sure your indication is correct?

    Best wishes


    • Hello Oliver

      Yes, the guidelines are correct, it’s normal for many Japanese teas to use 4 grams per serving. These amounts are commonly used in Japan, that’s why the water volume seems low (Japanese tea cups are smaller than Western cups).

      However, they aren’t set in stone. Feel free to brew your tea the way that you enjoy it best.

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