I Love the Umami Taste of Green Tea

I love the umami taste of green
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A tea with much umami taste feels savory, brothy and with more body than usual.

I just can’t imagine going several days without drinking a tea that is high in umami.

When I became a regular tea drinker, I didn’t really understand why umami was important for Japanese green tea.

For example, I disliked gyokuro when I first tried it because it was way too brothy for my taste.

But now my palate has become used to it.

Umami taste and quality

In general, the amount of umami taste in a Japanese green tea is directly proportional to its quality.

Higher grades of tea such as sencha and gyokuro have more umami taste than a low grade tea like bancha.

The reason is that teas made from young leaves, and also shaded teas (such as matcha) have more amino acids.

However, with the arrival of single cultivar tea, the classic taste of Japanese tea is no longer the main standard to judge quality.

So it’s possible that in the future we’ll have Japanese teas that don’t have this taste as a main focus.


Green teas from other countries have umami taste as well.

But it’s normally lower than Japanese teas because of differences in tea cultivars and processing in general.

Umami taste and health benefits of green tea

I haven’t heard that umami taste can be good for your health. It’s rather neutral.

Moreover, the shading process used to increase amino acid content results in a lower amount of catechins, which are the healthy compounds in green tea.

However, catechins are bitter and astringent.

In other words, the shading process sacrifices health benefits in order to achieve a better taste.

Follow your own preferences

When I first discovered loose leaf green tea, I mostly drank genmaicha.

It’s hard for a beginner to properly appreciate a high quality tea. Some experience is required.

While I’m into umami taste, perhaps you prefer green teas that feel light and sweet, or some other variation.

Just drink the types of tea that you find delicious, even if they aren’t considered to be particularly luxurious.


  1. Ken Campbell
    January 24, 2023

    Loved your observations…..I am trying to taste as many cultivars as possible.I keep a journal

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      January 24, 2023

      Hi Ken

      Good to hear that you keep a journal. That adds more enjoyment to tea drinking.

      This blog is pretty much my tea journal.

  2. Sharon
    January 24, 2023

    Yes I love umami teas but it wasn’t until I learned to make a proper cup of tea before I could really appreciate them. I like all sorts of green teas from different areas.

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      January 24, 2023

      Hi Sharon

      Thanks for your comment. I wish you the best with your green tea journey.

  3. Bill
    January 24, 2023

    Interesting article as usual. Thanks!

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      January 24, 2023

      Thanks Bill, good to hear from you again.


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