28 Comments

  1. Janis Phelps
    August 20, 2013

    I am so pleased to have found your site. It is very well done, the information is excellent, and the presentation is welcoming..
    Would you please let me know what teas you recommend as being lowest in caffeine. I have an anxious reaction (like you to the caffeine in coffee) and have found many teas cause this response. Loving green tea as I do, I would like to continue to drink it. Kind regards, J

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      August 20, 2013

      Hello Janis, thanks for the comment.
      Houjicha and genmaicha are both very low in caffeine, the first one because of the extra roasting process and the second because the added rice has no caffeine.

      Reply
  2. Sarah
    April 5, 2014

    Such an informative site thank you so much! It would be really great if you could do a health section explaining all the health benefits of tea…there are so many!
    Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      April 6, 2014

      Hello Sarah

      As you say, there are many. That’s why I’ve been publishing health-related articles every now and then. I’ll probably summarize them all in a future post.

      Reply
  3. Spiii
    February 17, 2015

    Felicidades, Ricardo. I am so pleased to see that in Latinamerica there is someone adventuring into real tea. I am more knowledgeable of Chinese tea but as I drunk some ichabancha, a search brought me to your page. I will soon be in Colombia (Medellin, Cartagena y Cali) but unfortunately not in Bogota in which case a cata would definitely been on my adgenda.

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      February 17, 2015

      Thank you for your message Spiii.

      It sounds like a very fun trip, enjoy your stay in Colombia. The next time please stop by Bogotá for a tea tasting : )

      Reply
  4. Dan
    November 18, 2015

    You mention above that Houjicha and genmaicha are both very low in caffeine. Is there one that is also high in theanine? Looking for one for a relative to help increase relaxation, decrease anxiety.

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      November 19, 2015

      Hello Dan

      Unfortunately, most teas that are high in L-theanine aren’t low in caffeine. Although some have less than others.

      My advise is to find a kukicha that is mostly stems and twigs, no tea leaves. That way you minimize the caffeine and get the L-theanine that you seek.

      Reply
  5. Bradley
    June 27, 2016

    I remember being in Japan and eating at Kaitenzushi places. The tea they had was distinctly strong and less delicate to matcha. Was this konacha?

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      June 27, 2016

      Hi Bradley

      Thanks for commenting.

      Yes, it was probably konacha. I wrote a post about it, in case you’re interested:
      https://www.myjapanesegreentea.com/the-type-of-green-tea-served-at-japanese-sushi-bars

      Reply
  6. Nan
    January 13, 2017

    Which Japanese teas would be considered the ‘healthiest’ re: ‘nutrient’ content, etc. FYI – Many thanks for your site!

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      January 13, 2017

      Hi Nan

      The healthiest regarding nutrient content would be matcha, because it’s more concentrated and you are essentially ingesting the whole leaf because it is a powder.

      Reply
  7. Francesca C.
    May 3, 2017

    I discovered your website a couple of months ago and it was a great source of inspiration – and still is! It has given me the right boost to start my own tea adventure !
    So many thanks for sharing all your knowledge!

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      May 3, 2017

      Dear Francesca

      Thank you for your kind comment. Have fun in your tea adventure 🙂

      Reply
  8. Annie
    August 3, 2017

    Hi, I’m heading to Japan soon and would like to stock up on tea while I’m there & would appreciate your advice on which teas I should try. I know most people enjoy a lighter & sweeter tea but I would love to find a strong & bitter loose tea. I can generally only get the strong bitter taste I prefer from teabags & have tried to switch to loose leaf but so far the ones I have tried are to grassy or lack any bitterness. Are you aware of any types which offer a strong and bitter flavour without the grassy taste. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      August 3, 2017

      Hello Annie

      I hope that you enjoy your trip to Japan.

      Well, perhaps a fukamushi (deep steamed) sencha or a konacha can get very bitter if you steep for longer times and in boiling water.

      But note that too much bitterness is generally undesirable, and the higher the quality the less bitter it tends to get. That’s why intentionally buying high quality tea and brewing it to make it bitter doesn’t make so much sense.

      The grassy taste also has to do with astringency, which increases the same way bitterness does. It’s also present in green tea, so I’m not sure what your preference would be.

      The other advise I can give you is to prepare a gyokuro in the standard way, it will give you a strong taste with lots of umami, it transalates into a tea with much body. Maybe you will like it.

      Reply
  9. Espi Farrahi
    August 11, 2018

    Hello
    I have read many of your tea information on this site and am very please to find one so true to details.
    Honestly i drink black tea but want to switch to green tea.I heard green tea has better nutrients and health benefits.I prefer to get some powered tea so i can consume whole leaf and brew easily.Now being so many different tea I am unable to decide which one will be best..Also I read in your post i can ground myself tea leaf but wont be perfect.So can you give me advise which one to buy in powder will be best if not which tea leaf I should buy and grind myself. Also where will be best to buy from so it could be genuine quality as it is a long time decision.I highly appreciate your expertise
    reply. Thank-you

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      August 12, 2018

      Hi Espi

      Health benefits and quality are not the same thing. A ceremonial matcha that is very expensive and has a very good color, flavor and aroma might be just as healthy as a very cheap green tea powder that is very bitter and astringent.

      This is because catechins, among them EGCG, are bitter and astringent. For high quality Japanese green tea you need a balance, so more amino acids instead.

      If you only care for health benefits, any green tea powder will do as long as it is reasonably fresh.

      Reply
  10. Angela A
    April 21, 2019

    A friend recently gave me a teabag of hojicha tea which I enjoyed. I’m wondering if “houjicha” is the same or not?

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      April 21, 2019

      Hi Angela

      Yes, it’s the same. The correct way to spell it is 焙じ茶, but in our letters there is more than one transliteration system, that’s why there are differences.
      Actually, instead of hojicha, hōjicha is more accurate, because it has a long vowel.

      Reply
      1. Angela A
        April 21, 2019

        Thanks!

        Reply
  11. Mike RObinson
    January 12, 2021

    Hi there Ricardo, I was just wondering if you would be able to tell me what Type-D matcha is?
    Can’t find what that is defined as in context to Matcha. I have a Tenchu leaves Organic Matcha batch and the lab analysis and label (wholesale) shows Type-D.
    Thanks for your time.

    Mike

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      January 12, 2021

      Hi Mike

      Sometimes Japanese tea companies have their own grading systems. But it is an internal thing, not an industry norm.
      You have to ask them in order to be sure about which matcha is it.

      Reply
      1. Mike Robinson
        January 13, 2021

        Hi Ricardo: Excellent, thought that might be a possibility, so thanks for your time with that.
        Tenchu leaves are a more rare leaf that I’m told is even hard to find in Japan. What are your thoughts on Tenchu leaves in context to a couple other higher grade leaves for matcha?

        Reply
        1. Ricardo Caicedo
          January 13, 2021

          I don’t know what tenchu leaves are. Perhaps it is tencha that you are referring to, or it is also a brand for the tea leaves that your supplier sells.

          Real matcha is made from grinding tencha leaves into a powder by definition. Tencha is a type of shaded tea.

          Reply
  12. Skye
    June 19, 2021

    Ricardo, you’ve done amazing work on this site and have introduced me to some rare and amazing teas I never would’ve discovered otherwise! Thank you! 🙂

    I was wondering if you knew of a Japanese tea that was good for the lungs, breathing freely, clearing congestion, etc. — any one of those or some combination. I find some herbal teas are good for this and some strong/bitter Chinese raw pu-erh. But, I’m curious if there’s a Japanese variety. Let me know if you have any thoughts on this. And, thank you ahead of time!

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      June 20, 2021

      Hi Skye

      Green tea benifuuki powder is good for allergies. Other than that, it’s good to keep in mind that most of what Japan makes are green teas, and their health benefits are quite similar.

      I’m interested in enjoying a tea, its taste and aroma. Health benefits is a good thing to have, but I believe that it shouldn’t be the main reason to drink tea. For example, health benefits don’t correlate with quality. You can have a green tea that is of top quality, but in health benefits it is the same as a low quality one.

      Reply
      1. Skye
        June 20, 2021

        Thanks for the recommendation. I don’t drink tea solely for its health benefits. I know someone who does, though and it’s really helped them. So, to each their own. I do enjoy tea. I’ve also done quite a bit of scientific research on it. The papers I’ve read have indicated that quality can correlate heavily with health benefits, though it can depend on what variety of tea you’re referencing. There are also very large variations in health effects due to the processing of green teas — e.g. the roasting process can annihilate certain constituents of the tea, resulting in a very different nutritional profile; consuming brew (sencha) rather than the whole leaf (matcha) can further alter nutrition; growing conditions such as shading can change caffeine/GABA concentrations, etc. Not everyone is interested in that aspect of things, though. That’s fine. I just thought I’d ask. 🙂

        Reply

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