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Japanese Tea and Tea Sets

Updated on January 9, 2015

A Modern and Ancient Tradition

Japanese tea is served to enhance a meal or to finish off a festive gathering. The spirit of sharing is important, as is the ceremony which surrounds the making of the tea.

Japanese green teas have a very distinct grassy, delicate flavor. The processing of the freshly picked leaves is different to that of Chinese green teas, as they are steamed to prevent oxidation, before being rolled and finished.

Japanese tea sets can be very elegant. Porcelain sets often have a delicate feel and intricate decoration. The cast iron "Tesubin" teapots were first created in China - they were refined by the Japanese into graceful vessels for brewing and serving tea.

The photo shows a tea ceremony, or Cha-no-yu, at Ankokuronji, a Nichiren temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa. It is by Urashimataro, who has released it into the Public Domain.

Japanese Sencha Tea

There are eight styles of Japanese tea, with the most popular being Sencha, with its delicate sweetness, mild astringency and flowery aroma. Sencha tea is a tasty green tea with a nice, robust grassy flavor. Sencha is made from the young leaves and buds. Depending on the processing, it ranges in color from emerald green to golden yellow. Late harvests of sencha are more astringent, with a more robust flavor and less aroma.

Sencha made with a traditional process will have a green color, and be filled with healthy antioxidants. It is uplifting, but relaxing with around 40% less caffeine than coffee.

Rishi Tea, Organic Green Tea Sencha, 2.11-Ounce Tin
Rishi Tea, Organic Green Tea Sencha, 2.11-Ounce Tin

A great everyday sencha. A premium Japanese tea with a good, clean flavor you can only get from a full leaf green tea like this one.


delicate flavor

golden sencha aroma

my tranquility

— My Sencha Haiku

Japanese Bancha Tea

Other styles of Japanese tea are bancha, matcha, mecha, kukicha, genmaicha, guricha, gyokuro and houjicha. Bancha is an everyday Japanese green tea, made from larger, more mature leaves and stems. It has a slightly less aromatic and more robust flavor than Sencha, and is more astringent. It is preferred by people who seek a more robust flavor.

BigTeaHouse Garden Bancha Green Loose Tea 1 Lb
BigTeaHouse Garden Bancha Green Loose Tea 1 Lb

Bancha is a traditional loose leaf green tea. It has earthy tones and scents, with a hint of sweetness.


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Japanese Tea Sets

To really enjoy the authentic experience of Japanese Green Tea, use a Japanese Tea Set. Choose from porcelain or cast iron "tetsubin" to brew a lovely pot of tea.

Tip for Selecting the Right Cast-Iron Tea Pot

The inside of a cast-iron teapot should be glazed in enamel, to prevent corrosion or rust.

Happy Sales HSCT-BMR05, Cast Iron Tea Pot Tea Set Bamboo Red
Happy Sales HSCT-BMR05, Cast Iron Tea Pot Tea Set Bamboo Red

A traditional cast-iron tetsubin, with two matching cups. Dark red, with an elegant bamboo pattern, this set has an internal coating of black enamel to help prevent corrosion.


Japan and its islands

Japan is made up of 6,852 islands, varying in size and population. The four largest islands are Hokkaido, Kyushu, Honshu and Shikoku, which together represent the majority (around 97%) of Japan's land area. Japan has more than 126 million people, with the Greater Tokyo Area having more than 30 million residents.

Hold Your Own Tea Ceremonies

This boxed Japanese tea ceremony set includes all you need for a tea ceremony. There is a heavy chawan (tea cup/bowl), a bamboo chasen (tea whisk) and a chashaku (tea scoop).

Tea Ceremony Set with Chasen Whisk #C3A509
Tea Ceremony Set with Chasen Whisk #C3A509

Tea bowl has subtle earth tone colors, and measures 5 inches in diameter. Made in Japan.


Are you a tea drinker? Do you prefer coffee? Do you like to try new drinks? Or are you happy with the ones you already know?

What is your favorite kind of hot beverage?

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    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 3 years ago

      Thanks Ibidii! I drink a lot of herb tea too, especially blends with camomile, but white and green tea are supposed to have some real health benefits.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 3 years ago

      I use herb teas, sometimes white or green tea. I used to drink black and earl grey, but I cannot these days. I use coffee now and then, as well as hot chocolate. I have a few tea pots and love them Hope to get a real authentic Japanese tea set with the bamboo whisk. My Grandma had a set that Grandpa got from Japan back in 1920 when he was in Japan in the US Navy. Great hubs!

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 3 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I once took part in a Japanese tea ceremony - magical

    • Minoru10 profile image

      Michael Yoshinaka 3 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Green tea for sure.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I enjoy a nice cup of green tea, and do have Japanese Green Tea in my cupboard :)