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Tea Grading: Japanese Tea Grading System

Tea Grading: Japanese Tea Grading System

Did you know that tea is only grown in a few particular regions of Japan? Due to this, Japanese teas abide by a distinctly unique grading system. The two main sections of the grading system are based on when the tea was harvested and what particular parts of the tea plant were used. Japan also does not grade their tea based on the leaf size, as most of their teas are blended in the final stages of production. The late blending process allows them to combine different lots and sizes of tea leaves to create a better cup consistency. 99% of the tea that is harvested and sold in Japan is green tea, making it the most consumed beverage in Japan.

Below you will not only find the Grading System used in Japan but a list of Japanese teas we carry on our website. After enjoying this blog, go and visit us at to try a delightful Japanese tea for yourself!

  • Matcha - prior to picking the leaves are shaded, then hand-picked and ground into a fine powder. Matcha tea is primarily used in the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, making a high end matcha such as the ones used in the ceremony an expensive, yet luxurious treat.

  • Gyokuro - a tea grown under complete shade, Gyokuro is a tea rich in amino acids (Theanine) and caffeine. Due to being grown in the shade, Gyokuro does not contain any bitterness (catechins), which produces a rich, buttery and sweet umami flavor profile when brewed.

  • Sencha - one of the most popular teas in Japan, Sencha is grown directly in sunlight. When brewed it produces a delicate flavor with a slight astringency.

  • Genmaicha - known for its signature nutty, roasted flavor, Genmaicha contains popped corn and toasted rice kernels with a refreshing taste of green tea.

  • Kukicha - a tea known as “twig tea”, Kukicha is made from the stems of the tea plant.

  • Bancha - harvested later in the season, Bancha is commonly used as an everyday green tea. When steeped it will produce a soft aroma with a mild astringency.

  • Houjicha - combining roasted Bancha and Kukicha, Hojicha contains the leaves and stems of the tea plant. When brewed it will produce a savory flavor with a low caffeine content.

Experience the best tea Japan has to offer below!



This Japanese green tea is sure to delight a few of your senses. The nutty, toasted aroma and flavor of the popped corn and toasted rice kernels pairs perfectly with the refreshing taste of green tea. The more you drink, the more you want!



Full-bodied Japanese Sencha is soft, smooth and extremely pleasant to drink. As you sip this excellent organic green tea, a soft grassy aroma fills your nose and a fresh sweet taste fills your mouth.


Gyokuro Supreme

Imported straight from Japan, Gyokuro is a type of green tea that is reserved for tea connoisseurs. Its name is Japanese for “jade dew," and the tea has a sweet and umami flavor profile. It is extremely rare and considered a high quality tea for the most seasoned tea lover.


Organic Houjicha

This tea is beautifully aromatic and nutty in flavor, with a rich amber color that develops after only a short period of brewing. This combination of taste and appearance makes Houjicha a soothing choice at any time of the day, especially before bed.


Chado X Sinensis Ceremonial Matcha

Our ceremonial matcha comes from the Japanese prefecture of Mie. Historically, Mie has only supplied tea to Japan and Europe. Only recently have they expanded to the US. Together with our cousins from Tijuana, Sinensis Tea Bar, we are introducing a delicious matcha from this beautiful region.


Organic Roasted Kukicha

A harmonious blend that's organic (as nature intended it to be), but still satisfies. This tea is smooth, roasted to bring out a light nutty flavor, and provides a gentle warming effect. It's a delicate cup of tea that will quiet your mind and soul.


Want To Browse More Japanese Tea Blends?

Here at Chado Tea we have a large selection of Japanese Tea Blends to choose from. Check out our full collection of Japanese Teas today to find the right blend for you!