So, what is Japanese green tea?
Japanese green tea starts with a bush. It's about 3 feet high, and it's picked 4 times to 5 times most throughout the year. It starts in the early spring, about April or so, depending again on the weather pattern and that specific tea is called Shincha, very first picking of the year.
This type of tea, only lasts about 7 to 10 days max. After that they have another picking, and that style tea is called Sencha. Most of the tea consumed in Japan is called Sencha and they also export it to overseas.
Because the Japanese drink so much green tea, that they have to import from China a Sencha tea. So what they do is they ask their Chinese counterpart to produce a tea that's made the way they do. And what the Japanese do, is after they pick their tea leaves, they steam the tea leaves, increasing the corafil. Therefore, when you look at a Japanese green tea, it is greener than Chinese green tea.
From the Sencha the leader picking is called Bancha, and what they do is they take the Bancha and they roast it, it's called a Hojicha, which is a roasted tea and the Bancha as well they add rice kernels, and they call that genmaicha, which is made from, again the same style tea, it's just when it's picked.
Therefore when you think of Japanese green tea, it's one basic style of tea that has been manipulated to create the different styles, the different flavors of Japanese green tea.