Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea | Differences

Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea | Differences

96 thoughts on “Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea | Differences

  1. I only buy organic japanese green tea. Chinese tea is full of pesticids. Even chinese commercial organic tea is fake

  2. When it comes 2 tea I always buy organic ,even though I'm new into teas especially green tea. China I don't trust much because of all the chemicals they use according 2 what I have read, not even organic . Japan is tricky, u have 2 know from what region it came from because of the radiation of certain areas. Will continue 2 do my research Thank u sooo much 4 this very helpful info .

  3. Hi Don I take advantage of this video to point out two suggestions for forthcoming videos.
    1) it will be extremely interesting if you can make a detailed video in which explain (maybe with some graphs/images…) where a suitable type of tea principally grown. For example yunnan (that is a wide general indication) is mainly devoted to puh'ers and Taiwanese to oolongs. A geographical "study" can allow us to make links and maybe if someone is going to travel to China even help with some purchase. I hope that at least the general idea is clear.

    2) I don't have many experience on that, but I'll really appreciated if you can make a focus on NON Chinese tea (especially Indian). I'm not a fan, but I know too few to judge.

    Thanks a lot Don, I love you teas (and video as well). Bye from Italy, Andrea.

  4. I find it funny that you put out this video today as i just received your scorched black kyusu yesterday, wonderful kyusu btw, so i was just making some anji bai cha and some gyokuro when i saw the new video

  5. perfect timing. this morning my wife asked me what is the difference between chinese and japanese green teas. I had a hard time explaining. much appreciated, Don.

  6. Dear DON,
    Speaking about cultures…
    Currently, I am doing my research on European tea culture, specifically about between 1650 and 1850, the time when British, Frisian and Russian tea traditions have been forged, those three main European tea cultures which even developed a Tea Ceremony of their own. There are accounts, documents, iconography and contemporary medical publications about tea, so we can get a pretty straight picture of what tea culture was in Europe during 17-19th centuries. And what strikes me the most is – how different it was, compared to our modern Western tea culture !! !!

    – tea wasn't simply "tea", it was "Bohea", "Singlo", "Souchong", "Hysson", "Ankay", "Pekoe", "Congou", etc., differences between green, black and other teas were perfectly understood
    – between 1650 and 1800 we had a gradual shift from green tea (Singlo being the most popular and affordable) to black tea (Bohea making the relative majority of all tea by mid 18th century)
    – tea tasting was not only a thing in 18-19th centuries, it was almost a profession in our modern sense!
    – "common black tea", as drunk in Britain and East Frisia with sugar & milk and brewed on top of samovars in Russia, was Bohea, 100% of available tea was Chinese!
    – modern day heir of Bohea would be a highly oxidized roasted Wuyi-style oolong from Fujian, made of Shui Xian cultivar (matches historical descriptions of looks and taste the most)
    – Assam and Darjeeling only started to have an impact upon the tea market by the mid 19th and dominated the market around the beginning of the 20th century

    … the most important part is, two inventions changed European tea culture dramatically; the invention of teabags in early 20th century and the introduction of the CTC production method in the 1930's! These two messed with the traditional way of tea making quite a bit. Wuyi-style oolongs, especially Shui Xian, need lots of heat to open and give up their full flavour, so Russian samovars and Frisian stoves made perfect sense. Assam CTC tea or teabags are completely different in that regard, they don't require high persistent heat to extract properly, so samovars went out of use and Frisians now have to blend their teas specifically so they can handle traditional Frisian tea making process. Also, 18th century iconographic sources tell us consistently that tea cups, used for tea drinking in Europe, had no handles and had that classic bowl-shape, although larger in size than Chinese ones. Adding sugar was common, milk not so much, depending upon regional and personal taste.

    What I am trying to say is, our modern Western tea culture is something completely different to European tea traditions that existed during the 1650-1850 time frame. We drink not the same tea, we use only one part of the traditional teaware (teapot, pretty much), we don't celebrate tea anymore and tea has a completely different status and taste to it than it had back in 18th century. The more I delve into classic European tea traditions, the more I realize how much closer they were to contemporary Chinese tea culture, rather than modern day Western tea habits.

    I did a East Frisian tea ceremony with all the parameters being 100% traditional… including the tea I used, a Wuyi-style Shui Xian oolong!
    The difference in taste and body was significant, I dare to say somewhat outlandish, if we go by the taste habits of your average builder-brew consumer.
    It's like Assam tea blends make Frisian tea that has strong floral chocolate impression, whereas Shui Xian created a brew very reminiscent of modern day cappuccino!

    Just to make a point.


  7. SUPER-D! Hahaha!!! When you started BITCHIN' n TWITCHIN' struggling to get the words out about the sale (know that was hard for you), I thought for a second there that Celine was going to have to roll out the "Wheel Of Chaos"… HAHAH! …

  8. Once again, an excellent video. I could almost taste the teas by your description 😉 When it comes to food pairing, these two teas are matched very differently as well, savoury/vegetal compared to more flowery/vegetal. It will be interesting to experiment on this. Any suggestions?

  9. Does anyone know what kettle that is? I'm looking for a new one. Thanks. 🙂

  10. Great video! I always learn something new when watching you. I truly love your channel. I would also have a request from you when you have some time. Another country that produce tea and has some great plantations is India. Can you please make a video about Indian Tea too and how it compares to China and Japan? Thanks! 🙂

  11. Was enjoying this with a Sencha.
    For the Sencha, I would have kept it 30 seconds to a minute but used 13g for that pot. It could easily serve 3 people and make 3 solid infusions.
    🍵 Cheers!

  12. Thank you, you have answered some of the questions I had about the key differences between these two tea cultures. A very helpful video, indeed. Great job explaining, and highlighting the variables on culture vs. cultivation, and the flavor notes.. It seems that Chinese tea brings a bit of its environment into its leaves, whereas Japanese tea feeds the leaves to maximize thier true potential. I so want to try the savory notes of the Japanese sencha tea. I may enjoy it with more appreciation, especially considering the benefits are as important as taste.

  13. Excellent video. I am so glad to see you focusing on green teas. I think you would bring balance to your channel increasing your emphasis on yellow (黄),green (绿),& white (白) teas as you seem to spend the majority of your time covering Pu'ers (黑lit.black),Oolongs (青 lit. blue-green) & blacks (红lit. red). [translation is for some viewers]. Just a thought.

  14. I am bit surprised you would brew good quality sencha with 80°C water. But I can see it work in that water to tea amount ratio.

  15. Great comparisons! I like Japanese tea more since I’m interested in that theanine hit and that thick miso like broth.

  16. One thing you didn’t talk about is Japanese teas tend to be more finicky with brew times and temps since they steep quite quickly. Chinese teas steep slower from my experience and can be more foregiving.

  17. In relation to the leaf/water ratio. Sometimes with japanese green tea an even higher amount of leaf is used with respect to chinese green teas. For example, with Gyokuro I usually do 8-10g of leaf per 60-80ml of water (1st infusion). By the way, another difference that I just came up with: usually the best infusion with japanese greens is the first one, while with chinese greens you usually get the best infusion on the 2nd? Why do you think this is the case?

  18. I had the pleasure of tasting Hoshino TAY gyokuro which has won the all Japan tea competition in 2016, it is beyond words, the perfume and clarity is amazing. I also like Anhui green tea, Lu An gua pian is a good starter for a japanese tea lover, and Bi luo chun is also along my favourite chinese green teas, they are so different that it is like comparing apples to oranges. I think westerners who are raised on sugar are shocked by sencha.

  19. Thank you for the excellent video! As a Chinese who is studying Japanese tea in Japan right now, I totally agreed with you on the opinion that the different way the two countries grow,process and brew the tea reveal the difference between two cultures.I don't think many Chinese ever tried sencha before, perhaps the same to Japanese,if both can drink each other's tea more, perhaps there will be less hostile and misunderstanding.

  20. QUICK QUESTION: What questions should I ask potential tea vendors to ensure they are the ones I’d want to purchase from? (I’m starting a business)

  21. Hi Don,
    first let me thank you for your many insightful videos and for your transparency and passion as a tea seller. I ordered your Matcha, Superior Iron Goddess and many tasters and so far I'm absolutely in love with what you have to offer 🙂

    However, I have one question regarding the comparison of Chinese and Japanese Green Teas. I noticed (that also with your teas) the leafs of Chinese Green Teas always seem to be less damaged. No matter if Bi Luo Chun, Anji Bai Cha or Longjing, with good quality teas you'll have many whole and undamaged leafs in your Gaiwan after brewing. With Japanese Green Teas (also with your Sencha and Gyokuro for instance) I noticed that the leafs are more damaged. But when I look at the processing of the leafs the Japanese way of processing appears more gentle and less harmful to the leaf (at least with Asamushi steaming) to me compared to the Chinese techniques. I was wondering whether you could elaborate a bit on this question and why Chinese Green Teas tend to have less damaged leafs. Thank you 🙂

  22. The manipulation of flavors you get with Japanese Sencha, as opposed to commercial Chinese green teas, even the higher grade commercial ones is the predominant reason as to why I have shied away from them. For instance, with Fukamushicha I got bursting notes of basil and oregano, followed by seaweed.

  23. Tea noob here so bear with me… isn't the difference in color just due to one being steeped for 60 seconds and the other for 15? I'd guess if they were both 60 they'd be much more similar. Also how come the 'stronger' Japanese tea needs a longer brewing time than the weaker Chinese?

  24. Hey! Nice video! I saw you on the Alex video, and I loved your passion about tea! It made me get into this nice world of tea. Thanks man c:

  25. Good video. I have a kind suggestion, you have a long introduction and many people don’t have much time to listen to 15 min videos and to people who talk too much. Just tell us the difference !

  26. hey don
    Can you tell me where its the best place to store tea. i have so many delicious tea from mei leaf but some which i bought a few months ago taste a lot weaker now. i have stored them right now in the kitchen cupboard but i am considering buying an extra refridgerator for tea.
    cheers Long

  27. I drink matcha 2 times per day and general brewed gt 3 times per day but I heard that it can contain heavy metals what’s your thoughts on this ps I drink ceremonial grade matcha.

  28. Thank you for another great video. Fragrant green teas are very enjoyable, especially with good Japanese food. However, Chinese black teas are my favorites. I like them brewed strong in porcelain or bone china teapots and sweetened with white cane sugar. They're great with mild, room temperature cheddar cheese that's thinly sliced.

    Years ago, we got fantastic loose leaf black teas from a tiny French shop that's no longer in business. Sold in bulk from antique apothecary jars, I don't remember what type they were. The large, jet-black leaves were rolled and so strong that it only took a few of them to make a full English pot. Some of them were delicately fruit flavored. They were the best teas I ever had.

    The only place those memorable teas were ever seen was that enchanting San Francisco shop which specialized in fine imports from Provence. It was owned by a delightful retired ballerina from the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

  29. I like green tea with Japanese food and green tea ice cream. Otherwise, I can't get into it. Strong black teas are my favorites.

  30. Its very hard to talk about cultural differences and you did it extremely respectfully, and in my opinion correctly. Great job, thanks.

  31. GREAT review, spot on, totally agree on every point in my experience – love both teas equally. Being used drinking Sencha, first time brewing / drinking PROPER Chinese tea I was so surpised by it's subtle more golden (instead of greenish) color and natural flavors. Thank you for this video. You got an extra customer when I come to London.

  32. 中国茶は香り、日本茶は味、

    ・The good aroma for Chinese tea
    ・The taste for Japanese tea
    Depends on these ,You can choose which you want to enjoy tea..

  33. How can you compare the intensity of the tea color based on an infusion time of one minute for Japanese tea versus twenty seconds for the Chinese tea? That's an unfair and unscientific method of comparison. Furthermore, the Chinese tea leaves, as you have said, were harvested from much younger leaves which would have much lighter green color then the older and hence greener Japanese tea leaves. So of course, the much shorter time of infusion coupled with the much younger, lighter green Chinese tea leaves must inevitably produce a much lighter colored tea in your experiment. No surprise there.

    As far as nutrition is concerned, all plants concentrate most of their nutrients to the youngest growing tips, and so the Chinese tea leaves being picked at an earlier and younger stage, would have possessed more nutrients than the Japanese tea leaves, which ultimately results in a sweeter aftertaste. Some are picked so young that qualifies as the most expensive "white tea", not green tea. The most expensive tea differs from the common ones by having more complex subtle flavors and a very pronounced sweet aftertaste.

    I also see that the Japanese tea is more cloudy, but then again may be that's because the infusion time is far longer than the infusion time you allowed for the Chinese tea, and/or partly attributed to the steaming process instead of the baking process used in China.

  34. Chinese tea- playing in a blossoming meadow as a child. Natural and free.

    Japanese tea- warm and safely snuggled up at home on a rainy afternoon.

    It's so nice to live in a world where we can have both.

  35. japanese tea is far better because they taste like freshly steamed leaves, whereas pan roasting destroys chinese green tea.

  36. sencha is medium ground, gyokuro if you want maximum umami flavour, and bancha if you want fruity and rich flavour.

  37. I seriously recommend you try the Chinese Tea(dan cong ) “单丛” it is a fantastic tea, I honestly hope you try it. It smells really refreshing, the fragrant is fantastic, it leaves a nice after taste, no bitterness and most importantly if you feel guilty about bingeing or have just over-stuffed yourself at the All You Can Eat Buffet, it works wonders for your digestive system, you can almost feel the fat and stuffiness being flushed out of your body. The down side though, is if you’re hungry you don’t want to drink this tea unless you’re about the eat, coz it will make you more hungry. But honestly, it is THE Chinese tea I recommend to all my overseas friends. Really must try.

  38. At your page when I look at Kanaya Midori Sencha you recommend gong fu brewing with 4g per 100ml. Should I try 7g for 300 like you used here? I always do gong fu with Japanese tea

  39. I know what I'm binging today! Thank you for these magnificent videos. I consider myself quite a tea junkie, but I tend to favor teas blended with floral elements. I've been eager to grow more appreciative and familiar of straight teas and I already enjoy oolongs and greens -it's my hope that I'll grow to appreciate more black teas as a result of your educating! Cheers from Austin, Texas and I hope you get to try some of our local tea houses in the future…we have some lovely ones!

  40. Pros brew green tea in different ways trust me. First put green tea in the fridge before using. After putting leaves in the cup, pour in about 1/5 of the cup cold/lukewarm water FIRST, after that you pour in boiling water, which prevents overheating green tea to release too much caffeine matter in the first brewing and that strong bitter smell. For next brewings you can just add boiling water, still preferably with leftover soup from last brewing…

  41. I have never in my life heard someone call Chinese tea lighter than Japanese tea. Of course if you brew for only 15 seconds it will taste lighter. But if you brew them both for 2 minutes, then you can clearly judge which is lighter. So Chinese tea may be brewed lighter, but I don't think you could ever argue the tea itself is lighter naturally. At least not until you actually try both made in the same way.

  42. I always manipulate the Chinese tea flavor by stepping it longer time than is required, and breaking up the leafs in to smaller pieces, that way releases more flavor and becomes stronger ….

  43. More pesticides in Chinese tea these day not like before. Japanese tea is healthier so people live longer there. I prefer Japanese tea as I m not from both country

  44. The way you brew Biluochun is wrong, pour hot water in the cup first, than drop the leaves. The leaves will sink, if it doesn’t , it’s probably fake.

    It’s the only green tea that is brewed this way.

  45. just had tamahomare gyokuro, it has a sweet enchanting berry aroma,  at least that's as close as I can get to describe it now, much less umami aroma, complex, deep., profound, unlike unidimensional lower grades

  46. What an treasure it is to find this channel. I recently got interested in the world of teas. Its like learning about new art, exploring whole new world. And is there better way to enjoy this video than with few brews of organic gyokuro! I like this one so much. I've started my tea journey with these japanese teas gyokuro, sencha and guricha. I like that brothy feel and taste (umami) and that theanine kick. I swear its bit like being "high" type of feeling, yet clear mind. So relaxed, calm and focused. Im gonna dive deep into this world of teas. Thanks for this great channel!

  47. 龙井(dragon well)is the best green tea in China, but the problem is the quality varied largely. For example, if u get the dragon well picked before the 清明(qingming)festive,it will taste awesome. the dragon well i drink is over 4000 USD per 斤 (500 grams).

  48. So the question is, where does one purchase quality loose teas? Online, obviously, but what are some good sites?

  49. Not gonna lie, I once brewed a gyokuro sample Gong Fu style, with the exception of the rinse. I skipped the rinse by accident, but I'm glad I did because apparently it's a bad idea to rinse those since they extract quickly. Also, one kyusu guide I found gives Western brewing instructions, which is 1-2 teaspoons. Also, I had a Western-brewed Sencha blend from a cafe today and and was reminded of the weak, watery flavoring of Western brewing, not to mention the long heat retention of a 16oz mug.

  50. A good biluochun will beat any green tea from any country. I’m too much of a cheapskate to buy it though, and I wait for people to give it to me as bribe

  51. Watching this while drinking 2019 shincha, from Ippodo, which amazingly was growing only about a month ago.

  52. I've always wondered why japanese tea leaves are always broken? Even when buying quality gyokuro the leaves are broken.

  53. I love tea but have a hard time with brewing time. It all comes out too acidic/tannic giving me a heartburn. I’m not sure if it’s the brewing/steeping time or just bad quality tea leaf. Found your channel recently btw! Binge watching all ur vids

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