Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

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Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby ClarG » Feb 7th, '14, 23:37

Has anyone here ever has Sencha or other types of traditional Japanese green teas from countries other than Japan?

I've had Sencha that was grown in Brasil that stash tea sells, and I've had Bancha that was from China that was included as a free sample with loose teas I bought online. I have seen Chinese sencha on a tea vendor site but I have never bought it or had it.

I am asking about Japanese styles/types of tea not grown in Japan since I stopped drinking Japanese tea after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby greenteaguide » Feb 8th, '14, 03:15

I've been in Japan and most of the tea is fine. I'm not worried at all about drinking green tea.

Find a supplier that gets tea from Kyoto or even further south, from Kyushu. Japan is very strict about contamination. Ask your tea supplier for their contamination certificate.

I would be more worried about tea from China. Most green teas from China have a high amount of lead.

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby ClarG » Feb 8th, '14, 03:55

greenteaguide wrote:I've been in Japan and most of the tea is fine. I'm not worried at all about drinking green tea.

Find a supplier that gets tea from Kyoto or even further south, from Kyushu. Japan is very strict about contamination. Ask your tea supplier for their contamination certificate.

I would be more worried about tea from China. Most green teas from China have a high amount of lead.


What about Brasilian green tea? I had some from stash and it put me to sleep. This was not a bad thing as it was very relaxing to me even late at night.

The Japanese tea companies and gov't may say they are strict about contamination but what about all of the radioactive water and waste they're dumping into the ocean?

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby tjsan » Feb 8th, '14, 10:18

ClarG wrote:Has anyone here ever has Sencha or other types of traditional Japanese green teas from countries other than Japan?

I've had Sencha that was grown in Brasil that stash tea sells, and I've had Bancha that was from China that was included as a free sample with loose teas I bought online. I have seen Chinese sencha on a tea vendor site but I have never bought it or had it.

I am asking about Japanese styles/types of tea not grown in Japan since I stopped drinking Japanese tea after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.


It's a bit silly approach. Japanese tea is certainly less polluted than Chinese, especially the ecological types.

Do some test Chinese tea on the content of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and see which one is more harmful.

http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/news ... log/39936/

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby miig » Feb 8th, '14, 12:07

I'm also more worried about pesticides in chinese tea than about radiation in japanese tea... japanese standards are so much more strict! But everyone sets his own priorities.
The fact that they're constructing new powerplants now really isn't great :? Sorry for the OT.

To answer your question, they're growing green tea in Switzerland now :)
I know quite a few countries which are producing greens, but only one that makes the Japanese varieties..Korea! Tea Gschwendner for example has a Sencha from Korea which I like A LOT. If I'm correct, they're active in the US also. But I don't see that particular tea on their HP. Anyhow, teehaus.com seems to have it to, i just don't know that vendor.

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby AdamMY » Feb 8th, '14, 12:49

miig wrote:To answer your question, they're growing green tea in Switzerland now :)
I know quite a few countries which are producing greens, but only one that makes the Japanese varieties..Korea! Tea Gschwendner for example has a Sencha from Korea which I like A LOT. If I'm correct, they're active in the US also. But I don't see that particular tea on their HP. Anyhow, teehaus.com seems to have it to, i just don't know that vendor.


Ugh, leave it to a massive conglomerate like Tea Gschwender to take a country known for producing great green teas in their own right, with their own long standing tea traditions, and then simply market Korean Sencha.

Not to really say anything bad about Japanese Sencha, because I really enjoy sencha, but its nearly the equivalent of a large corporation acquiring a chocolate producer in Belgium (Or Switzerland, or pretty much any country known for outstanding chocolate), and setting out to make a Hershey's knock off. (Again nothing really against Hershey's either).

Sorry for this little rant, and I know in the end companies go with what they can buy and sell that will make them money, but few people know about Korean tea and its culture anyway, and to give many more the impression that its a country that just mimics other counties styles does it a great disservice.

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby sherubtse » Feb 8th, '14, 13:09

AdamMY wrote: <snip> few people know about Korean tea and its culture anyway, and to give many more the impression that its a country that just mimics other counties styles does it a great disservice.


Even the Koreans are ignorant of Korean tea.

There was a Korean tourism booth at the recent Toronto Tea Festival. I received blank looks when I asked (after a demonstration of the Korean tea ceremony, mind you) about possible sources of Korean tea, both in Toronto and online.

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby Stentor » Feb 8th, '14, 13:23

AdamMY wrote:Ugh, leave it to a massive conglomerate like Tea Gschwender to take a country known for producing great green teas in their own right, with their own long standing tea traditions, and then simply market Korean Sencha.


TeaGschwendner are selling 16 different teas from Japan and 2 from South Korea, only 1 of which is sencha-style. You are wrong in assuming they have turned their back on Japanese tea.

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby AdamMY » Feb 8th, '14, 13:29

Stentor wrote:
AdamMY wrote:Ugh, leave it to a massive conglomerate like Tea Gschwender to take a country known for producing great green teas in their own right, with their own long standing tea traditions, and then simply market Korean Sencha.


TeaGschwendner are selling 16 different teas from Japan and 2 from South Korea, only 1 of which is sencha-style. You are wrong in assuming they have turned their back on Japanese tea.



I did not say they turned their back on Japanese tea, I was more talking about their ill treatment of Korean teas. I did check but at least on the US site for Tea Gschwender they only had 4 green teas, none of which were Korean. But still 50% of their Korean green teas are a Sencha imitation? That's still a bit shocking for a country known for outstanding local style of green teas like Korea.

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby thirst » Feb 8th, '14, 14:03

What comes up when you click on »Green Tea« on TG’s website is the page where they group green teas that are not from China or Japan (those are below). Strangely, only searching for the tea by name gives a result on the US site.

I haven’t had Korean teas other than those from TG, so I cannot say much at all about Korean teas, but I can say that even their Korean tea that is not »sencha-style« reminds me of the Japanese teas I’ve had (also only from TG). Steamed-tamaryokucha-style? (TG’s tamaryokucha is pan-fired).

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby AdamMY » Feb 8th, '14, 14:30

Some sluething on TG site and other googling lead me to the fact that it is similar/ equivalent to this: http://teahaus.myshopify.com/products/south-korea-seogwang-sencha I would link to the TG site but their photos are absolutely horrible and don't really give any information about the tea.

While it may not have the *perfect* appearance of the Japanese Sencha we have come to know, it most certainly is still attempting to be a Sencha, as Korean Greens tend to be more wiry and twisted.

Sorry if I am coming across a little gruff or unclear, I am fighting Influenza and my head might not completely be attached to my shoulders.

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby debunix » Feb 8th, '14, 14:41

AdamMY wrote: I am fighting Influenza and my head might not completely be attached to my shoulders.


Obviously you need more tea....and whatever is your personal equivalent of something warm, liquid, and easy on the system, chicken soup or pho.... Feel better soon!

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby Chip » Feb 8th, '14, 16:27

debunix wrote:
AdamMY wrote: I am fighting Influenza and my head might not completely be attached to my shoulders.


Obviously you need more tea....and whatever is your personal equivalent of something warm, liquid, and easy on the system, chicken soup or pho.... Feel better soon!

Might I suggest Sencha ... Japanese or Korean but NOT Chinese nor Brazilian! :mrgreen:

My experience with non Japanese sencha has been really bad, both Chinese and Brazilian, but maybe the Koreans got it right?

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby ClarG » Feb 8th, '14, 23:13

I'm drinking some Kenyan green tea now. It's Yorkshire brand tea in a bag. When I first found it in a supermarket I wrote to the Yorkshire tea co. asking what type of green tea they use, and they replied that it is Kenyan green tea.

I have seen Kenyan sencha for sale but it looks nothing at all like Japanese or Brasilian sencha.

I have seen bagged Korean teas at local Asian markets but I have never bought any.

I will avoid drinking Chinese sencha.

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Re: Sencha or Japanese green teas from countries besides Japan

Postby Stentor » Feb 9th, '14, 09:12

No problem, Adam. Get well soon! I just thought you had the wrong idea and jumped to conclusions too quickly.

Keep in mind that South Korean tea is (from a global market perspective) very much outside of the mainstream and TeaGschwendner is mostly catering to the mainstream. I figure their South Korean sencha is just an additional option and nothing leads me to believe it is intended to be a knockoff product. It's pretty good for the price actually, better than their Japanese sencha, though it's been a while since I've had their Japanese ones. Their other South Korean green tea is a more traditional South Korean style tea (more toasty, not steamed, more curly leaves).
In my opinion we should be glad a big worldwide company like TG makes teas from lesser known tea growing regions available. It's a start; maybe there'll be additional, more typical South Korean green teas in the future.

Just to be clear: I have no relationship whatsoever with that company apart from having bought some tea from them occasionally. Recently, I've bought this organic South Korean sencha a few times for the sole reason that I liked it (and because it is easily available in brick and mortar stores). I still drink and enjoy Japanese teas regularly.

Bottom line: Their South Korean sencha is a pretty good option for someone looking for a sencha style tea in that price range, regardless of origin.

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