Chances are if you’re reading this article you’re looking for interesting facts about Guricha from Japan. You’re in luck as this article will provide information about this rare tea from Japan.
By reading this article you will learn about Guricha’s origin, manufacturing process, flavour profile and other little known facts about the tea. If you choose not to read this article, you will miss the opportunity to learn about a unique and hard to find tea.
Firstly what is “Guricha”? Guricha means “curly tea” when translated from Japanese and refers to the shape of the leave after processing. It is of similar appearance to a comma. Guricha is also referred to as Tamaryokucha which is the Japanese translation for “coiled tea”.
Guricha is mainly produced in the Kyushu region in the southwestern island of Japan. Out of the total tea production Guricha accounts for only 5% of the total tea production in Japan. It is an extremely rare tea and as a result highly regarded among the Japanese.
The tea leaves used in Guricha are grown under full sunlight. After harvesting the leaves, they start off with a similar process to Sencha: steaming and drying. There is one important difference with Sencha though. While Sencha includes kneading, the final process of kneading is omitted with Guricha. Instead of straightening the leaves after rolling, Guricha leaves are dried with hot air in a revolving drum.
There are actually two different types of Guricha. The first is made with the steaming process (the same as other japanese green teas) and the second is done with a pan-fried process (generally a Chinese process).
Pan fried guricha is called kamairi tamaryokucha. In the 15th century the pan fried method was introduced by the Chinese to the northern islands of Kyushu. The steaming method was adopted by the Japanese later however and nowadays the pan-fried method is considered a rarity.
The differences between the two varies: some people contend that the steaming method preserves the nutrients and antioxidants in comparison to pan frying. There are some differences to the flavour as well. The steamed method produces a light astringency with a mellow flavor, and when brewed produces a golden yellow color.
In comparison, the pan fried method creates a mild roasted flavor and aroma.
To correctly brew guricha use a teapot.
Boil water and pour into the cups you will use.
Next add the Guricha into the teapot.
As a general rule of thumb you should use about 4g of guricha per cup.
Brew for 1 minute at about 80 degrees celsius/176 degrees fahrenheit.
After reading article you will have hopefully learned about Guricha’s origin, that the tea’s name means “curly tea”, that it is a rare tea that which is only 5% of total tea produced in Japan, its manufacturing process omits kneading, that the two different methods for producing guricha is pan-fried and steamed, how to correctly brew guricha, as well as the flavour profiles of this tea.
Make sure you do try this rare type of tea one day!