Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

Japanese Green Tea and Indian Tea: The Unique Differences

Photo: Jorge Royan

Japanese Green Tea and Indian Tea: The Unique Differences

Shy

Tea is an aromatic beverage ordinarily arranged by pouring hot or bubbling water over cured leaves of the camellia sinensis, an evergreen bush local to Asia. After water, it is the most broadly consumed drink in the world. There are various sorts of tea; a few teas, such as Darjeeling and Chinese greens, have a cooling, marginally severe, and astringent flavor, while others have vastly diverse profiles that incorporate sweet, nutty, flower or grassy notes.

As I said the taste of tea varies from region to region. I have tasted Japanese and Indian tea and both of them are completely different from each other. Tea is the most commonly drunk beverage in Japan and an important part of Japanese food culture. Different sorts of tea are broadly accessible and devoured anytime of the day. Green tea is the most well-known kind of tea, and when somebody says "tea" (お茶,ocha) without indicating the sort, it is green tea to which is alluded. Green tea is also the central element of the tea ceremony.

Japanese Green Tea

Japanese Green Tea

Photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_tea#/media/File:Sencha.jpg
Japanese green teas are steamed giving them a more "vegetative" or "leafy" taste. They are categorized by the age of the leaves: young leaves are called “sencha” and the more mature, larger leaves are called “bancha”. Types of tea are commonly graded depending on the quality and the parts of the plant used as well as how they are processed. There are large variations in both price and quality within these broad categories, and there are many green teas that fall outside this spectrum.

The best green tea is said to be from the Yame region of Fukuoka prefecture and from the Uji region of Kyoto. Yet there is never sugar and milk used with the tea. So, it does not have any sweet taste but is really healthy for drinking.

Tulsi, Chai Masala

Tulsi Tea

Dietmut Teijgeman-Hansen on Flickr

7511181948_b593ea297c_k

Elaichi Tea
David Henderson on Flickr
2880746348_2c07bba6db_o

Pudina Tea

secretlondon123 on Flickr
On the other hand, India is the second largest producer of tea in the world after China, including the famous Assam tea and Darjeeling tea. Traditional Indian kitchens have long utilized the medicinal benefits offered by various plants and spices such as holy basil (Tulsi), cardamom (Elaichi), mint (Pudina), etc. And traditionally, teas made with these plant leaves and spices have been in use for centuries for maladies both serious and trifling. The taste of “chai” (sweet and milky) helps disguise the stronger and more bitter flavors of some of the medicinal additives, while other, more pleasant flavors such as cardamom and ginger add pleasing flavors and aroma to the tea along with health benefits.

Indian Chai

Chai Tea

Photo:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_tea_culture#/media/File:Masala_Chai.JPG
On the other hand, Indian tea is really sweet and delicious. Indian uses sugar and milk with the tea leaves to prepare a tea dish. This type of tea is very popular in India. There is no specific time to drink tea in the sub-continent. There are various tea stalls in India called "Tongs" where they only sell tea.  Normally the tea is very cheap too.  People can order a single cup of tea and sit and gossip with their friends for hours. 

Japanese tea is healthy, Indian tea is tasty.  Go have a few gulps and see which one you prefer.  Differences aside, whichever you choose, you can be sure that you have ingested an important part of that country's culture.  Every cup contains a piece of that country's soul.  Japanese and Indian tea do have one thing in common in that they are more than just a drink, they are an experience everyone wants to share.