Tea Culture,  Tea Reviews

What Is Guricha? Taking A Look At Japan’s Lesser Known Green Tea

Guricha is peculiar Japanese green tea. It benefits from a specific process that creates a tea similar in appearance to the pan-fired teas of China. Guricha is a high grade green tea that is steamed and fashioned into ‘comma’ shaped leaves by omitting the final kneading process. Guricha has attained fame and lore throughout Japanese tea history. Traditionally, much of this tea had been exported to the Mediterranean countries like Morocco. This tea brews a milder, less astringent cup than a typical sencha.

Guricha is different from sencha both in appearance and taste. The “mild” flavor that guricha might have doesn’t mean the flavor is necessarily flat. The resulting cup is full of character but it is slightly different than sencha. As we mentioned early, the final kneading process that sencha goes through is omitted with this tea. This is the main difference. With sencha, there is a final kneading process when producing the tea. This kneading process further breaks down the fibers of the tea plant and can result in a tea that releases its flavor compounds faster. Guricha, which does not go through this final kneading process, can comparatively taste less bitter and astringent but softer and a little sweeter. Here is a video that we did talking a little more about this.

Guricha can also be pan fried or steamed whereas sencha is steamed. Guricha is also known as tamaryokucha which literally means “coiled-green-tea” though the guri in guricha refers more to the curly shape and not so much the “coiled” shape of the leaves. Guricha is also comparatively easy to brew. It’s recommended you brew it at 180F for 60 seconds. This is different than some sencha and fukamushi-sencha which do better with lower temperature water, perhaps 160F. So, if you like a hot cup of green tea, guricha is great for that.

We have an organic version of this tea which is also quite nice. This is the one we used for this video. We hope you get a chance to check out these organic and non-organic versions of this tea to see which you prefer more. Follow out instagram and tiktok for more content. Also, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter by visiting our website and entering your email into the box at the bottom of the page.