You may not be familiar with the term “unoxidized tea”.
In this article, I’m going to explain about unoxidized tea.
What is unoxidized tea?
Unoxidized tea is a tea made from tea leaves with little oxidation, and the most of Japanese tea (green tea) is unoxidized tea.
By the way, the well-oxidized tea leaves are black tea, and the half-oxidized tea leaves are oolong tea.
It is an interesting point of tea leaves that even tea leaves picked from the same tea tree can be made into tea with completely different taste and aroma depending upon the oxidation condition.
Features of flavor, aroma and color
It depends upon the types and the cultivar of tea, but basically unoxidized tea has a delicate taste and aroma, and it becomes very beautiful green when brewed.
As there are many varieties and cultivars of Japanese tea, it is difficult to generalize, but when you imagine “Taste, aroma and color of Japanese tea” you might realize those of unoxidized tea.
Features of ingredients
Unoxidized tea does not have an oxidation process, so the ingredients and nutrients do not change easily, and it contains the rich nutrients that tea leaves originally have as they are.
It is packed with a lot of nutrients such as vitamin C, amino acids, catechins(tannins) that are expected to have an antioxidant effect, beta carotene that is said to be effective for immune enhancement and cancer prevention.
Manufacturing process of the unoxidized tea
First, as a preliminary preparation, picked tea leaves are steamed, then rubbed repeatedly in various ways and dried. After that, the process of heating (something like roasting) and sorting is repeated, and finally blending is done to make the quality uniform.
By the way, by steaming first, the function of the oxidase is stopped and oxidation is prevented. This is called “inactivation”.
Varieties of unoxidized tea
There are many varieties of unoxidized tea. You can find some of them below.
Sencha (Steeped green tea)
About 70% of tea consumed in Japan is Sencha. It is steamed and rubbed right after picking Shincha (First picked tea).
Fukamushi-Sencha (Deep steamed steeped green tea)
Fukamushi-Sencha is made by steaming it 2 ~ 3 times longer than Sencha. The longer the steaming time, the less fragrant, but the taste is sweeter.
Matcha and Tencha
Matcha is made from “Tencha”. Tencha is the only tea made without rubbing.
Kamairicha is made by roasting in an iron pot instead of steaming with a method introduced from China. By roasting it, you can smell the aroma that other teas don’t have.
Hojicha (Roasted green tea)
Hojicha(roasted green tea) is made by roasting Bancha or Stem tea over high heat until it becomes brown. It is characterized by its savory flavor and aroma.