Efforts to Keep Tea Leaves in Good ConditionEfforts to Keep Tea Leaves in Good Condition

Elements of Tea Flavor

The most important elements which create the taste and aroma of Japanese green tea are Catechin, Theanine (amino acid), and Caffeine.

1. Flavor and Features of Each Element

Flavor Water Temperature for Extraction Healthy Benefits (*) Related Japanese Tea
Catechin refreshing aroma,
astringent taste
extracted best at over 167 - 176F (75 - 80C) removing free radicals, reducing cholesterol and fat, antibacterial and sterilizing Much Catechin is found in tea leaves that are grown in bright sunlight. Sencha and Houjicha (Bancha) are rich in Catechin.
Theanine mellow aroma,
sweet taste
equally extracted at low and high temperatures relaxes body, brain and nerves, restores mental balance, moderates the effects of Caffeine Much Theanine is found in leaves of young tea sprouts or tea shaded from sunlight before harvest. Ichibancha (first pick of the year), Gyokuro, and Matcha are especially rich in Theanine.
Caffeine mild bitter taste extracted best at high temperatures stimulates the central nervous system, increases energy and alertness Caffeine is found in Sencha, Gyokuro, and Matcha. Houjicha has very little Caffeine.

(*) For more information, please visit Green Tea for Health page.

2. Tips to Modify or Adjust the Flavor
- For a softer and mellower flavor, brew with lower temperature water for a longer time. In this way, more Theanine is extracted and less Catechin and Caffeine are extracted.
- For a sharper or more astringent flavor, brew with higher temperature water for a shorter time. In this way, more Catechin and Caffeine are extracted. Be careful not to brew too long, as it can become quite bitter.

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