A growing number of Japanese tea farmers & producers are cultivating and processing tea leaves to be made into black teas in small quantities. They may use standard green tea cultivars or cultivars that are specifically oriented for black tea. What makes a cultivar suitable for Japanese green tea or black tea is the amount of catechin, the famed healthy (but bitter tasting) group of antioxidants, present in the leaf. Cultivars for green tea have actually less catechin, while cultivars said to be suitable for black teas have more catechin.
During the oxidization of tea leaves into black tea, catechin converts into other types of polyphenol compounds that give the tea its flavor. The more catechin in the leaf, the stronger the black tea flavor will be. One reason why green tea from India is so bitter is that producers are making green tea mostly from tea plants meant for black tea. On the other hand, Japanese tea plants, even the ones designated as suitable for black tea, have a lower amount of catechin. These plants make bitter green teas, but mild tasting black teas.
Mild tasting black teas are perfect for those who tend to drink their tea unsweetened.
This set features 10-gram bags of 5 different teas, chosen from our catalog, and includes also some of the smoked and flavored black teas we have. When choosing flavored black teas for the catalog, we tend towards flavors that are unique to Japan. We hope you enjoy this set!
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