The Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 4: Polyphenols to Tencha


How much do you know about tea?

To test your tea knowledge, answer this: What does Sanbancha, Ichibancha and Shincha have in common? If you don’t find the answers in the list below, make sure to check out Parts 1, 2, & 3 of the Glossary of Tea Terminology.

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 1: Andon to Cooling

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 2: Cultivar to Kusenaoshi

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 3: L-theanine to Photosynthesis

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 5: Tencha to Zairai


also called 'phenolics', these are antioxidants that fight free radicals that can alther and destroy cells in the body, even change their DNA. There are over 8,00 0 types of polyphenols and they can be further classified into subcategories

Preliminary processing

the 3-step processing that occurs within 24 hours of harvesting: steaming, cooling and drying


a Kyoto cultivar. It has a good resistance to cold weather. Compared to the yabukita matcha, a bowl of samidori matcha is smooth, soft and velvety. 'Midori' means 'green' in Japanese


the third tea harvest of the year. It is less flavorful than the nibancha harvest


an unshaded tea grown under the sun

Shaded tea/shade-grown tea

shade grown teas are teas that are shaded a month before harvesting. This includes matcha, sencha and gyokuro


the process in which tea leaves are kept under the shade, deprived of sunlight. This is done to improve the taste and aroma of the resulting tea. Exposure to direct sunlight breaks down the amino acids and converts them into catechins, the component responsible for making tea bitter. This method originated in Kyoto


the name for the black netting used in jikagise/direct shading


the tea that’s made from the ichibancha harvest. Supply of shincha tea is sold out by July and the next batch wouldn't be available until the next year

Shincha matcha

shincha tea that is meant to be processed into matcha. It should be from the ichibancha harvest to be considered shincha.

Spring fertilization

refers to the fertilizer added to the base of tea bushes at the end of February until the start of March. This is done to prepare for the spring harvest in early may

Spring harvest

the first tea harvest of the year. See 'Ichibancha'


the 1st step in the preliminary processing of tea. This occurs within 24 hours of harvesting tea and is done to stop oxidation in the leaves which can turn the tea bitter

Synthetic farming

this refers to the method of tea farming that uses synthetic fertilizers. Synthetic farming ensures that the bushes can produce high-quality leaves and the farmer can harvest the amount of tea they anticipated.

Synthetic fertilizers

non-organic, artificial fertilizers that use chemicals to enhance the growth of tea bushes. These usually contain Nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potassium and ammonium sulfate


the name for the canopy material in canopy shading technique


the tea made from aracha after going through cutting in the toh-mi. The raw material for creating matcha green tea powder