Japanese green tea is characterized by its bright green color, refreshing aroma, and delicate balance of umami, sweetness, astringency, and bitterness. Green tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, as black and oolong teas. However, the processing of the leaf, in particular the steaming process unique to Japanese green tea, allows the tea to retain both its beautiful color and beneficial health properties.

Generally, tea leaves are harvested several times a year, with those leaves picked in the first harvest considered the finest in quality due to their complex aroma and pronounced umami.