Ryokucha vs Sencha: Japanese Green Tea

“Ryokucha (緑茶)”, or Japanese green tea comes in many varieties and various forms, and in Japan, vending machines selling green tea PET bottles can be seen in every corner of the city.

Representative types of Japanese green tea include “Sencha (煎茶)”, “Matcha (抹茶)“, “Hojicha (ほうじ茶)”, “Bancha (番茶)“, and “Gyokuro (玉露)”, and among these varieties, Sencha is the most common.

The Difference: Ryokucha vs Sencha Green Tea

Ryokucha or Sencha

It seems many people confuse Ryokucha with Sencha because several customer service centers of Japanese beverage companies have answered the question on the difference between the two green tea.

Today, I also did some research about that, spent some time reading some online sources like this, and like, and found out what the definitions of Ryokucha and Sencha are. According to those, 

Ryokucha (緑茶)

Ryokucha, literally meaning Green Tea in Japanese, is the word for Japanese green tea in general, which includes Sencha, Matcha, Hojicha, Bancha, and Gyokuro. Ryokucha is unfermented tea processed from raw green tea leaves. 

Sencha (煎茶)

Japanese Sencha Green Tea

Sencha is a type of Ryokucha. The tea leaves for Sencha are grown without blocking the sunlight through the entire cultivation process. The picked leaves are first steamed, then rolled, shaped, and dried.

The resultant Sencha green tea has a moderate astringent taste and refreshing aroma. It is the most loved tea in Japan and accounts for nearly 60 percent of the green tea produced in the country.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

2 Responses

  1. Eric says:

    Suggest you add Konacha 粉茶 to the list. Although it sounds like it would be a very cheap tea, and it is less expensive, it is a byproduct of Gyokuro and Sencha manufaturing, so it is actually good quality and has a special character all its own. It is often served in sushi restaurants.

    • Tomo says:

      Hi, Eric, Thank you for commenting.
      Every time I go to a sushi restaurant, I make green tea using the powder bottle
      placed on the table but didn’t know about Konacha.
      Thank you for the info.

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