Sencha vs Bancha vs Hojicha: Japanese Green Tea

When it comes to Japanese green tea, the most consumed in Japan is “Sencha (煎茶)”. Sencha generally uses first flush tea leaves from the same tree as the “Bancha (番茶)” grade. 

On the other hand, “Hojicha (ほうじ茶)” is made from Bancha or Sencha, so these three types of tea are closely related.

Sencha vs. Bancha vs. Hojicha

While Sencha is the quintessential “Ryokucha (緑茶)“, it is said that the origin of the name Bancha derives from “Bangai Cha (番外茶)” loosely meaning “low-grade tea”.

Sencha (煎茶)

Sencha Tea

Sencha is non-fermented tea made from first flush tea leaves that have been steamed, rolled, and dried. It has a refreshing aroma and leaves a rich aftertaste.

Although when brewed with boiling water, the tea tends to have an astringent taste, when using warm water, mellowness stands out.

Bancha (番茶)

Bancha Tea

Bancha comes in various types and forms, as seen on the website of JA Shizuoka City.

But it usually uses low-grade tea leaves plucked later than Sencha. 

Hojicha (ほうじ茶)

Hojicha Tea

Hojicha is a type of Ryokucha made from Bancha/Sencha roasted at 150°-200° C.

As heated at high temperatures, the caffeine/catechin content of the tea is low, and the taste is savory, easy to drink.

(Reference Pages: JA Shizuoka City, Ocha Tv, E-Cha )


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.

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