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The Simple But New Taste “Ocha Wari”: Discover Japanese Green Tea Cocktails

the simple but new taste, discover Japanese green tea cocktailsFood & Drinks
Food & Drinks
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Drinking tea, no exception, green tea, has been a part of the Japanese lifestyle from ancient years.

Japanese green tea has been getting popular due to its taste and aroma (even some people don’t like the weedy flavor) but also its health benefits worldwide.

Not only enjoy drinking tea, the traditional tea ceremony, “Sado”(茶道) that has been sublimated into the culture, attracts connoisseurs as the Japanese “Zen” experience.

“Sado” (making Matcha green tea) is more like occasional for ordinal people (like me) but speaking commonly, “Sencha” green tea is more familiar and has offered as hospitality for guests.

Japanese people drink green tea a lot in any situation, of course, they don’t forget to use green tea for cocktails.

It is easy to get Japanese green tea worldwide today, so

I am going to tell you cocktails used “Green tea” without “green tea flavor Liquor” products.

The Types Of Green Tea In Japan

Do you know green tea is the generic term and has a variety of types of green tea depends on its manufacturing process and cultivation?

Green tea called “Ryokucha” (緑茶) in Japanese has several kinds such as “Sencya”, “Gyokuro”, “Matcha”, “Houjicha” and more.

The types of Japanese green tea

Sencha 煎茶

sencya, japanese green tea

“Sencha” (煎茶) green tea is the most consumed tea in Japan, 75% of tea products are “Sencha” green tea. Generally, it is a reasonable price and has a refreshing taste well-balanced umami, and astringency.

As a refreshment during meals, after meals, for the tea break, as part of hospitality, before sleep, Japanese people often drink “Sencha” green tea, so “Sencha” tea leaves are always in stock.

It is loved as a daily green tea and there is not strict picky manner to make it like “Matcha” rules, but only a few genuine tips, you can make 10 times better “Sencha” green tea at home. If you are interested in how to make a good sencha tea, read here.

Gyokuro 玉露

shade-grown, tea, green tea, gyokuro, japan

“Gyokuro” (玉露) is made from the same type of plant as sencha but shade-grown. The tea is cultivated in the same way as sencha by covering the tea garden with a Yoshizu net at the shoots growing season.

Gyokuro grows in a place where sunlight is completely blocked, so it has less “tannin” (natural ingredient, bitterness) and more “theanine” (amino acid, umami).

Gyokuro is known as high-grade green tea because of its delicate cultivation and manufacturing process and delicate flavor.

However, Gyokuro green tea is rich in caffeine (even more than coffee), you need to consider the situation to enjoy it.

  Matcha 抹茶


It may not be necessary to explain “Matcha” (抹茶), but it is also classified as matcha and is popular because of its health benefits.

Matcha is revered as one of the traditions in Japan, and recently it is loved as a more casual drink and sweets such as matcha latte.

Matcha green tea leaves before the manufacturing process are called “Tencha” which is also grown under the Yoshizu net in the same way as the “Gyokuro” process. “Matcha” green tea is grounded finely with a stone mill after harvested. “Matcha” is also famous as a luxury tea because of the sensitive process.

The most famous place for high quality matcha is the Uji area, but matcha and matcha sweets lovers have a hidden utopia in Aichi prefecture.

Houjicha ほうじ茶

houji cha

Hojicha is roasted tea leaves over high heat. Generally, low-grade sencha or bancha are used for Hojicha, and there are many fans of Hojicha with its toasty and natty flavor and rich aroma. Preferred for after-meal tea because Hojicha has a refreshing effect.

Genmaicha 玄米茶

genmiacha, Japanese green tea, brown rice, roasted brawn rice mixed with green tea

“Genmaicha” is a tea mixed with brown rice kernels and bancha or sencha in almost the same amount. It’s very unique taste from the harmony with roasted rice and green tea. Since it contains the roasted rice, the caffeine level is lower than other green tea.

Ryokucha Hi; The Common Green Tea Cocktail In Japan

“Ocha-wari”(お茶割り) is the general term that a cocktail mixed with spirits and tea in Japanese.

However, there are various types of tea to mix with alcohol such as green tea, oolong tea, jasmine tea, barley tea, and even black tea.

Japanese Shochu is used for “Ocha Wari” as standard.

When ordering Japanese Shochu at Izakayas, you can choose how you like such as “straight”, “on the rock”, “with water”, “with boiled water”, and “with green tea”.


Japanese green tea and shochu, drink, alcohol

“Ryokucya Hi”(緑茶ハイ) is a “Shochu” cocktail mixed with “Ryokucya”, generally Sencha green tea.

Even it is called “Ryokucha Hi” like Chu-Hi, it is not fizzy and not sweet. It is just mixed with Shochu, which is low in sugar, and a green tea, which is said to have the effect of increasing glucose in the blood and helping to break down alcohol.

Because of “less sugar” and “low calorie” alcohol drink, “Ryokucha Hi” is trending among Japanese drinky.

“Mugi Jochu” which is the shochu made from barley, is suitable for “Ryokucha Hi” because Mugi Jochu tastes dry and clear so flavors are not against each other in a drink.

Fill plenty of ice in a glass, add Mugi Jochu to the height of about two fingers, pour green tea, and stir to complete a delicious Ryokucha Hi.

The Strong green tea flavor is better to make Ryokucha Hi, make a strong green tea.

But sometimes it is required technic to make strong green tea suppressing astringency, so use Konacha that you can adjust flavor easily.

Itoen Instant green tea powder is the ideal for making good hot or iced green tea in seconds. Well-balanced vivid color, Umami and astringency flavors.

Make green tea first. (Put 1 or 2 tsp instant green tea powder), then fill ice and your preferred amount of Shochu in a glass and add premade green tea.

When using a bottled green tea, choose a strong green tea flavor. (by the way, it is far away from the authentic Ryokucha Hi when using Arizona tea, but drinking is important to enjoy… maybe use Itoen bottled green tea if you are looking for authentic Ryokucha taste. )

Vodka Base

Shochu is sometimes called “Japanese vodka” because it is distilled liquor like vodka, but some people are not accustomed to the unique flavor of shochu.

If you use vodka instead of shochu, you can enjoy “vodka matcha wari”. Vodka is easier to drink than shochu, so it doesn’t taste unpleasant to make cocktails.

However, the alcohol content of vodka is as high as 40%, so the recommended ratio is vodka: green tea = 1: 3. Add honey or syrup even easier to drink if needed.

Whiskey Base

The popular drink, “Whiskey Highball” can be arranged to “green tea high ball”.

Mixing green tea and whiskey highball in the same ratio will make it easier for people who are not good at drinking.

Adjust the ratio to your liking and find the amount you can drink deliciously.”

“Umeshu” – Japanese Plam Wine Base

Japanese plum wine, Umeshu, alcohol drink, Japanese drink

“Umeshu” “Plum wine” is a Japanese liqueur made by steeping fresh plum in Shochu or white distilled liquor and sugar. The rich, sweet, and aromatic taste is very attractive, and you can make various drinks!

Umeshu and green tea, both come from Japan, how come it goes bad?

Mix Umeshu and green tea with the same ratio.

When using hot green tea, you can also enjoy the hot cocktail.

“Ryokucha Hi” is often called “Shizuoka Hi”

 shizuoka, tea, green tea, Japan

*Mt Fuji in the picture above is not the view from Shinkansen.

“Shizuoka Prefecture” (静岡県) is the best tea producing region in Japan, where located almost the center of the main island and where you can see Mt Fuji while riding on Shinkansen.

About 40% of green tea in Japan is produced in Shizuoka Prefecture, and there are many famous tea brands such as Kakegawa tea, Kawane tea, Hamamatsu tea, and Tenryu tea.

“Shizuoka Prefecture” (静岡県) is the best tea producing region in Japan, where located almost the center of the main island and where you can see Mt Fuji while riding on Shinkansen.

About 40% of green tea in Japan is produced in Shizuoka Prefecture, and there are many famous tea brands such as Kakegawa tea, Kawane tea, Hamamatsu tea, and Tenryu tea.

The Next Trend? Macha Hi

Japanese green tea cocktail, Matcha cocktail, bar, cocktail, alcohol drink

“Matcha Wari”(抹茶割り) has been gradually trending in Japan.

There are many stylish bars and Izakayas to serve special “Matcha wari” especially in Tokyo. To follow up on the trend, major alcohol beverage companies produce new items of canned “Machawari” drinks in recent years.

The charm of Matcha Wari is its vivid green color and refreshing taste. Want to step up a typical cocktail with “Ceremony Grade Matcha”?

Tips For Making Matcha Green Tea; How To Dissolve Matcha Easily

The standard Matcha Hi is simply to mix with your favorite distilled spirits and Matcha green tea.

Now, here’s the problem.

Of course, first, make matcha before making a cocktail, but as you know, matcha powder is difficult to dissolve without special tools and techniques.

tea strainer

It doesn’t matter if the matcha is ceremony grade or not, but when you try to dissolve it, it naturally becomes a lump. Technically, Matcha is “grounded green tea leaves” so it will not dissolve fully anyway.

So what you can do??? Here are some tips to make Matcha easily.

  1. Always strain the matcha powder with a tea strainer.
  2. If you have an electric milk frother, it will help to make matcha easily.
  3. Add sugar. (the ideal ratio is matcha powder : sugar = 1 : 5) because the sugar breaks the surface tension which causes making lumps.
  4. Alcohol has almost no surface tension, so you can make matcha without lumps.

• The Quick-Easy Way

If you like sweet Matcha powder, it is not stick-packages but here’s already sweetened Match powder, dissolve easily. “Itoen” is a Japanese major tea product company so fine quality of taste.

Try Making Matcha In The Authentic Way

make matcha green tea in the traditional way, authentic way, a whisk, a tea bowl for Matcha

If you are interested in the traditional way to make Matcha green tea with a whisk, here’s is steps.

  1. Strain 2 scoop with a special matcha spoon “Chashaku” or about 1/2 teaspoon with a teaspoon of Matcha powder into a tea bowl.
  2. Pour hot water. (the suitable temperature is 80-90 ℃, 26 – 32 F) The less hot water is easy to make Matcha, so pour hot water until about 1/4 -1/5 of a tea bowl.
  3. Whisk it while drawing the number “1”. First slowly then whisk quickly before hot water gets cold.

After Leaning Matcha Mechanism, Let’s Make The Standard Matcha Hi

standard Matcha Hi, Matcha, green tea, carbonated water, vodka, drink, cocktail

  1. Pour your preferred liquor in a tall glass and add 1 teaspoon of matcha powder. Whisk well with a cocktail spoon or a milk frother.
  2. Fill the glass with ice and stir well to make matcha liquor chilled.
  3. Add water, carbonated water, club soda, tonic water…whatever you like.
  4. Squeeze fresh lemon juice to complete. Stir well.

Matcha Gin Tonic

Especially, Matcha flavor goes well with Gin.

  1. Pour gin and add 1teaspoon of Matcha powder. Whisk well with a cocktail spoon or a milk frother.
  2. Fill the glass with ice and stir well to make gin chilled.
  3. Add ice if needed, and pour tonic water gently.
  4. Squeeze fresh lemon juice to complete.

Kaluha With Matcha Latte

Matcha latte, cocktail

  1. Put Matcha powder, Milk, Kaluha in a blender and mix well.
  2. Pour 1 into the glass filled with ice.

Matcha Moscow Mule

moscaw mule, cocktail, moscow mule mug, alcohol drink

A Moscow mule is a cocktail made with vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice, add dissolved “Matcha” in Moscow Mule!

  1. Make Matcha.
  2. Fill ice in a glass or a copper mug and pour vodka and matcha, stir well.
  3. Add fresh-squeezed lime juice
  4. Add chilled ginger beer.
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