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Tea was known in Japan since the 800s when monks brought some seeds there from China. Tea drinking was popular with the monks, as well as the wealthy classes. It became part of their socializing and culture, including arts and music. The modern tea ceremony wasn’t developed until a few centuries later, though, when tea cultivation and enjoyment became more widespread.
Most tea in Japan is green tea. The variety of these teas is amazing. The two main types of Japanese green teas are sun grown (sencha, the younger, and bancha, the older) and shade grown (gyokuro and matcha).
Other differences come from the tea plant cultivar used, many being hybrids of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis and Camellia sinensis var. assamica.
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