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Industry Report: Japanese Green Tea

Alibaba.com Insights
February 9, 2018
2 min read

Green tea gained market share in 2017 largely thanks to increased emphasis and awareness of its reported health benefits. The health benefits of green tea include anti-aging and anti-cancer properties, as has been widely reported in health magazines and on TV shows in the United States. While health benefits may account for the increase in sales of green tea, taste is still the most important factor for American consumers buying tea and increased flavor options


Worldwide, a total of 2.9 million tons of tea was consumed in 2016, up from 1.6 in 2002. Global consumption of tea is forecast to reach 3.3 million tons in 2021, a 15% increase from 2016.


In Japan, green tea production has decreased slightly since 2012, but the percentage of green tea that is exported has steadily increased year-on-year.

Types of Japanese Tea


Sencha is the most commonly enjoyed Japanese green tea variety. In general, Sencha is green tinged with yellow and has a well-balanced combination of aroma, umami, and bitterness.

Gyokuro (refined green tea)

The finest grade of Japanese green tea, gyokuro is sweet with a uniquely mild aroma and mellow umami. The distinctive process of Gyokuro producing tea leaves with large amounts of “theanine,” an amino acid that enhances umami.


Matcha is a fine, powdered green tea commonly used in tea ceremonies. It is known for its elegant aroma and concentrated sweetness.

Bancha (whole leaf green tea)

Bancha has more delicate umami than Sencha, with just enough tannin to offer a light and fresh flavor. Bancha refreshes the palate after meals and is a common preference among the Japanese people as an everyday green tea.

Houjicha (roasted whole leaf green tea)

This fragrant and refreshing Japanese green tea is warm brown color with somewhat mild flavor, especially popular in Japan with children and the elderly.

Genmaicha (green tea with roasted rice)

Genmaicha is a richly flavored Japanese green tea made by mixing roasted rice with sencha or bancha. Because of its low caffeine content, genmaicha is recommended for all ages.

Japanese Suppliers

Production by region

Top Producers

The followings are some representatives of the Japanese green tea industry with the largest market shares in Japan.


ITO EN has the largest brand share in Japan for green tea beverage, with about 40% of the market in 2017. See ITO EN's minisite on Alibaba.com

Iyemon Cha

Iyemon Cha has the second large brand share of Japan’s green tea market (about 25%), and using tea leaves from Kyoto and original procedure to provide fresh and elegant flavor. Find Iyemon Cha's products on Alibaba.com. 

Yamasan Co., Ltd (organic green tea)

Using raw materials from Uji City, Kyoto, where the birthplace of Japanese tea to provide rich and elegant flavor. Shop Yamasan products now. 


Look for the following certifications when buying Japanese green tea products on Alibaba.com.