Tencha (powdered green tea) (碾茶)

Tencha is a kind of steamed green tea. It's a raw material for maccha (powdered green tea).

Like gyokuro (refined green tea), tencha is made from tea leaves grown shielded from the sunlight before being harvested, which are then steamed and dried in tencha-ro (a special furnace for tencha). Unlike sencha (normal green tea), its manufacturing process has no kneading (rolling) of tea leaves so that they're similar in shape to aonori (green lavers). It has a moderate aroma of its own, like gyokuro, because the tea leaves are covered to shut out the sunlight before harvesting.

Maccha (powdered green tea) is made by grinding this tencha in a stone mill. It is preserved in chatsubo (a tea canister), which is also called hachatsubo (a canister for tea leaves).

There is another tencha--a kind of Chinese tea--that is different from the Japanese tencha of this subject.

Production figures
The total production of tencha in Japan was 1,650 tons in the fiscal year 2006, in which 789 tons (the largest amount on a prefectural basis) was produced in Kyoto Prefecture, followed by 473 tons in Aichi Prefecture and 183 tons in Shizuoka Prefecture.
(Adapted from the 'Statistics of Tea Production in 2006,' compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)

Major production by municipalities in the fiscal year 2006 included 329 tons from Nishio City, Aichi Prefecture, a major producer of tencha, (according to research by the Tokai Regional Agricultural Administration Office) and 264.5 tons from Wazuka-cho, Soraku-gun, Kyoto Prefecture (according to research by Kyoto Prefecture).