Green Tea farmer in Shizuoka.
Ocha is a Japanese tea. It is enjoyed usually with meals, as apetizers and dessert, combined with wagashi or mochi.
It tastes nothing like English tea or any other kind of tea in the world. Indeed, the taste is unique for those who try it first time. "It tastes a bit like seaweed, salty and fishy" some foreigners say. Sugar is not used with ocha.
Gyokuro is a sweet kind of green tea, and sencha is said to be the most common. Maccha is the foamy, thick powder tea that is used in tea ceremony. Sencha is the tea that represents the Japanese tea abroad - even some foreign tea companies produce it. In summer time in Japan, cold ocha can be bought from one of the numerous vending machines.
Most famous ocha prefecture is Shizuoka, which continues to be Japan's largest ocha producer. Every beginning of May, harvesters start their job of cutting the leaves out from the bushes. Those who pass Shizuoka by shinkansen can actually see the tea bushes that look like round contours, a very interesting sight. You can also see the cutters' progress, it looks like they are shaving the green contours.
Big part of enjoyment of ocha is in the moment. Some say that the late afternoon is the best time for ocha. Combined with friend's laughter and some delicious mochi, an afternoon can become filled with gentle harmony accompanied by this tea.