Skip to content


The Color of Tea

If Japanese people are asked what color tea is, they say “green” without hesitation. The tea they drink in everyday life is clear green, and the powdered tea served at the tea ceremony is an even brighter green.

While non-fermented tea remains green, fermented or roasted tea turns brown. But why does the Japanese word for “brown” literally mean “tea-color”?

One reason is that cloth dyed with tea becomes brown. Another reason is that the method of making clear green tea was only perfected in the 18th century, and before that the tea drunk outside the tea ceremony was probably brown. For ordinary Japanese, brown was probably the color of tea.

Back To Top