Matcha (抹茶, Japanese: [mat.tɕa], English /ˈmætʃə/ or /ˈmɑːtʃə/[i]) is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It is special in two aspects of farming and processing: the green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest and the stems and veins are removed in processing.
During shaded growth, the plant Camellia sinensis produces more theanine and caffeine. The powdered form of matcha is consumed differently from tea leaves or tea bags, and is suspended in a liquid, typically water or milk.
Tencha (碾茶) is a shaded Japanese green tea that is mostly used to make matcha but it's sometime also used for cooking. Tencha is grown like gyokuro. That means the tea leaves are shaded for about three weeks. That is the reason why matcha got such a vivid green color. After harvest the leaves are briefly steamed and dried but in contrast to most other Japanese teas not rolled. Finally all stems are removed so that only the pure leaves are left.
Hōjicha (ほうじ茶) is a Japanese green tea. It is distinctive from other Japanese green teas because it is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal, whereas most Japanese teas are steamed. The tea is fired at a high temperature, altering the leaf color tints from green to reddish brown. The process was first performed in Kyoto, Japan, in the 1920s and its popularity persists today.