Tea is the most commonly drunk beverage in Japan and an important part of Japanese food culture. Various types of tea are widely available and consumed at any point of the day. Green tea is the most common type of tea, and when someone mentions "tea" (お茶, ocha) without specifying the type, it is green tea to which is referred. Green tea is also the central element of the tea ceremony. Among the most well-known places for tea cultivation in Japan are Shizuoka, Kagoshima and Uji.
Only the highest quality leaves are used for matcha, which are dried and milled into a fine powder which is then mixed with hot water. Matcha is the form of green tea that is used in the tea ceremony.