Sencha green tea makes up three-quarters of total Japanese green tea production as it is the most popular green tea in Japan. It has a superior flavor and comes in many grades.
Sencha green tea has a refreshing, fresh grassy aroma and bittersweet taste. Besides taste, it’s abundant with vitamins and it can be recognized by its shiny, needle-like shaped tea leaves with strong fragrance.
Depending on the temperature of the water the flavor will be different: not too hot will give this tea a relatively mellow taste whereas with hot water it will be more astringent.
Processing Sencha green tea
Sencha originates from the Kyoto region of Japan where it is grown in full sun until picked in early spring.
Initially steamed, where oxidation is put to a halt preserving color, aroma and taste, green tea leaves are dried with hot air and tightly rolled into long needle-shaped leaves, following traditional Japanese processing techniques. Ultimately, after drying, the leaves are fried so as to preserve them longer and to add more flavor.
Sencha literally means extracting the flavor by boiling referring to this processing method where this tea is made from dried tea leaves as opposed to Matcha green tea powder where green tea powder is mixed with water and the leaf itself is included in the beverage.
Chinese vs Japanese green tea
The process by which Sencha is created differs from Chinese green teas which are initially pan-fired (“roasted” teas).
Japanese green tea is first steamed between 15-20 seconds to prevent oxidation of the leaves, giving it a more vegetal or grassy flavor. As a result of steaming the green tea leaves, they also become greener in color and taste slightly more bitter than the Chinese green teas.
Health benefits Sencha green tea
Besides it’s taste, green tea is also a natural source for many health benefits since it functions as an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agent, it lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure. Furthermore, it can stabilize blood sugar levels and even prevent some forms of cancer.
What’s more, it can also be used in the household for cooking since it’s common in Japan to re-use the leaves of high-grade Sencha by adding them to salads and dishes that do well with fresh greens and herbs.
Check out: green tea oil.
Always read the package instruction but generally speaking you can say that with higher grade sencha green tea you can use less off it and a longer infusion time (at lower temperature)
- For 3 servings use 2 table spoons of tea (about 7-9 g). Adjust to taste. Put the tea leaves in a pot.
- Heat fresh, cold water up to 180ºF (85ºC) and pour into 3 small cups (about 60ml each)
- Let it cool down to a temperature of 70ºC-75℃ if you like a milder and rounder taste. If you like a sharp taste, let it cool down to 85℃-90℃.
- Pour the water back into the pot from the 3 cups and wait for one minute.
- Pour the tea evenly into the 3 cups to obtain the same taste and concentration. Pour all tea out to the laste drop!