What is Sencha and what tea is considered Sencha
Sencha is the most popular and commonly found green tea in Japan. It is labeled as steeped tea because it is prepared by infusing the whole processed tea leaves in hot water. In Japan, Sencha is responsible for 60% of tea production, and only a small percentage is exported. It is cultivated from the Camellia sinensis var Sinensis tea plant. It is commonly grown with the Yabukita cultivar.
Sencha tea leaves are steamed, just like other Japanese green teas, and give a grassy and fresh aroma. In other countries, green tea leaves are roasted and create a nutty and toasted aroma, unlike in Japan, which has a refreshing taste. It has a wide range and is infused with other tea types to make flavors and refreshing beverages.
Sencha came to Japan in the 18th century when Baisao, a tea vendor in Kyoto, used a simmering process for the first time to preserve leaves. He simmered the tea leaves in boiling water to make them more flavorful and easy to store when dried. This process is now widely used to reduce oxidation in green tea leaves, especially in the Sencha variety.
Types of Sencha tea are differentiated on various factors such as shaded grown or under direct sunlight, color, aroma, and flavor. Its color ranges from light green to yellowish to emerald green, depending on the variety. As for the taste, it has grassy, sweet, astringent, and buttery notes. It sometimes depends on brewing time as less time has less astringent with a sweet aftertaste and a longer time makes savory notes with bitter after taste.
Sencha is the name of the overall category of tea of this steamed type and the following are an example of sencha (and not limited to) as they are all steamed-processed.
- Genmaicha – sencha with roasted rice
- Bancha – later harvested tea
- Kukicha – twig tea
- Aracha – crude tea
- Gyokuro – shaded tea
- Fukamushicha – deep steam tea
- Asamushicha – light steam tea
Here is the green tea we carry that is mentioned in this blog:
- ShizoukaTea.com – Kukicha
- KagoshimaTea.com – Organic Light Steamed Sencha Yabukita Green Tea (Asamushicha)
- ShizuokaTea.com – Genmaicha
- KagoshimaTea.com – Organic Gyokuro Premium
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