Get to know this traditional Japanese tea
Learn how Sencha is cultivated, what are the benefits and how to brew it ai its best!
Japanese Sencha tea is by far the most popular tea in Japan, and one of the most consumed green teas in the world. Sencha is usually a very uniformed tea with nicely shaped thin needle-like leaves, and it's the perfect summer drink as it's light and refreshing. Sencha tea possesses a high content of antioxidants and polyphenols, helping to preserve a youthful skin and fighting free radicals. Rich in vitamin C, Sencha tea also helps boosting our immune system.
Sencha tea is grown in complete sunlight, and produced by using an old method of picking up the youngest tea leaves - which are of best quality, steaming them immediately and crumpling them when dried. The immediate steaming step prevents the oxidation process of the leaves and preserve the colour, flavour and nutrients. Once steamed, the tea leaves are rolled into cylinders to dry, and this is where the tea gets its needle-like shape and taste.
Unlike many other countries, Japan produce mostly green tea. In fact, 80% of all teas that come from Japan is Sencha. The main production areas in Japan are Shizuoka, Kagoshima, and Miyazaki regions.
While most of the Chinese teas are pan-fried, all Japanese teas are steamed. That's why they have this fresher, grassier flavour rather than nutty and sweet notes commonly found in Chinese teas.
Depending on how you brew it, it can be more or less astringent with a sweet aftertaste and pronounced savoury notes.
Depending on how you brew your Sencha green tea, you will either get a very delicate and refreshing, or a very bitter tea. We have listed some points below to help you brew at its best.
Quality water is essential for making a great cup of Japanese sencha tea. It’s very easy to ruin the delicate flavour and bright transparent colour of Sencha by choosing the wrong type of water. Spring water is the best option for brewing this tea, and always boil fresh water.
The first infusion should be around 1-2 minutes. Both temperature and steeping time is essential if you don’t want to ruin your tea. Make a second infusion a quick one, only a couple of seconds with slightly hotter water. And the third infusion can be 40-60 seconds long.
We have selected three types of Sencha teas that we hope you will enjoy: a classic Japanese Sencha from the Kagoshima prefecture, a Genmaicha which offers a nutty-like flavour as the leaves are blended with fire toasted brown rice, from the Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan too, and a cherry flavoured Sencha combined with rose petals which makes a subtle and refreshing flavoured tea.