Introduction to Japanese Tea: Part 2

Introduction to Japanese Tea: Part 2

Sencha Overview

Japanese Sencha is the most popular tea in Japan. This tea is grown in direct sunlight, unlike other common Japanese green teas like gyokuro or tencha which produces matcha. Sencha is harvested early which is also called the first flush. After harvest, Japanese teas are steamed to prevent oxidation. Oxidation is a process that browns the tea and affects the taste. Some teas require oxidation but for Sencha it is important to prevent. Unlike Chinese tea, Japanese tea is steamed to avoid oxidation where Chinese teas are pan fried. After steaming, the tea leaves begin to take their shape. They are rolled and dried into their recognizable needle shape.

What’s it like?

As for Sencha’s characteristics, Sencha has a grassy smell and is often reminiscent of the ocean. Sencha tastes sweet and grassy. It has a smooth flavor that makes it a very easy to drink green tea. To brew Japanese Sencha, it is important to use water heated just before boiling. It is recommended for green teas to use 1 teaspoon per 8 oz. and steep it for three minutes. The ideal color of Sencha when brewed is a greenish gold. However, as with all teas this is just a guideline and can be adjusted based on individual taste.

Let me try it!

At Short and Stout, Japanese Sencha is available both with caffeine and decaffeinated. The Decaf Organic Sencha at Short and Stout is very similar in taste to the caffeinated version however its color is much lighter due to the decaffeinating process. Sencha is great on its own, but at Short and Stout there are other ways to taste Sencha. As a very common green tea it makes up many of the flavored green teas we carry. Popular Sweet Pear’s main ingredient is Sencha and has other flavors like pear and mango to compliment it. Buy these teas online or stop in to the lounge and taste what 80% of Japan is producing for their tea market!