What is Sencha?
When we think of green tea, we just think of regular green tea ! However, many people do not know that there are different types of it . Some of these types include matcha , gunpowder , and sencha , which you may already know about. What sets these green teas apart is the plant's growth , production and processing . Now, let's discuss the most talked about one. Sencha green tea is a very famous infusion and is also the most popular green tea in Japan . Here's Basilur Tea Master's guide to why, as well as information about its origins and how they produce it.
How did Sencha's story begin?
Green tea, and all teas in general, have been around for some time, but it was not until the 17th century that sencha was first used . It was then brought to Japan from China . Previously, matcha was the favorite drink in Japan. However, after its introduction, sencha gained popularity among the Japanese. This was because the tea did not require any prior preparation , unlike other infusions, so it could be enjoyed as quickly as possible. It's still a favorite these days . In fact, as much as 80% of all tea that comes from Japan is sencha.
How is Sencha green tea processed?
As with most other teas, the process of creating Sencha green tea begins with the Camellia Sinensis plant. What sets Sencha apart from other green teas is that it is made from leaves that grow in direct sunlight . These leaves are usually the youngest leaves of the plant and bring the highest quality flavors to green tea . Typically, these leaves are harvested in the first or second flush. But the first flush usually produces the highest quality Sencha .
After the cultivation and picking process, the leaves are transferred to the plantation . This is where most of the action happens. First, the steaming process starts immediately to prevent oxidation . It affects the tea drastically . If the leaves are partially oxidized, they become oolong tea . Fully oxidized leaves become black tea , while green tea has no oxidation. Moving on, the leaves go into the drying and rolling process. This is where the tea takes shape and flavor as it moves into the cylinders to dry and decompose. As a result , the shape of the leaves is needle-like and the taste is fresh .
Other ways of preparing the leaves may result in different types of sencha tea . Regardless of the type, it does not require much processing . Thanks to this, the tea retains all its nutritional values and wonderful properties .
Sencha vs Matcha
You can't talk about green tea without talking about Matcha and Sencha teas. Matcha usually comes in powdered form , while Sencha is a loose leaf tea that is often loose . One of the biggest differences between these two teas is the fact that sencha is made from tea leaves grown in direct sunlight, while matcha is made from tea leaves grown in the shade . This has a major impact on the different characteristics of these two teas , especially taste and nutritional value . Due to direct sun exposure , Sencha contains many catechin antioxidants. On the other hand , matcha contains more theanine and caffeine due to the lack of sun exposure.
In terms of taste , sencha green tea has an uplifting and refreshing taste. It has a nutty and fruity flavor , making it perfect for iced tea. In the case of matcha, the taste is smooth and spicy , with a slight aftertaste. However, both teas have a slightly earthy flavor . In terms of color , sencha is more of a dark green , while matcha powder is light green .
Sencha is a great brew to try if you've never had green tea before. With all its benefits and refreshing taste, it can be the perfect drink to start the day well.