Whether or not you’ve taken a stroll via Tokyo or have a favourite Japanese restaurant that you simply frequent, you’ll actually have encountered all manners of Japanese inexperienced tea – their nationwide drink.
One of the fashionable sorts (and one in every of our favorites) is named “Sencha Inexperienced Tea”, which has develop into a staple of Japanese tea cups since its discovery within the sixteenth century.
As large followers of Japanese teas, we thought it will be enjoyable to take a deeper dive into Japanese sencha inexperienced tea to find extra about its manufacturing, taste profile, differing kinds, and naturally, our suggestions for the most effective ones to purchase.
So, put in your kimono and let’s dive in.
What Is Sencha Inexperienced Tea?
We already know that Japan is a large client and producer of inexperienced tea, with varieties corresponding to genmaicha, sencha and matcha.
Do you know that 80% of all of the inexperienced tea produced in Japan is definitely Sencha tea?
Created from the leaves of the camellia Sinensis tea plant, sencha is the most well-liked tea in Japan, and is commonly a part of tea ceremonies and drunk earlier than and after meals.
Taste Profile and Aroma
Japanese sencha tea has a refreshing, energetic and uplifting aesthetic.
Though your preparation methodology will finally inform the general style, at its primary kind, sencha may be described as having an earthy, grassy and barely bitter style.
When it comes to coloration, the tea liquid can vary from gentle inexperienced to darkish inexperienced, relying on whether or not you’re brewing from a powder or free leaves.
Cultivation and Harvesting
The plant that this tea comes from is generally cultivated within the Kagoshima, Fukamushi and Shizuoka provinces of Japan.
As soon as they’re harvested, the sencha tea leaves are withered and dried in a pure course of, which is totally different from Chinese language inexperienced tea.
The everyday methodology for Chinese language teas pan-fires them to forestall oxidation, whereas Japanese inexperienced tea is steamed as an alternative – leading to that earthy and ‘grassy’ taste.
As soon as the leaves have been steamed, the ultimate a part of the method is to roll them into their attribute needle shapes earlier than packaging them up into free leaf merchandise or tea baggage.
The Totally different Kinds of Japanese Sencha Tea
As you may think, the rabbit of gap Japanese inexperienced tea and sencha goes deep, with many alternative varieties coming from totally different tea manufacturing strategies and harvesting instances.
As an illustration, the primary harvest of the season is carried out for shincha teas, whereas bancha sencha is harvested in summer season and the early fall.
Right here’s a fast rundown of probably the most prolific varieties of sencha tea.
Sincha – Often known as New Tea or Ichiban-cha, sincha is often harvested within the spring, and is commonly the primary tea to be harvested for that yr. When it comes to style, it has a extra delicate and refined taste profile that may be described as sweeter than different varieties of sencha inexperienced tea.
Uji Sencha – Grown within the Uji area of Japan, Uji is taken into account as one of many extra premium sorts of sencha, alongside different teas from the world, together with gyokuro and matcha.
Asamushi Sencha – The distinctive factor about Asamushi is that it’s deep steamed faster than different Japanese teas – typically for less than 30 seconds. And, because it is among the least ‘altered’ teas, the flavour is extra delicate and the drink is lighter in coloration.
Kukicha – Often known as ‘twig tea’, kukicha just isn’t constituted of the leaves of the tea plant, however the stems and twigs as an alternative. This ends in a extra nutty taste, and it may possibly are available in a ‘inexperienced tea’ kind, or after extra oxidation, one thing nearer to oolong or black tea.
Gyokuro – What makes gyokuro totally different is that it’s grown within the shade, whereas different varieties are omitted within the solar. This ends in a extra mellow style and a lighter coloration of the liquid.
Fukamushi Sencha – As one of many varieties that’s steamed for the longest time (from 90-120 seconds), Fukamushi sencha leaves find yourself extra brittle, leading to a richer and darker coloration when infused with water. It’s taste is extra full-bodied and deep.
Powdered sencha – Not too removed from matcha inexperienced tea, powdered sencha may be blended with water or sprinkled over meals objects for inexperienced tea goodness and taste. The one distinction it has with matcha is that it’s not grown within the shade, that means that the style finally ends up being extra earthy and vegetal.
The Well being Advantages of Sencha Inexperienced Tea
The well being advantages of Japanese inexperienced tea are well-known, and sencha isn’t any exception! Listed below are a number of methods by which it may possibly assist together with your general nicely being.
Please notice that the tea just isn’t supposed as a treatment for something, so please search skilled medical assist if in case you have any continual circumstances.
Elevated Metabolism and Weight Administration
We’ve all seen these ‘weight reduction teas’ within the retailers, however if you happen to look a bit nearer, you’ll see that they’re just about inexperienced tea blends.
Inexperienced tea and sencha are well-known to assist with weight reduction as a result of compounds contained inside, corresponding to l-theanine which helps enhance power ranges.
These compounds are additionally identified to help the small gut take away fats from vitamin simpler and have been identified to forestall overeating by suppressing urge for food and starvation.
Lastly, when your physique digests inexperienced tea, your metabolic price will increase.
That is due to compounds often called catechins, that are mentioned to assist burn fats and enhance your general bodily operate.
Higher Imaginative and prescient
There was proof that inexperienced tea consumption helps to decelerate visible impairment and illnesses, corresponding to glaucoma.
As soon as once more, now we have the abundance of catechins to thank for that, in addition to a plethora of antioxidants and amino acids.
Inexperienced tea additionally has a bunch of nutritional vitamins, together with nutritional vitamins E, C and lutein, and along with the antioxidants and catechins, have been identified to keep at bay free radicals.
Lastly, as a result of inexperienced tea helps preserve your immune system as an entire, your physique has a greater likelihood of preventing off infections and micro organism that may have an effect on your eyes.
Higher Coronary heart Well being
Coronary heart illness and associated circumstances are one of many main causes of demise on the earth.
Whereas a wholesome life-style and loads of train is at all times finest, having sencha inexperienced tea repeatedly may assist together with your general well-being.
Having inexperienced tea has been proven to assist with blood stress and circulatory well being, and whereas gained’t cease severe coronary heart circumstances can actually assist.
With the sheer quantity of catechins, nutritional vitamins and antioxidants, your general well being will probably be higher, and your immune system will probably be stronger.
Nevertheless, if you happen to do have a severe coronary heart situation, please proceed your regular course of drugs and take into account ingesting sencha inexperienced tea as a bonus!
The Finest Sencha Tea Choices to Purchase
There are loads of manufacturers that produce sencha inexperienced tea, and whereas we gained’t listing all of them, we do wish to level you in the correct route.
Listed below are 4 of our favourite sorts which you should purchase on-line:
If you realize something about tea, you’ll already know Harney & Sons. The standard of their product is a certain factor, and this commonplace isn’t any totally different with their sencha tea providing.
Coming in helpful tea baggage for many who want much less fuss, their sencha inexperienced tea is among the extra delicate and fragrant varieties, making it the proper entry level for anybody curious to attempt sencha for the primary time.
Any tea purist would be the first to inform you that free is the one technique to go. If you wish to go all-in together with your sencha, this product is sourced instantly from Japanese tea farmers and picked for its superior high quality.
Natural, pure and put via a vigorous choice course of, this can be a improbable possibility for anybody seeking to take their tea ceremony to the subsequent stage.
We’re large followers of Buddha-brand teas. They at all times know how you can put collectively the proper blends, and with their Japanese sencha inexperienced tea, they’ve executed simply that.
With a average quantity of caffeine from fastidiously chosen crops, that is an invigorating mix that wakes you up and retains you going.
Full of pure goodness and with loads of good buyer evaluations, you may’t actually go improper with this.
Blends are a good way to get pleasure from a specific tea, however with totally different variations to take taste to the subsequent stage.
This energizing mix of matcha and Japanese sencha has a deep sweetness and clean, umami richness that you simply’ll love.
With engaging packaging and top quality components, we wouldn’t hesitate to advocate this Rishi mix to anybody who’s a fan of inexperienced tea and its advantages.
The Finest Solution to Brew Sencha Tea
Brewing and ingesting sencha tea and Japanese teas generally has loads of ceremony behind it.
Not solely will it have an effect on the general taste, advantages and delight issue of the top product, going via the correct steps can deliver a few feeling of calmness for you, and respect for any friends that you simply’re serving. Right here’s what you might want to do:
Have the Proper Teaware
For the total sencha tea expertise, you’re probably going to be utilizing free leaf tea leaves. It is because the needle-like form of sencha tea wants area to unfurl and launch the goodness.
To get the aesthetic and brew excellent, we advocate utilizing a Kyusu.
A Kyusu is a conventional Japanese teapot (which is identical phrase, translated) which might are available in a number of totally different kinds: one with a deal with on the again, one with a deal with on the aspect and one with none handles in any respect.
You need to use any teapot you want actually, however if you happen to’re going for the total expertise, there’s nothing fairly like brewing Japanese tea the genuine approach.
We advocate this clay Japanese Kyusu, which is inexpensive and of top of the range.
Prep the Tea Leaves
Any tea purist will inform you that free tea is one of the simplest ways to expertise the total advantages of sencha – each when it comes to taste and in well being advantages.
In fact, if you happen to do want baggage for the comfort, they’re nonetheless nice, however they won’t have the total vary of goodness.
One other factor to notice is that it’s best to at all times use natural inexperienced tea leaves to keep away from any potential contamination from pesticides and different chemical substances used within the processing.
Should you’re utilizing powder or free leaves to your cup of tea, we advocate utilizing round one teaspoon for each eight ounces of scorching water.
Please notice that if you happen to’re brewing up a gyokuro drink, it’s best to use twice the quantity of leaves, as this can be a extra delicate mix.
Warmth Up Your Teaware
You’re not executed but! To correctly brew sencha for all the advantages, you’re going to want to warmth up your teaware earlier than beginning the precise brewing.
After boiling up your water, pour it into your teacup, again into your kettle, and repeat the method once more a number of instances.
You’ll be able to take into account this as a part of the ‘ritual’ of brewing sencha tea, however it’ll additionally be certain that your drink gained’t go chilly too rapidly.
Time to Brew
In contrast to different teas, sencha is finest brewed beneath decrease water temperatures. Should you use boiling water, you danger burning the fragile leaves and producing an excessively bitter taste.
We advocate that you simply use water that’s between 150 and 170 F for the most effective outcome. One other factor to keep in mind is that if you happen to steep for too lengthy, the flavour might find yourself bitter once more.
Should you’re fortunate sufficient to have Gyokuro and different higher-quality variants, it’s best to decrease the temperature even additional to round 120 F, and steep for round 90 seconds.
Sencha Inexperienced Tea FAQ
Can I Drink It Each Day?
It’s utterly secure to drink inexperienced tea each day – in truth, we advocate it! Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply it’s best to have an excessive amount of.
By ingesting greater than 2-3 cups a day (or extra), you run the danger of getting some minor abdomen issues, diarrhea, insomnia (from the caffeine) and a quicker coronary heart price.
By all means get pleasure from moderately, however don’t go overboard.
Ought to I Use Unfastened Leaf Or Tea Luggage?
That is a type of issues which might be purely down to non-public desire.
On the whole, free leaves are identified to have a greater style and barely increased ranges of wholesome compounds; however getting ready them can take extra time and gear.
Some folks want tea baggage as they’re much simpler to organize, and are pleased to commerce that ‘entire leaf’ style for the sake of comfort. Strive each and see what you want finest!
Is It Okay To Drink It Earlier than Mattress?
Though there’s considerably much less caffeine in sencha tea than there’s in black tea and even espresso, we’d usually advocate going for a natural tea earlier than mattress, as an alternative of a inexperienced one.
Caffeine remains to be caffeine and will have a small impact in your means to get to sleep.
Should you do actually need a cup of sencha earlier than mattress, simply brew the leaves of the tea bag for much less time for a weaker brew.
Does Sencha Have a Lot Of Caffeine?
Sencha tea, like different inexperienced teas, accommodates a small quantity of caffeine. Relying on the variability and brewing strategies, sencha can include between 12 and 75 mg of caffeine. That is in comparison with 80 to 200 milligrams of caffeine in a traditional cup of espresso.
Can I Add Milk to Sencha Tea?
Technically, sure, though it wouldn’t actually work all that nicely with the aromatic and earthy taste profile.
Should you discover the sencha tea a bit too sturdy in style, we advocate placing in a bit little bit of honey to around the style off in a pure and scrumptious approach.
You’re Prepared for Your Sencha Tea Ceremony
The beauty of the world of inexperienced teas is that there are such a lot of varieties and blends to attempt.
We should say that sencha is unquestionably one in every of our favorites because it has a terrific steadiness of bitterness and aroma, making it a terrific place to begin for any newbie in inexperienced tea.
And, whenever you get your self a correct japanese teapot and be taught extra in regards to the conventional approach of getting ready and serving the tea, you may immerse your self within the rest and the well being advantages that observe.
Keep in mind that your brewing methodology will make or break your cup of tea, so ensure to remain true to the directions above.
When you have any suggestions or tips for getting ready sencha tea, do tell us!
Final replace on 2021-09-17 / Affiliate hyperlinks / Photos from Amazon Product Promoting API