What is Sencha (煎茶)?
Sencha green tea is a steamed Japanese green tea that has a rich history dating back to the early 1600s. The leaves are picked, steamed and dried before undergoing a lengthy rolling process that gives it its distinctive needle-like shape.
Sencha is a type of green tea that has been grown in the shade for about 30 to 45 days, then dried. The leaves are much smaller than regular sencha tea because they are not allowed to fully plump up in the sun. This gives out a very special taste and fragrance when brewed, which can be an acquired taste because of its much more delicate flavour.
The term 'sencha' is also used to describe the general type of tea, not just the shade-grown teas. There are other types of sencha which have been grown without being exposed to the sun for a prolonged period, so they are often called 'utsumusume'. The ones that have been exposed to the sun for a longer period are known as 'irumusume'.
What are the health benefits of Sencha?
Sencha contains a number of antioxidants that have been linked to a reduced instance of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other inflammatory conditions. Sencha's primary antioxidant - the catechin EGCG - also has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to regulate your body's immune system. In addition, this green tea is filled with fiber and helps you feel full faster, which can help you control your weight.
The antioxidants in Sencha green tea may also help regulate glucose levels in your body, helping to prevent or reduce symptoms of diabetes.
Are there any side effects of Sencha?
There are no known adverse side effects associated with this sencha green tea. However, if you have a caffeine allergy, you may have a negative reaction to sencha. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it's also best to avoid sencha.
What does sencha green tea taste like?
Sencha has an earthy flavor, with grassy notes and a bit of astringency (which is common in green tea).
Sencha(煎茶) vs Matcha(抹茶)
Sencha like to tell you about their differences with below,
(1) Sencha is steamed green tea.
(2) Matcha is not only "green tea" but also "tea of ceremony."
(3) Sencha has more of a fresh grassy smell.
(4) Sencha's color is brighter green than that of matcha.
★1 : Difference between the plant
(Sencha) is a tea made from the leaves of a type of sencha plant.
(Matcha) is powdered green tea. Matcha leaves are grown in shade for about 20 days before harvesting, which produces higher levels of amino acids and Catechins . L-Theanine, a type of amino acid, gives matcha its sweetness.
★2 : Difference in the manufacturing process
(Sencha) is steamed tea leaves. In general, tea is steamed within 30 minutes of harvesting for about two to three minutes at 100°C -120°C. This enhances its flavor and color . ・・・ ・・・
(Matcha) is a tea especially made for the Japanese tea ceremony. It's made in a unique way in which its leaves are ground into a fine powder. About 10-20g of matcha is added to about 100ml of hot water (80°C - 85°C), and then whisked with a bamboo whisk (chasen) until it becomes frothy.
★3 : Difference in their taste and smell
(Sencha) has a rich and fresh grassy flavor and scent. When you steep (湯を注ぐ:yu wo sosogu ) sencha, its color is bright green.
(Matcha) has a rich and deep umami flavor. The scent is hard to explain but it's definitely not as strong as that of sencha. When you steep matcha, its color becomes very dark green.
★4 Differences in their color and taste
(Sencha) has a more refreshing and rich green color.
(Matcha) has a very dark green color that is almost black.
★5 : Difference in price
(Sencha) is fairly cheap. Some senchas are not dyed (染める:jimeru) .
(Matcha) is expensive because of its unique manufacturing process which requires more labor. Therefore, good quality matcha is around 500 yen -1500 yen per gram. Matcha powder has a unique sweet smell and flavor that can't be experienced in other types of tea. I hope you try it at least once!
★6 : Difference in cooking
(Sencha) is used for making various Japanese sweets, such as Matcha ice cream , cake , Pudding . It's also used for hot-stone pot rice (kamameshi).
(Matcha) is not only used for sweets but also for making Udon and soba noodles.
★8 : Difference in the types of tea utensils' use
(Sencha) is used with a teapot and filter . You can enjoy its flavor and scent by pouring hot water over it several times so you can drink the tea before it becomes too bitter.Sometimes Sencha is made with a teapot (tea caddy/ chawan 茶碗:chawan), filter (sasara 濾す:sasara), tea caddy (chashaku 茶杓:chashaku).
(Matcha) is used with a special Matcha set . You must prepare the bowl and whisk beforehand in your hands, in order to enjoy its flavor and be truly amazed by its color. It's also important that you pour hot water into the bowl just before drinking! It's called "Throwing the hot water into the bowl" (投げ湯:nageyu).Sometimes,Matcha is also made with a Matcha set , which consists of a Matcha bowl (chawan 抹茶碗:chawan), Whisk ( chasen 茶筅:chasen), tea bowl (chawan 抹茶碗:chawan).
★9 : Difference in color
(Sencha) is bright green. Sometimes, you may find brown leaves (茶殻 :chakaku), especially in sencha made for everyday use.
(Matcha) is extremely dark green. Sometimes, you may find brownish color in good quality matcha.
★10 : Difference in the amount of caffeine
(Sencha) contains about 20mg of caffeine per 100ml of water . It's said to be a relaxing tea.
(Matcha) contains about 60mg of caffeine per 100ml of water . It's known to give you an energy boost, yet it doesn't make your heart pound like coffee does.
★11 : Difference in how long to steep them
(Sencha) is usually steeped for only about 45 seconds - 1 minute .
(Matcha) is usually steeped for about 3 minutes . In order to enjoy its rich flavor and color, you should master the right timing. As a rule of thumb, I tell people to use double the amount of tea they would normally use when steeping other types of tea. It's around 2 g - 4g per 100ml of water.
★12 : Difference in how they are drunk
(Sencha) is usually drunk by holding the filter in one hand and hot water in the other. You pour hot water into the filter three times, then you drink it out of the filter after mixing the tea leaves with the water.
(Matcha) is usually drunk by holding a spoon (chashaku 茶杓:chasak) in one hand and bowl in another, as you mix hot water with the tea powder in the bowl. You then drink it out of the tea bowl. You can also pour into your mouth without putting it into a bowl, which is called "Lifting and throwing away" (投げ落とし:nage otoshi).
How to make Sencha tea?
Step 1. Scoop 1 teaspoon of Sencha tea leaves(about3~5g)
Step 2. Pour 100 ml of water at 70 ℃ into a cup or ceramic teapot
Step 3. Put the tea leaves into the filter and press them down with the filter holder . If you use a plastic filter , it's fine to just put it in directly.
Step 4. Steep for 30 seconds - 1 minute . It's important that you don't over steep Sencha tea!
Step 5. Pour into a cup and enjoy!
You can keep steeping the tea leaves again and again by pouring hot water into your tea cup or ceramic teapot instead of changing the water in step 3.
How much Caffeine content is in Sencha? And how about Matcha?
It depends on how it's brewed, but overall you can expect about 40 mg of caffeine per 8oz cup of Sencha tea.
Matcha contains more caffeine than Sencha with anywhere between 65-120mg of caffeine per gram of powder, or around 35-80mg per oz (depending on the Matcha).
Sencha contains 40mg/cup, but that's for the traditional steamed variety.