What is Sencha?

Sencha is a popular kind of Japanese green tea, grown in full sunlight and brewed by infusing whole loose leaves in 80°C warm water. It is dark green in color with an astringent taste and bitter afternotes, and fresh grassy aroma. It is also referred to as steeped tea and is widely grown and quite popular in Japan.

sencha green tea - a mound of dry leaf

How is Sencha harvested and processed?

Sencha is grown on a wide scale in Japan under full sunlight exposure. It is harvested in late spring, around April or May, and only new leaves are plucked. Right after harvesting, these are sent to the factory to be processed. Leaves are steamed for a specific time to stop oxidation and prolong the storing period. After steaming, leaves go through a sorting machine to separate leaves and stalks. Next, leaves are dried and rolled and packed into bags.

What are other types of Sencha?

The types of Sencha differ on the basis of steaming time during the processing period. There are three main types, i.e., Fukamushi-cha 深蒸し (deep steamed), Asamushi 浅蒸し (lightly steamed), and Chumushi 中蒸し or Futsumushi-cha (medium steamed). Often the medium steamed are the most commonly known sencha, but deep and light steam are also considered sencha. When tea is steamed, it is often referred as sencha; therefore, gyokuro and kukicha are also considered types of sencha.  Please click here for different types of Japanese green tea explained in detail.

How does the steaming process make Sencha different from other types?

The steaming process is the first step in processing the tea leaves, and it also determines the later characteristics of the tea leaves. Lightly steamed leaves have a strong aroma, light-green color, long, narrow and uniform shape, and light grassy taste with astringent afternotes. Tea leaves steamed for more time have a fresh aroma, rich astringent taste, light-green liquid, and long narrow leaf shape. Whereas, heavily steamed leaves turn out broken and powdery with a weak aroma and deeply rich, smooth flavor.

green teapot and cup with green tea

What does Sencha taste like?

High-quality Sencha contains a lot of L-Theanine (amino acid), which makes the tea sweet with little bitter after taste. However, if you brew it with hot water, it will taste much bitter, and if made at a lower temperature, Sencha will also not be very sweet. Therefore, water temperature plays a role in the taste of Sencha. Please click here for more about how to steep sencha green tea. 

Is Sencha green tea good for you?

Yes, Sencha tea is good for your health. It helps burn the extra calories, regulate blood flow, manage weight, and eliminate harmful toxins present in the bloodstream. Moreover, it makes your skin look youthful by hydrating wrinkles and repairing inflamed and damaged skin. Click here to read more about science behind why sencha is good for health

How do you prepare for Sencha?

There are different approaches to preparing sencha, but here is the most common way using  Japanese teapot (Kyusu).

  • First, boil the water and pour it in Kyusu and two teacups to make them warm. Then discard the water. 
  • Pour the heated water in the Kyusu teapot and let it cool down to 80°C. 
  • After the water cools down, put one teaspoon per cup of Sencha loose tea leaves in the teapot and cover the lid. 
  • Let the leaves steep for about one minute and then pour into small cups. 
  • Enjoy it while it is warm. 

Please click here for more about how to steep sencha green tea.

How much caffeine is in Sencha green tea?

Depending on the variety and brewing time, Sencha contains different caffeine levels but still on a moderate level. A cup of Sencha tea can contain 12-75mg of caffeine, which is a lot less than a coffee cup, 80-200mg. 

Which Japanese tea is the healthier; Matcha or Sencha?

Both Matcha and Sencha are healthy in their own way as Senha has more Vitamin C and E, and antioxidants. In contrast, Matcha has more Vitamin B6, beta-carotene, caffeine, and L-theanine. Many people prefer Matcha over Sencha due to Matcha’s sweet taste, and it dissolves in the water, giving more full nutrients to the consumer. 

What kind of green tea do Japanese people drink?

Sencha is the most commonly consumed green tea in Japan, and it is produced by plucking tea leaves from Camellia Sinensis plants. It is then steamed, rolled, and dried to stop the oxidation, balance the acidity and sweetness, and store it for a longer period. It makes a great everyday tea for Japanese people.

How many cups of green tea should I drink to lose weight?

For weight management and fat burning, approximately 2-3 cups of Sencha tea should be enough for you in a day after a meal. However, the amount of consumption should vary from person to person, as not all have the same metabolism rate and cannot consume caffeine in high amounts daily. 

Can I drink Sencha on an empty stomach?

It is absolutely not advised to drink Sencha tea on your empty stomach. The alkaline nature of tea reacts with the acidic fluid of your stomach and makes it upset. It can also stimulate the gastric-acid production in your stomach, making it ache and upset for a specific period of time. 

Does Sencha green tea have any side effects?

It has very mild side effects if you get the allergy, and some do not even experience all of it. Some of the side effects include mild to serious headache, vomiting, sleeping problems, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, ringing in the ear, convulsions, and diarrhea. It happens due to the allergy to caffeine or less absorption of iron from food. 

Does Sencha green tea flush toxins?

Sencha Green tea works as a natural flush for your system because antioxidants present in the tea helps your body get rid of toxin radicals and increase the detoxification process. It also boosts your immune system, protects your liver from any alcohol damage, protects arteries, and makes your bloodstream healthy and hydrated. Adding 3-4 cups of green tea for weeks in your diet helps detox your body for a long time, make it healthier, and make you live longer. 

Can children or pregnant women drink Sencha tea?

It is not safe for children to have green tea as it contains caffeine, and pregnant women should also limit their intake to one cup daily only and should consult the doctor first before adding it into the diet. 

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