Sencha green tea (also called Ocha) is the most popular Japanese green tea because of its good quality and reasonable price. It is an easy tea to brew and has a light and refreshing taste.
Sencha comes from the camellia sinensis plant and is grown in Japan, primarily in Shizuoka prefecture and on the southern island of Kyushu. This variety of green tea is grown in 100% sunlight, meaning it is never shaded before harvest.
It is harvested 3 or 4 times a year. The first flush, harvested from mid-April to mid-May, has the best quality tea leaves.
Sencha Ready to be Picked
Shortly after harvest, the leaves are steamed to prevent oxidization and to preserve the tea’s natural flavors. After they are steamed, they are rolled and dried, leaving dark green cylindrical leaves.
Roughly 80% of tea sold in Japan is sencha, mainly because it is a great tasting tea for a reasonable price.
This is a very good tea for beginners, but even seasoned green tea fans appreciate its mellow flavor, fresh aroma and pleasing light green color. The greatest appeal about this tea is that it can be adjusted for your taste depending on how you choose to brew it.
This flexibility is what makes it so popular among tea lovers and easily categorizes it as the best green tea for everyday use.
Just Brewed Sencha Green Tea
The two main factors that affect the taste of sencha are the temperature of the water and the length of brewing time.
The ideal brewing temperature is about 160 – 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of us don’t have thermometers handy to measure our water temperature, so what can we do? Well, water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so I recommend turning your burner off just before the water begins to boil and let it sit for a few minutes.
I recommend using about 2 teaspoons, more if you like it stronger and more bitter. The ideal brewing time is somewhere between 30 – 40 seconds. The longer you let it sit, the stronger and more bitter it will become.
See more ways to brew sencha green tea.
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