Sencha (4 oz)
Sencha Green Tea | In Pursuit of Tea
This is a traditional Japanese green tea with tightly rolled, needle-shaped leaves. Itís made from the mishouzairai cultivar and is picked in early spring, after the leaves have developed their balance of sweetness and astringency. The liquor is bright emerald in color, with a clean finish and a taste reminiscent of seaweed.

Country: Japan
Region: Uji Prefecture
Tasting Notes: Grassy sweet, hints of ocean
Year of Production: 2013

Stock Status:(Out of Stock)

Product Code: GJS24


Sencha is the most widely enjoyed green tea in Japan. You'll find it everywhere you turn, in varying grades. It can be recognized by its shiny, needle-like shaped tea leaves with strong fragrance.

Along with the springtime blossoming of cherry trees, the first harvest of sencha is highly anticipated and celebrated. It's thought to be the first taste of the coming year in tea, and very lucky to give as a gift. This first harvest is referred to as "shincha".

Processing: The tea plants used to make sencha are grown in full sun. Processing is a series of six steps that begins with steaming (halts oxidization, preserves the color, aroma and taste). The leaves are then partially dried and machine twisted, making them soft and pliant. This step is repeated, with a second round of drying and twisting, resulting in increased fragrance and needle-shaped leaves. A third round of drying finishes the process. The tea then is hand-sorted to remove any stray stems. Sencha can be enjoyed right after being made (needs no maturing), and generally has a 6 months shelf life.

Brewing: The key with sencha is to use soft water at a low temperature with a short steeping time. It's a delicate tea, and does well made in a small vessel like a gaiwan or kyusu.

Cooking: It's common in Japan to re-use the leaves of high-grade sencha in cooking. Try adding them to salads and dishes that do well with fresh greens and herbs.

About Japanese teas

History & Geography

Japan is an island country located in the Pacific Ocean. Made up of over 3,000 islands, it forms an archipelago that stretches along the Pacific Coast of Asia. 70 to 80 percent of its land is mountainous and not suitable for permanent living or agriculture. Most the population lives in densely populated areas, in coastal cities.

Tea first was introduced to Japan in the 900's through Zen Buddhism, when returning Japanese monks brought tea seeds back with them from China. Emulating what they had seen in China, they first cultivated powdered tea, or matcha, a style popular in Song Dynasty China. The tea was whisked in a bowl and shared, eventually evolving into the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Japan credits the rise of tea drinking to a Monk named Eisai. Returning from China, he planted tea seeds in the capitol of Kyoto and writes a book "A Record of Tea Drinking for Good Health." In 1214, he was summoned to administer the last rights to a young shogun, who was suffering terribly. Eisai diagnosed him with being hung over, revived him with a bowl of tea and presented him with his book. The shogun adopts tea drinking and a tea industry begins.

Tea Production Today

Today, Japan produces both powdered and loose leaf styles of green (un-oxidized) tea. They are divided into 4 catagories: matcha, sencha, gyokuro and bancha teas. The most important growing regions are: Uji, Shizouka, Kagoshima and Kyoto Prefectures. Uji, Japan, just south of Kyoto, is the most famous tea-growing region in Japan. Most of the finest teas come from this region even though it produces on 4 percent of Japan's tea.

Our Japanese teas include: bancha, Genmaicha (tea with popped and roasted rice), hojicha (roasted tea), karigane kukicha (twig tea), sencha, gyokuro, and matcha.

While there are different cultivation/processing methods unique to each style of tea, they all have the same first step in common: steaming. Immediately after the tea leaves are picked, they are steamed to halt the oxidization process. In contrast, Chinese green teas are pan or oven fired.

Japan currently harvests most of its tea mechanically. Traditional hand picking is now reserved for small lots of premium tea. The specialized harvesting equipment ranges from large tractor-like machines to smaller gas powered trimmers, which are carried by two people who walk between the rows of tea. The farmers using these precision machines are able to target the new shoots on the plant, while a vacuum pulls the clipped leaves into a basket.

Tasting Notes

Japanese green teas are famous for their umami taste, a flavor best described as the natural sweetness of the tea leaf, tasting like ocean and refreshing spring greens. This pronounced taste, occurring at different intensities depending on the tea, is directly related to how the tea was cultivated and processed. Generally, high grades of matcha, gyokuro and sencha teas have the strongest, sweet umami flavor.

  • Start with your favorite spring or filtered water. Preheat the teaware. Use a large strainer basket to allow the leaves to open and release their flavor.
  • Temperature: 170 F Time: 1-2 minutes
    Amount: 3g / 6 oz serving = 1 teaspoon
  • Re-steep to make another cup. Play with the amount of tea, the water temperature, and steeping time to re-steep - rely on taste, not color. Get to know the tea!
  • For more about brewing tea, visit our Brewing Notes page.
Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 1 Write a review.

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
A lovely Sencha March 6, 2014
Reviewer: Eric DeVries from Anaheim, CA United States  
I usually prefer a deep steamed Sencha but i wanted to try something a little different and this tea did not disappoint. The leaves are gorgeous and aromatic and the emerald liquor is at once vegetal and reminiscent of the ocean, refreshing and soothing, highly recommended.

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