What is Sencha Green Tea & Why is it so Popular?

Last Updated On : November 2021
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Sencha Green Tea

If gyokuro is the Kylie Jenner of the green tea world then sencha is Kris Jenner, the matriarch.

In other words, Sencha is a category of green tea and gyokuro is a type of sencha tea.  

Keep reading to learn more about this Japanese green tea and all the versions you can make at home. 

What is Sencha?

Sencha is a type of green tea that translates to ‘simmered tea’ (1). It is made from dried tea leaves unlike other teas which are a result of grinding the leaves.

Origins of Sencha Green Tea

Sencha was the most popular of green teas when it was introduced to Japan in the 17th century. 

Before that, matcha was the most popular type of green tea before sencha started overtaking it because it didn’t require any preparation like matcha did. 

Sencha makes up to 80% of all the Japanese Green Tea (2)...

This speaks a lot to its popularity!

Where is Sencha Grown?

This Japanese green tea is grown mostly in the Shizuoka, Kagoshima, and Mie prefectures in Japan. 

In Kagoshima, the fertile soil from the volcanic area provides richness for the sencha tea to be grown here and adds volume to its flavor.

If you know Sencha Tea, then you know what we are talking about...

What does Sencha Green Tea Taste Like? 

Like a lot of green teas, sencha has the flavor of grass with a tone of sweetness. Its color can vary from deep green to light green with a yellow tone.

Sencha tea can also be chilled to make a refreshing drink on a hot summer day.

Tea Production and Oxidation

Quality Sencha - Production

Japanese teas are steamed which gives them a grassy flavor. 

They are steamed right away to stop the oxidation process before being rolled and dried. 

They then go through a refining process to reduce their moisture.

There isn’t a lot of processing for sencha tea which helps keep all its goodness.

Subtypes of Japanese Sencha Tea 

Gyokuro

Gyokuro tea is the most expensive of all Japanese green teas and is shaded before harvesting. 

Asamushi Sencha 

This bright yellow Japanese green tea has a delicate taste.

Chumushi Sencha 

This Japanese Sencha green tea has a stronger flavor than other varieties as it is steamed for longer. 

Fukamushi Sencha

Steamed for the longest out of all the Japanese Sencha, this deep steamed sencha green tea has the most broken leaves. It can be purchased as a silky powder.

Sincha

With its umami flavor it is sweeter than other types of Japanese Sencha.

Uji Sencha

Unsurprisingly from the Uji province in Japan. 

Kukicha

Also called ‘Twig tea’, this tea is actually not a loose leaf tea, but instead it is made from the stems and twigs of the tea plant. Plus it has a nutty flavor!

What is this Healthy Green Tea Good for?

When you drink green tea (or tea in general), you are welcoming many health benefits into your body.

It is good for cholesterol and fats in the blood which can help with high blood pressure. 

The polyphenols are anti-inflammatory and may fight some infections. 

Antioxidants may prevent heart problems along with an impressive list of other chronic diseases (3). 

Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid, that helps you relax and reduces anxiety (who doesn’t need that!). This could help aid in sleep, so you don’t have to count sheep in order to fall asleep (4).

Sencha Green Tea Preparation

It’s easy to make Japanese Sencha green tea at home and there are lots of different ways to enjoy it. 

Drinking Sencha - Japanese Tea

How to Make Sencha Green Tea

Ingredients for sencha                                                   

  • Sencha tea leaves or tea bags  

Ratio                                    

  • 1 teaspoon per cup

Instructions

  • Use almost boiling water. The ideal temperature for Japanese Sencha tea is 80 degrees Celsius or 176 Fahrenheit
  • Add the tea leaves to a teapot
  • Add the water when it reaches the right temperature
  • Don’t stir the leaves
  • Steep for up to 1 minute
  • Pour into your mug and enjoy

Alternative Versions of Sencha

  • Add some vanilla for a sencha vanilla green tea. Or you can get ready-made green tea with vanilla tea bags. 
  • Add some lemon for an extra boost of Vitamin C.
  • Add some ginger or use ready-made Japanese green tea with ginger tea bags. Ginger is full of goodness and is great as an anti-inflammatory. It also gives your green tea notes of spice.
  • Sprinkle some mint leaves into your tea. Mint is packed full of health benefits too for a super healthy drink.
  • Enjoy your tea chilled on a hot day.
  • Make a Matcha-iri sencha. This is sencha blended with matcha tea powder for a sweet and savory drink.  

When should I Drink Sencha Green Tea?

It contains theanine which can possibly relax you and reduce anxiety, so it is best to drink Sencha when you are planning to relax sometime during the day.

Just the process of making the tea and sitting down to sip it, can help slow you down and give you time to de-stress, so you are more relaxed.

If you are sensitive to caffeine this isn’t the best tea to have right before bed because it nearly has just as much caffeine as coffee.

Where to buy Sencha Green Tea

You will probably find it in any specialty tea shops near you or buy it the more convenient way via Amazon.

Recommended Tea

Davidson’s Tea Bulk - Sencha

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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about Sencha

How much caffeine is there in Sencha green tea?

Sencha has around 75 mg per cup. This is pretty high as coffee contains around 80mg (5).

Are there any side effects of sencha?

Japanese Sencha teas contain tannins which give tea that bitter taste. Tannins are also a compound that can make your body less able to absorb vitamins and minerals like iron. So, best to avoid it if you are anemic.  

Tannins may also cause nausea if you drink a lot of it. Don’t forget that too much caffeine can, of course, lead to heart palpitations, headaches, and tannins may cause nausea (6).

Is sencha better than matcha?

All green teas are packed with health benefits but matcha has more caffeine since it is powdered green tea and therefore has more tea in each serving. While sencha has more antioxidants (7).

How many calories are in sencha and what are its nutritional facts?

There are five calories in sencha and no fat. It does contain some carbs though.

Premium Organic Sencha

Bottom Line - Sencha Japanese Green Tea

Sencha is a popular green tea and is a great place to start when experimenting with different types of green tea. 

What green tea is your favorite? Let us know.

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Disclaimer:

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of tea if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.

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