Sencha is the most popular type of green tea from Japan. It has a fresh taste that varies depending on which variety of the tea plant is used and how it is brewed, and includes flavour notes of plants, grass, and seaweed. Sencha has a moderate amount of caffeine and can be enjoyed either hot or cold.
Sencha teas are harvested three to four times a year. The ones harvested in the Spring, especially those from the first few days of the harvest, also known as Shincha or Ichibancha, have the best compounds stored over Winter. These teas are only available in small amounts, and are highly valued.
Within Sencha, there are three different types: Asamushi, Chumushi and Fukamushi. The tea’s type is determined by the length of time it is steamed to stop oxidation. Asamushi teas are simply steamed for a short time, making them light, delicate, and fresh with mostly intact leaves. On the other hand, Fukamushi teas undergo a longer steaming process resulting in finer particles. Consequently, the infusion appears slightly cloudy and the taste is more intense.
For information about the caffeine content of Sencha and the health benefits of green tea please see our magazine article “Does green tea contain caffeine?“.
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