I am not overly familiar with Japanese teas and I only wrote about matcha before which is a worldwide phenomenon and unavoidable. Unconventionally, the matcha I wrote about came from a boutique organic farm in Northern Turkey. Anyway, despite not being experienced with Japanese teas, this sencha felt so familiar. It is the classic green tea experience that I would expect from any green tea I might be served in a café.
Sencha may not be as historical as some other greens including matcha, but when it was first introduced in the 17th century it became a hit and it remained one until now. Apparently, 80% of all Japanese teas are made into sencha as its production is much cheaper and less labour intensive than the powdered matcha. Also, sencha allows instant brewing which is more practical compared to matcha. As for most teas, sencha has a variety of grades, bancha (I love the one-word names for Japanese teas!) being the lowest one which is the everyday tea of Japan. Higher grades are served to guests or drunk on special occasions. Bancha is also made into hojicha to improve its flavour through roasting which results in a slightly smoky fragrance. Bancha’s lower caffeine level made it a tea drinkable throughout the day.
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Dark green
Liquor colour: Light yellowish green
Tea aroma: Mineral
Tea taste: Vegetal with mineral undertones
Steeping/brewing:You can use around 80°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to one year. (the fresher the better)