The process by which sencha and other Japanese ryokucha (緑茶, green tea) is created differs from Chinese green teas, which are initially pan-fired. Japanese green tea is first steamed for between 15–20 seconds to prevent oxidization of the leaves. Then, the leaves are rolled, shaped, and dried. This step creates the customary thin cylindrical shape of the tea. Finally, the leaves are sorted and divided into differing quality groups.
The initial steaming step imparts a difference in the flavour between Chinese and Japanese green tea, with Japanese green tea having a more vegetal, almost grassy flavour (some taste seaweed-like). Infusions from sencha and other green teas that are steamed (like most common Japanese green teas) are also greener in colour and slightly more bitter than Chinese-style green teas.
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I was hoping that this would be similar to the Japanese Senchas I’ve tried. But it’s quite different. The grassy, vegetal notes are missing. No classic umami. It sort of reminded me a bai mu dan white tea, actually, which, at least in my experience, is nowhere near what I want in a sencha.
Shelly (verified owner) –
I had this tea at a local restaurant and had to get it. I enjoy the Grassy note of this tea. It is smooth and delightful. I am a bit of tea snob so I feel like I know a good tea when I have it. You can make it as mild or strong as you enjoy. Just a well rounded and bodied tea.