What is Sencha Tea?
When we think of green tea, we only think of one thing; green tea. However, a lot of people don’t know that there are different kinds of green tea. Some of these types include matcha, gunpowder, and sencha, which you may already know about. What makes these green teas different from each other is the growth of the plant, tea production and processing.
Now, instead of going into each type of tea, we’re going to discuss the one that gets the most talk. Sencha green tea is a very common tea and it is the most popular green tea in Japan. We’re going to talk about why that is as well as its origins and how they make it.
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History of Sencha
Green tea and all teas, in general, have been around for a while, but it wasn’t until the 17th century when sencha tea was first being used. In this century, the tea leaf was brought over to Japan from China. Before that, matcha was the preferred drink of choice in Japan. However, once sencha was introduced, it became a go-to for the Japanese. This is because the tea didn’t require any kind of preparation in advance, unlike other teas, so it could be enjoyed as soon as possible. In today’s world, sencha is still a favorite. In fact, 80% of all tea that comes from Japan is sencha.
Processing for Sencha Green Tea
The process begins with the camellia sinensis plant, as almost all teas do. Sencha is made from leaves that grow under sunlight. This is different from other types of green tea, which we will discuss later. After the plant grows, they are harvested in the first or second flush, with the first harvest being the best quality sencha. This first flush is known as Sencha. Also, the leaves from the upper shoots are most often picked because they are the youngest leaves and are therefore higher quality.
After the growing and picking process, the leaves move off to a plantation. This is where most of the action happens. Firstly, the steaming process begins immediately to prevent oxidation. Oxidation affects the outcome of the tea drastically. If leaves are partially oxidized, they become oolong tea. Fully oxidized leaves become black tea and green tea has no oxidation. Moving along, the tea leaves go into the drying and rolling process. This is where the tea gets it shape and taste, as they move into cylinders to dry off and get broken down. As a result, the shape of the leaves is needle-like and the taste is fresh.
Other ways of preparing the leaves can result in different types of sencha tea. Regardless of the type, there is not a lot of processing in sencha. This makes sure that the tea keeps all of its nutrients and lovely properties.
6 Sencha Green Tea Health Benefits
Like every tea, the list of sencha tea benefits is extensive. Below you will find six benefits of drinking sencha.
Fights free radicals
Free radicals are molecules that harm our bodies. They are known to damage our DNA, which can cause cancer and can speed up ageing. Sencha green tea has lots of antioxidants and other nutrients, which help fight against these radicals. This means that this tea can reduce the risk of getting many types of cancers and can lower oxidative stress in our bodies.
Helps with weight loss
Sencha is a great fat burner. The many antioxidants that it has can help burn extra calories. Also, the caffeine in this green tea can boost your metabolism. This will give you more energy throughout the day while burning fat in the background.
Boosts the immune system
Thanks to its high levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants, sencha can give lots of help to your immune system. It can prevent infections and viruses from taking over by creating white blood cells. These cells can also help shorten the duration of a cold or a flu that you may have.
Reduces bad cholesterol
Studies show that sencha green tea is good for lowering LDL, or bad cholesterol. This is great for lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease. Anyone who is at risk for any kind of heart problems should give this tea a try.
5. Boosts energy
Since this tea has caffeine in it, it will definitely give you a boost of energy. However, sencha tea has an amino acid called theanine, which helps calm your body down. Also, green tea does not have much caffeine in it either. This means that the boost in energy that you get will not be as strong as coffee, but it will be more relaxing and steady.
Improves oral health
Interestingly, sencha tea also has fluoride in it, which helps strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities. Furthermore, this can help prevent bad breath and fight germs in your mouth.
Sencha Tea vs. Matcha
Both matcha and sencha are very popular types of teas, so we thought we would compare the two. We’re going to be looking at matcha powder vs. sencha loose leaf to see which one tastes better and which is better for you. To start, as mentioned before, sencha is grown in the sun, but matcha is grown in the shade. This makes a difference in the properties of each tea. Sencha has more catechin antioxidants because of the sun, while matcha has more caffeine and theanine from less sun. Both are healthy tea options, but from these facts, you can choose what you want more of.
In terms of taste, sencha green tea has an uplifting and refreshing taste to it. Resulting in a nutty/fruity aftertaste, which makes it great for iced tea. For matcha, the taste is smooth and savory with not much of an aftertaste. Both teas have somewhat of an earthy taste to them, however. In terms of color, sencha is more of a dark green, while matcha tea powder is bright green.
Sencha is a great tea to try if you haven’t already. With all of the benefits it has and its refreshing taste, it can make for a perfect morning drink to start your day right.