Hoffman Media
 
 

 



Sencha




by Stacey Norwood

 

Harvested in early spring, sencha is a traditional Japanese tea that is delicate in color but bold in flavor. This popular green tea is a perfect pick for the season and pairs beautifully with both savories and sweets.

 

Tea Pedigree 

Sencha accounts for about three-quarters of the leaf produced in Japan's tea-growing regions.

     

  • Characterized by a deep emerald color, sencha is noted for its needle-shaped leaves. It is available in high, medium, and low grades.
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  • Higher-grade sencha comes from the tender top shoots of the tea plant and is plucked by hand. Lower-grade or less-expensive sencha is often machine harvested.
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  • Sencha is prepared for consumption first by steaming the leaf to prevent oxidation, then rolling it either by hand or machine into its signature shape.
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Flavor Palate 

     

  • The aroma of sencha varies with the grade. Top-shelf sencha is noted for its delicate, sweet, and lingering fragrance.
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  • Sencha produces a lightly golden liquor that is bright, crisp, and typically assertive in taste.
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  • The flavor profile is vegetative, with notes that range from grassy to kelpy. Top notes are frequently described as clean, sweet, and faintly bitter.
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Tasting Notes 

Sencha pairs well with seafood dishes of all types, as well as steamed rice, broth soups, baked bread, and mildly flavored cheeses.

     

  • Sencha also matches well with many sweets, milk chocolate in particular, as well as fruit-based dishes.
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  • Sencha is equally refreshing hot or over ice.
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Sencha Brewing Tips 

FOR COLD TEA

  • Place 3 tablespoons sencha in a disposable tea sack, and infuse the tea in a pitcher of filtered water in a refrigerator overnight.
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FOR HOT TEA

  • Heat cold filtered or spring water to about 180°, or bring to a boil, then cool for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • For a weaker infusion, use about 1 teaspoon of leaves per 6-ounce cup.
  • For a stronger cup, use up to 2 tablespoons.
  • Steep for 1 to 2 minutes; leaves may be steeped again for a second cup.




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