Even though all green teas require a special water temperature for a perfect non bitter cup of tea, sencha is a bit more different from the rest of green loose leaf tea. Being the most popular and most produced Japanese tea, it doesn't surprise that there are special rules to brew sencha tea.
What is sencha tea
Sencha is a steamed green tea produced in Japan. Sencha is one of the most complex Japanese teas as well. With different types of steaming, different types of cultivars, different harvesting times and quality, sencha can offer years of exploration and enjoyment. Organic sencha tea is grown without any artificial fertilizers or chemicals.
Sometimes it can be shaded
Japan has two shaded teas – gyokuro and kabusecha. What might surprise is that sencha can also be shaded for a day or two prior harvesting. Shading gives a special umami flavor, which is best extracted with cooler water.
(Image Source: Tea Chronicles ©)
The right temperature and time
Perfect water temperature for brewing sencha is from 50 to 80 degrees Celsius. Start with cooler water of around 70 degrees and steep for a minute to minute and a half. Adjust the temperature if your tea was too weak or too bitter. The second steep should always be only a few seconds long, never longer like with other green teas. Shaded sencha requires cooler water.
The best teaware to brew sencha tea
The best teaware for brewing sencha is Japanese kyusu teapot. Kyusu allows the leaves to fully spread and soak. It also adds to the simplicity of brewing sencha and allows you to create a habit of drinking tea daily.
Sencha is the perfect tea for cold brewing. Add one whole spoon of loose leaf tea in your favorite glass jug or teapot (1-1.5 liters) and fill it with lukewarm water. Put it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Your tea can stay in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Strain before drinking.