Comparative Cupping: Sencha Green Teas
It is almost March and the world is beginning to thaw a little bit. With Spring peeking eagerly around the corner, our taste buds are ready to throw off the heavy palate of Winter in favor of the lighter flavors of the season. For this round of comparative cupping we chose to spotlight three of our Sencha green teas. Keep reading to discover the unique flavor profiles of our standard Sencha, Nishi Sencha 1st Flush, and Sencha Superior.
What is Sencha?
Sencha is one of the most popular green teas produced and consumed in Japan. Sencha teas are produced from the Camelia sinensis plant, or tea bush, like all other true teas. After plucking, leaves destined to become Sencha teas are steamed to prevent oxidation, hand-rolled and then dried. The lack of oxidation allows the leaves to maintain their vivid green hue and typically vegetal flavor profile, as well as all of the antioxidants natural to the tea plant. Though all of our Sencha teas undergo similar production, each has a distinct personality.
For critical tea tasting, we recommend referring to the Tea Aroma Wheel put out by The International Tea Masters Association.
Our standard Sencha features vibrant green leaves rolled carefully in the traditional manner. This tea steeps a light yellow liquor (tea liquid) which offers a distinctly vegetal aroma tempered by slight marine notes. The flavor profile of this Sencha is reminiscent of edamame with minor mineral undernotes. This tea is also characterized by a mild astringency with a mouthfeel that lingers.
Nishi Sencha 1st Flush
The perfect candidate for your Spring cleanse, this Sencha features leaves plucked during the first harvest of the season. Emerald green leaves steep a medium-bodied, lightly golden liquor (tea liquid) that effuses a sweet, fresh aroma. Nishi Sencha 1st Flush boasts a milder profile than other Senchas, featuring light umami and vegetal notes similar to green beans. This brew is characterized by a smooth aftertaste and slight lingering mouthfeel. As Nishi leaves are younger than other Senchas, this tea should be steeped at a slightly lower temperature to avoid scalding.
Our Sencha Superior tea is a lightly steamed Asamushi Sencha representative of the origianal Japanese varietal. This tea steeps a dark goldenrod infusion with an aroma of fresh cut grass that is deeper and more full-bodied than that of the Nishi. Sencha Superior features a pronounced grassy flavor and mild astringency which results in a lingering mouthfeel. We love this tea as a great option for bold flavor when we don't want the higher caffeine of a black tea.
Explore World Flavors with Sencha Teas
Sencha green teas are some of the most popular teas consumed in Japan. Steep a cup and explore a new realm of flavors and loose leaf personality!