Getting started with sencha

Getting started with sencha
Maybe you're a fan of other green teas (matcha, perhaps?). You've heard of sencha, the most popular type of tea in Japan, and maybe you have even tried brewing it yourself, to mixed results. Here is a simple introduction (or reintroduction) to the beauty of sencha.

About sencha
Sencha is the representative green tea in Japan. Why is it popular? Sencha is a tea with a balance of different flavors that are both refreshing and warming. Sencha's bitter flavors are what give it that crisp, refreshing character. Those flavors are balanced by a savory deliciousness, also called umami. Finally, sencha has a delightful aroma reminiscent of a cool fall breeze blowing through a field of tall grass.

Kumpu Sencha

Kumpu Sencha
Ippodo's Kumpu is a great introduction to sencha, because it has a smooth character, more of sencha's umami and sweetness, and less bitterness.

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How to brew sencha

How to brew sencha
Pro tip: brew sencha with less-than-boiling temperature water. This will bring out the best balance of flavors from the tea leaves.

Classic, Japanese-style with a kyusu
Use a kyusu teapot to brew sencha for a full flavor that goes well with sweets. Brewing Kumpu at 80°C produces a timeless balance of sweetness, bitterness, and umami that high-grade sencha is known for.

Amount of tea: 2 tablespoons
Temperature: 80°C (175°F)
Water: around 200-250 ml (8 oz)
Brewing time: 1 minute

Ivory Kyusu Teapot (Tokoname-yaki)

A simple kyusu: Ivory Kyusu Teapot (Tokoname-yaki)

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Kumpu is a wonderful introduction to why sencha is so popular among all varieties of Japanese tea.

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