Mizuba's pesticide-free, emerald sencha is made using two distinct processes — a shade-growing technique called kabuse and a deep steaming technique called fukamushi. Some sencha teas utilize one or the other technique, but ours is a unique synthesis which offers the drinker an uncommonly delicious, deeply sweet, and umami-filled experience. Enjoy!
What is Sencha?
Sencha is the most ubiquitous tea found in Japan, but for good reason — it exemplifies the one-of-a-kind umami flavor that epitomizes the heart of Japanese taste. Sencha illustrates the harmonious balance of sweetness, astringency, umami, and bitterness. Even its translation hints to its ubiquity: "sen" means "to infuse" while "cha" means "tea," so sencha in totality translates to "brewing tea." Invented in the 18th century in Uji, Japan by Soen Nagatani, the tea leaves are dried, steamed, and rolled into their characteristic needle shape. A fairly versatile tea, sencha can be brewed & enjoyed in a myriad of ways depending on personal preference.
For our particular sencha, shade-growing the leaves for about 7 days prior to harvest results in larger, more tender, chlorophyll-concentrated tea leaves (filled with more theanine!). A slightly longer, deep steam results in a thick, rich flavor.
Aroma: Deeply sweet, pure umami. There really isn't anything else like it.
Flavor: An exceptionally balanced, brothy brew with deep layers of flavor. Apricot, fresh English pea.
Harvest Season: Early Spring, Shincha season - April.
Process: Tea leaves are grown in the sun year-round. Prior to harvest, our tea is subject to the special kabuse shade-growing for 5-10 days (a relatively short time, which differentiates it from gyokuro). Once the first flush (shincha / ichibancha) is ready to harvest in the spring, the leaves are diligently gathered — most often this will be the bud with 2 or 3 leaves of new growth. To create our sencha, the leaves are deep steamed, dried and cooled, rolled into shape, sorted, and then rolled a final time.
Amount: 6g (2tsp) Sencha
Water: 180ml (6oz) of 160º-170ºF water.
Time: 30 seconds - 1 minute, or up to 2 minutes depending on your preference. You may also try hotter temperatures for shorter periods of time. You'll experience a range of flavors. Using the guide above will give you a sweeter cup, while the hot water/short time brew method will extract more vegetal notes. Experiment!
Make Iced Tea: Our sencha is great for both slow ice-steeping and cold brewing.
Learn 3 different methodologies to make iced tea here.
Food Pairing: You could drink sencha all day long, but ours pairs particularly wonderfully with seafood!
Sold in either 50g or 100g bags. Store in a cool, dark location. Best consumed within 3 months.