Sencha is regarded as Japan’s favorite green tea because of its popularity. In fact, it takes 80% of the share of tea consumption and makes up the majority of tea produced in Japan.

It’s renowned for having the right balance of sweetness and bitterness with a smooth grassy aroma. However, that’s not to say that all senchas taste alike. Its appearance and taste may vary largely because of three factors — cultivar(s) used, harvest season, and steaming level.

Sencha comes from senjicha which means “parched tea.” Sencha typically only refers to a limited selection of steamed Japanese green teas like the ones described below.

There are three steaming levels based on the duration of the steaming process:

  1. “Asamushi” (浅蒸し): Light steaming
  2. “Chumushi” (中蒸し): Medium steaming
  3. “Fukamushi” (深蒸し): Deep steaming

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