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Sencha Green Tea and Green Tea: What’s the Difference?

Ever found yourself staring at a tea shelf, puzzled by the array of green teas?

We felt that too.

Turns out, not all green teas are crafted equal. Sencha and regular green tea, for instance, are like cousins who show up at a family reunion with wildly different stories to tell.

We learned this the hard way, during a tea tasting that turned into a comedy of errors.

Each has its own vibe, flavor, and set of perks. And yeah, we’re here to spill the tea on both.

Stay tuned, because this isn’t just about leaves soaking in hot water. It’s a revelation.

What is Green Tea?

Green tea is one of the most popular beverages worldwide, yet, it remains somewhat of an enigma.

So, what is green tea? Well, to put it simply, green tea is a type of tea made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process as black and oolong teas.

This process allows the leaves to maintain more of their natural antioxidants and polyphenols, making green tea a superfood in its own right.

But the science doesn’t stop there.

Green tea contains a unique amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to have calming effects on the brain.

In fact, many people opt for a cup of green tea instead of coffee to give them a calm energy boost.

With so many health benefits and a unique flavor profile, it’s no wonder green tea has captured the hearts (and taste buds) of so many.

What is Sencha Green Tea?

Sencha green tea, also known as steamed green tea, is a type of Japanese tea.

It’s grown in full sunlight and harvested in the spring.

Then, it is steamed to help preserve its health benefits.

This tea has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Plus, it contains caffeine and L-theanine.

L-theanine relaxes, and when combined with caffeine, it can increase focus.

The quality of Sencha leaves is graded.

Higher grades contain more uniform leaves and stems, resulting in a smoother, less bitter taste.

This tea can be brewed hot or cold.

You can steep it in traditional methods or use an infuser.

Sencha green tea provides an excellent choice.

Its unique flavor, cultivation process, health benefits, and versatility make it a great option.

Differences Between Sencha Green Tea and Green Tea

Sencha and regular green teas might appear similar, but their distinctions make them special.

1 – Cultivation and Harvesting Process

Green tea and sencha green tea vary in their cultivation and harvesting.

Sencha goes through a different process than traditional green tea to bring its unique flavor.

The cultivation of sencha needs shading tea leaves for 21 days before plucking.

This increases the chlorophyll, amino acids and caffeine content in the leaf.

These shaded leaves can only be plucked once a year, during the May harvest season.

After harvesting, sencha green tea is steamed instead of pan fried or roasted like conventional green tea.

After steaming, the leaves are rolled to remove extra moisture and shape them into needles; this gives sencha its thin needle-like look.

Finally, these needles are dried before packaging.

Regular green tea needs waiting for the right time (spring) when small buds and their attached one or two leaves are plucked off by skilled hands.

Then, these shoots are heat-treated with pancake firing or roasting, giving it a natural aroma without any artificial flavors.

2 – Flavor and Aroma

Sencha green tea and green tea differ in their flavors and aromas.

Sencha has a grassy taste, while regular green tea has a bitter one.

It also has a sweetness to it that brings out the floral notes.

Its aroma is richer than traditional green teas.

It has a deep fragrance, as it’s picked earlier.

Green tea has a vegetal scent, with earthy undertones.

Its flavor varies depending on where it’s grown.

Chinese green teas tend to have nutty overtones, while Japanese ones have umami notes.

The difference in flavor and aroma is due to the different production methods used for each type of tea.

3 – Brewing Method and Preparation

Are sencha green tea and regular green tea the same? No.

Brewing and preparation methods differ.

To make sencha green tea, use hot water (75°C) and steep for 1-2 minutes.

Or, use a Kyusu pot.

Leaves are picked in early spring, steamed, then rolled into needle shapes.

Regular green tea requires higher water temp (80°C – 90°C) and steeping time of 3-5 minutes.

Both come from the same plant, but cultivation methods cause flavor variations.

Sencha has a vegetal taste plus sweeter, light floral notes.

4 – Nutritional Composition

Green tea and sencha green tea differ in nutritional composition.

Both are low in calories and contain antioxidants.

But, sencha has more catechins, which help fight cell damage and some diseases.

Plus, it has more caffeine than green tea, but less than coffee.

Studies show that green tea may help with health and weight loss by increasing metabolism and reducing inflammation.

So, try having either sencha or regular green tea daily.

It’s a healthy choice.

Similarities Between Sencha Green Tea and Green Tea

Green tea and sencha green tea are both made from the Camellia sinensis plant.

They offer the same benefits, like improving heart health and reducing chronic disease risk.

Sencha stands out though.

It has a grassy flavor, hints of sweetness and acidity.

Plus, it’s grown in sunlight, giving it a bright emerald hue.

Production is special too.

Leaves are steamed, rolled, and dried, preserving the color and nutrients.

This makes sencha stand out compared to other teas.

Green tea and sencha share many similarities.

But sencha’s unique flavor and hue make it the most distinct green tea today.

Health Benefits of Sencha Green Tea and Green Tea

Green tea and Sencha Green Tea both offer fantastic health benefits.

Here are the top 5:

  • Antioxidants that reduce chronic disease risk.
  • Caffeine for mental clarity and energy.
  • High levels of amino acids in Sencha Green Tea that improve brain function.
  • L-theanine in Green Tea to reduce stress and increase alpha waves.
  • Antimicrobial properties to prevent tooth decay.

It’s important to note that both types should be consumed in moderation or else negative side effects like headaches and an upset stomach may occur.

Sencha Green Tea has a grassy flavor with a bitter taste, while normal Green Tea has a nutty, smooth flavor.

Enjoy hot or cold, but never sweetened.

With either type, you could be reaping the rewards of these amazing teas.

How to Choose Between Sencha Green Tea and Green Tea?

Trouble choosing between Sencha green tea & regular green tea? Both have unique benefits.

They are both made from the Camellia sinensis plant.

Sencha’s process is different, giving it a distinct flavor plus antioxidants.

Regular green tea has a bold taste & slight bitterness.

Sencha is sweeter with vegetal notes & less intense flavor.

Sencha has higher amounts of catechins, boosting the immune system & reducing inflammation.

It’s up to you.

What do you want to gain from drinking it? Sencha or regular green tea, both are good for health & wellbeing.

Conclusion

Green tea and sencha green tea both come from the Camellia sinensis plant.

But, they have different processing methods and flavors.

Green tea is steamed, giving a grassy taste.

Sencha is steamed, then rolled, making it sweeter with mild astringency.

Also, it has more antioxidants than regular green tea.

Which one to choose? It comes down to personal preference.

Those who like a stronger taste may opt for sencha.

For a milder flavor, go for green tea.

Note that both are rich in antioxidants.

Sencha has higher levels of EGCG, great for boosting your immune system.

In Japan, Sencha is widely consumed and part of Japanese culture.

It’s often enjoyed hot or cold with traditional snacks or light bites, like sushi.

Sencha Green Tea and Green Tea: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Dive into the world of green tea varieties with a comparison between sencha and traditional green tea. Explore their cultivation, processing techniques, flavors, and potential health benefits for a deeper understanding of these popular beverages.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That

Ingredients
  

  • Sencha Green Tea
  • Green Tea

Instructions
 

  • Choose between Sencha Green Tea and regular Green Tea based on your preference and taste.
  • Prepare a cup of hot water.
  • Place the tea leaves of your chosen type (Sencha or Green Tea) into a tea infuser or teapot.
  • Pour the hot water over the tea leaves.
  • Steep the tea for the recommended time, typically 2-3 minutes for Sencha Green Tea and 1-2 minutes for regular Green Tea.
  • Remove the tea leaves or strain the tea to separate them from the liquid.
  • Enjoy the soothing and refreshing flavors of your selected green tea variety.
  • Feel free to experiment with steeping times or adding honey, lemon, or other flavorings to customize your tea-drinking experience.
  • Embrace the many health benefits and calming properties of green tea while savoring its distinct taste.
  • Explore different brands and variations of green tea to discover your personal favorites.
Keyword Sencha Green Tea and Green Tea
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