What is so special about Sencha tea?
Sencha tea is a type of infused tea that has been popular in Japan for centuries. It is prepared from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, and possesses a unique flavor that makes it special from other green teas.
The speciality of Sencha tea is that it has several possible health benefits. It contains high levels of antioxidants as well as polyphenols. Such compounds found in green tea protect against inflammation and boost immunity.
How Sencha tea is prepared
Sencha tea is prepared by a sequence of steps that makes its taste unique from other teas. The fermentation process is halted by roasting, steaming, or infusing freshly picked leaves. This infusion helps retain the original properties of the leaves that have high antioxidant properties.
This is the most popular type of tea for domestic use and is made from well-twisted, young leaves. The preparation involves many steps such as :
The harvest season of Sencha tea generally occurs from early April to June. It is the first step in the production of sencha tea leaves. The fresh young leaves are plucked by the farmers and it is followed by other primary steps. They include:
Fanning of Leaves
The freshly plucked leaves undergo oxidation when exposed to air. The leaves get dry very easily. So, it is necessary to retain moisture in them to protect their quality and maintain freshness.
The leaves then undergo a steam procedure to stop the enzymatic activity to retain their color and flavor.
The steamed leaves are cooled to room temperature immediately to store their antioxidant properties and flavor.
Kneading helps in crushing the leaves to extract the flavor in a better way. Crushing the leaves allows them to infuse with hot water immediately and effectively.
Hot air is passed through these leaves to reduce the moisture content and thus enabling long-term storage.
Sencha tea benefits
Good for digestion
The phytochemical elements present in Sencha tea help in the digestion process. It also prevents digestion dysfunction by boosting the digestive process in the body (1).
May help in weight loss
Sencha tea has proved to increase metabolism and ultimately aids in weight loss. However, no proper evidence has been found regarding weight loss. But it can be consumed once a day which shall be beneficial for people aiming for weight loss (2). However proper weight loss also needs to follow a balanced diet and regular exercise courses.
Possible antioxidant property
This tea is packed with powerful antioxidants that have phenolic extracts, making this tea a powerful beverage (3).
Low in caffeine
Sencha tea is a herbal traditional tea of China. As it is considered an herbal tea, it is completely low in caffeine. It has a certain caffeine content (4).
The high chlorophyll content of Sencha tea fights bad breath and helps promote good hygiene. The presence of polyphenolic phytochemical- catechin has shown the reduction of bacteria in the mouth. It overall helps in maintaining oral hygiene and targets the diseases related to gums (5).
Good for the heart
The constituents of tea such as flavonoids, catechins, and polyphenolic compounds are possibly known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The green catechins present may help in reducing hypertension, stress, and anxiety and thus minimize the possible risk of heart disease (6).
Sencha tea is known to be an energy booster and proven to improve performance during workouts and intense exercises. It helps in the oxidation of fat and thus limits the need for glycogen (7).
This powerful beverage reduces oxidative stress and helps protect the brain from potential brain defects. The catechins like EGCG help in preventing cognitive and autoimmune disorders (8).
Difference between Matcha tea and Sencha tea
|Sencha tea is a type of Japanese tea that is prepared by infusion of tea leaves in water.
|Matcha tea is a type of Japanese tea where powdered tea leaves are mixed in water.
|Sencha tea leaves are allowed to be sun-dried to remove the moisture content and enable a better infusion
|Matcha tea is dried in the shade rather than in direct sunlight.
|Parts Used in Brewing
|Leaves, stems, and shoots
|Only the young green leaves are used
|Very popular traditional beverage in Japanese countries
|They are highly used in ceremonies and culinary purposes.
Side effects of Sencha tea
Although it has various health benefits, It has certain side effects :
- Consumption of a large amount of sencha tea can cause headaches and insomnia in adults. Hence, the sleep patterns of an individual are affected due to excess caffeine (9).
- The tannins present in sencha tea can result in bloating and abdominal discomfort if taken on an empty stomach (10).
How to brew sencha tea in steps with instructions
Sencha is a type of Japanese green tea beverage. To prepare a good cup of sencha tea, you will need the following ingredients:
2 teaspoons of Sencha leaves
1 cup filtered water
- Heat the water until it reaches approximately 165 F/75 C. Do not bring it to a boil, as this can cause bitterness in the final tea flavor.
- Place two teaspoons of Sencha leaves into your teapot or infuser and pour over with hot water.
- Steep for 3 minutes before serving without straining out the caffeine-containing leaves.
- Add honey or other sweetener to taste if desired. Enjoy!
Is Sencha the healthiest green tea?
Sencha tea is considered the healthiest beverage as it contains high amounts of antioxidants and polyphenols, thus promoting good health.
When should I drink Sencha tea?
Sencha tea can be enjoyed at any time of the day but it is best to consume as an evening tea.
What are the side effects of Sencha tea?
Sencha tea can cause insomnia, headaches, and even stomach disorders. Thus its intake needs to be minimized and can be taken once a day.
What is the difference between sencha tea and matcha tea?
Sencha tea is generally prepared by infusing the sencha tea leaves, Whereas matcha tea requires powdered tea mixed in water. Also, the caffeine content of Sencha tea is comparatively less than that of matcha tea.
- Sencha tea is a type of infused tea that has been popular in Japan for centuries. It is prepared from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, and has a unique flavor.
- The specialty of Sencha tea is that it has several health benefits and contains high levels of antioxidants as well as polyphenols.
- This is the most popular type of tea for domestic use and is made from well-twisted, young leaves.
- Constituents of tea such as flavonoids, catechins, and polyphenolic compounds are known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- The catechins present in this tea like EGCG help in preventing cognitive and autoimmune disorders.
Sencha tea has numerous benefits because of the high antioxidants, and presence of polyphenol and catechins that help in promoting good health.