|Sencha is Japan’s most popular tea, drunk in most Japanese homes and restau-
rants, and accounting for more than 80% of its total annual tea production.
Sencha is the first spring tea to be harvested, following the shincha preharvest
pluck, and heralds the beginning of the main spring flush season.
|Called first-flush sencha, this first
sencha of the season has all the
sugars and compounds stored up
over winter, and contains all the rich, satisfying
sweet goodness you’d expect from a first flush
green tea.And, it also comes with a much higher price tag as
well, about 30% higher than later harvests.
As the season wears
|produced, including handpicked artisan made senchas, made in smaller quantities and usually
costing more as well.Starting in mid May is the first plucking of sencha called ichiban-
cha, the second plucking, beginning around the end of June is
nibancha, the third, starting in mid August, sanbancha, and the
fourth beginning in late September, yobancha.
One style of sencha that’s particularly prized in
To improve the quality of mass produced
This method steams the tea for an addition-
Ichiban means “the first,” meaning the tea
The Kakegawa area is totally
character for tea.Kakegawa’s tea production is some of the most sophisticated in the
Tea factories are located every few miles throughout the region,
Another style is Kagoshima Sencha, a good quality blend that has
Kyushu Island, the second largest
This area is mainly a flat plateau, so many of Japan’s largest tea
The mechanical harvesting means Kagoshima sencha can be produced more economically, and
One of these senchas is called a “natural
gyokuro.” It is an entirely