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Sencha: 3 Distinct Styles

14 April 2018

at 17:21 by Social

Capture d’écran 2018-04-17 à 07.36.50

Steam and fire (for roasting) are two essential elements of the transformation of Sencha. These two processes are largely responsible for the tea’s flavour and aromatics.

In Japan, steaming is used by almost all producers but they don’t all approach it in the same way. By exposing the leaves to different levels of steaming, they are able to create three distinct styles of sencha, each with specific nuances.

Asamushi Style

Obtained by a short steaming (20 to 40 seconds), asamushi style Sencha can often be identified simply by the leaves remaining whole. Light and slightly tannic, their ample taste is reminiscent of green vegetables and fresh grass.

Fukamushi Style

With a longer steaming (80 to 200 seconds), we get a Fukamushi style. The leaves become softer and easily breakable, due to the longer steam time. The result: an intense taste and a lively, darker infusion.

Chumushi Style

The Chumushi style is a mid ground of the two previous styles of sencha, the leaves that are steamed for 40 to 80 seconds. These teas have a more classic Sencha taste are big in the Japanese market.

Green teas: What Makes a Chinese Tea Different from a Japanese Tea?

8 April 2018

at 22:37 by Social

Jun Shan Yin Zhen

Green teas… they are as many types as they are nuances. Some, almost transparent, evoke flowers; others taste like seaweed, fresh herbs or green vegetables.

There are more than 1,500 types of green teas, 80% of which come from China while others mostly originate from Japan. So what are the major differences between Chinese  and Japanese green teas?

China

In China, the most prized harvest usually takes place in March, before the Qing Ming festival (“Day of the Dead”) celebrated around April 5th. This traditional Chinese production requires a pan that is heated either over a wood fire or electrically. The leaves are then stirred constantly, by hand for about twenty minutes.

 

This dry heat, characteristic of the Chinese panning methods, liberates the aromatics, gives the tea a vegetal character, along with floral, grassy and/or grilled nut notes.

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Japan

In Japan, the first tea harvest of the year is called shincha, (“new tea”), takes place at the end of April, depending on the weather. By steaming the leaves to for seconds, the Japanese production method creates a very different green tea from the Chinese version.

 

In addition to preserving the freshly cut grass and vegetal aspect, the steaming process gives green vegetables aromas, iodine and marine notes, typical to the Japanese terroir.

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