Asamushi, Fukamushi, Chumushi: what's the difference between these sencha?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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