Sencha tea: discover worlds of aromas with unique flavors

In this blog post we take you into the tempting world of Sencha tea, a universe full of unique aromas and flavors. Let's explore the secrets and magic of this extraordinary drink together.

The taste nuances range from sweet and delicate to umami-rich to pleasantly bitter notes. This diversity makes Sencha a unique experience for every tea lover. The goal of this article is to take you on a sensory journey. A journey that stimulates your imagination and lets you discover the endless worlds of taste of Sencha tea. We'll explore the different flavor profiles created by different growing and processing methods and show you how to taste these nuances in every cup.

Sencha flavors

General characteristics of Sencha taste

    The variety of flavors of Sencha tea is a true feast for the senses. Each cup reveals a palette of flavors that combine to create a unique and unforgettable experience. Let's delve deeper into this world and explore the general characteristics of the Sencha taste.

    The taste of Sencha is a dynamic interplay of sweetness, bitterness and umami - three fundamental pillars that form the heart of its flavors. The sweetness in Sencha is often reminiscent of fresh spring grasses or delicate flowers that gently caress your palate. This natural sweetness is the result of the amino acids contained in the tea leaves, which thrive as tea bushes grow in the shade.

    Bitterness, often misunderstood and yet so essential, brings a certain depth and complexity to Sencha. It is not overwhelming, but rather a subtle contrast that emphasizes the sweetness and strengthens the character of the tea. This bitterness is caused by the catechins naturally occurring in the tea leaves, especially when exposed to prolonged sunlight during growth.

    Umami, the delicious, savory flavor often referred to as the "fifth flavor element," is a hallmark of Sencha. This deep, almost bready aroma, reminiscent of seaweed or fresh mushrooms, gives the sencha a rich, almost filling quality. Umami is caused by the natural glutamic acid content in the tea leaves and is particularly pronounced in high-quality Sencha varieties.

    Not to be forgotten is the influence of leaf quality on the aroma. The quality of Sencha can vary greatly depending on factors such as the location of the tea garden, the care of the plants, the time of harvest and the processing method. High quality Sencha leaves, carefully selected and processed, reveal a richer and more nuanced aroma. They offer a rounder, fuller-bodied taste experience that is hard to beat in terms of the depth and breadth of its aroma.

    This combination of sweetness, bitterness and umami, influenced by the quality of the leaves, makes every sip of Sencha tea a journey of discovery. A journey on which every tea lover can explore the complexity and beauty of this exquisite drink.

    Sencha flavors

    Regional differences and taste of Sencha

    The regional differences in the taste of Sencha tea are a fascinating chapter in the world of tea. Japan, the land of Sencha, is rich in diverse landscapes and climate zones that give each growing area its own character. Let's take a look at some of the most famous Sencha regions: Shizuoka, Uji and Kyushu.

    Shizuoka, often referred to as the heart of Japanese tea culture, is known for its vast, sun-drenched tea plantations. The Sencha varieties from this region are characterized by a particularly pronounced sweetness and refreshing lightness. The taste is often fresh and lively, with a hint of sea breeze, due to its proximity to the Pacific. Shizuoka teas are ideal for those who prefer a gentler, less intense Sencha.

    Uji, a historic tea region near Kyoto, is famous for its high-quality teas and traditional cultivation methods. Uji-Sencha is often rich in umami, thanks to the misty hills and cooler temperatures that encourage the development of complex flavors. These teas often have a deeper, almost bready note that is particularly appreciated by tea connoisseurs.

    Kyushu, located in southern Japan, is a region with a warmer climate and rich, volcanic soils. Sencha from Kyushu tends to be stronger and fuller-bodied, with a pronounced sweetness and a robust bitterness. These teas reflect Kyushu's lush nature and offer a more intense taste experience.

    The influence of climate and soil conditions on the taste of Sencha cannot be overestimated. Climatic conditions, such as sunlight, temperature and rainfall, influence the growth rate of the tea plants and the development of the aromatic substances in the leaves. The nature of the soil, whether rich in minerals or sandy, also determines the quality and taste of the Sencha.

    Sencha flavors

    Influence of harvest time and processing on taste

    The harvest time and processing play a central role in the world of Sencha tea and significantly influence its taste profile. Let's take a closer look at the differences between spring, summer and fall harvests and explore how the steaming process shapes the flavor of Sencha.

    The spring harvest, also known as “Ichibancha,” is the first and most valued harvest of the year. The young, tender leaves, picked in spring, are rich in amino acids and offer exquisite sweetness and a deep umami flavor. This harvest produces Sencha, which is known for its fresh, lively yet delicate flavor. Spring Sencha is a true delight for connoisseurs and a perfect introduction to the world of high-quality green tea.

    The summer harvest, also called "Nibancha", follows and produces tea leaves that have been more intensively exposed to the sun. This results in more bitterness and less pronounced sweetness. Summer Sencha is bolder and often has a more bitter note, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer a slightly bolder flavor.

    The fall harvest, or “sanbancha,” offers leaves that have been exposed to even more sunlight. This crop produces teas richer in catechins, resulting in even greater bitterness. Autumn Sencha is known for its robust flavor and depth, making it an interesting option for experienced tea drinkers looking for a new flavor.

    Now about the steaming process: Sencha is steamed after harvest to stop the oxidation of the leaves. There are three main categories of steaming: asamushi (lightly steamed), chumushi (medium steamed), and fukamushi (heavily steamed).

    Asamushi, the shortest steaming process, preserves the original color and shape of the tea leaves and results in a Sencha with a delicate, slightly grassy flavor and a clear, light cup color.

    Chumushi offers medium steaming time and is a compromise between Asamushi and Fukamushi. It results in a Sencha that is richer and fuller in flavor, with a more balanced sweetness and bitterness.

    Fukamushi, the longest steaming time, breaks up the leaves more and results in a more intense flavor. Fukamushi sencha is deep green in color and offers a bolder flavor with less bitterness and a denser texture.

    Each of these processing methods influences the final product in a unique way, further enhancing the diversity and complexity of Sencha tea. Whether you prefer a light, refreshing tea or a rich, deep taste, the world of Sencha offers the right experience for every taste.

    Sensory analysis of Sencha

    The sensory analysis of Sencha tea is an exciting experience that reveals the depth and diversity of its aromas and flavors. Let's immerse ourselves in the world of the senses and discover what makes Sencha so unique.

    Let's start with the detailed description of the aromas and flavors. Sencha offers a wide range of sensations, ranging from grassy and fresh to nutty and floral.

    • Grassy notes: Many Sencha teas are characterized by a fresh, green, grassy taste that is reminiscent of young spring grasses or freshly cut hay. This note is particularly characteristic of high-quality spring harvests.

    • Nutty Flavors: Some Sencha varieties offer subtle but distinctive nutty undertones that can be reminiscent of almonds or even lightly roasted chestnuts. These nuances can often be found in teas made from medium steaming levels (Chumushi).

    • Floral accents: Floral notes in Sencha, such as cherry blossoms or jasmine, give the tea an exquisite lightness and sweetness. They are a sign of finely processed tea leaves and are often found in Sencha from certain regions such as Uji.

    To sensory evaluate Sencha tea, follow these steps:

    1. Visual inspection: Start by assessing the appearance of the dry tea leaves. Pay attention to the color, size and shape of the leaves. High-quality Sencha is usually bright green in color and uniform in shape.

    2. Aroma: Smell the dry leaves to get the first impressions of the aroma. After brewing, take a moment to enjoy the aroma of the brewed tea. Try to identify the different notes.

    3. Taste: When you first sip, focus on the main flavor notes - sweetness, bitterness and umami. Try to see how these unfold and interact with each other.

    4. Mouthfeel: Pay attention to the mouthfeel or texture of the tea. Is it light and refreshing or rich and full-bodied?

    5. Aftertaste: The aftertaste is an important aspect of Sencha. High-quality teas often have a long-lasting, pleasant aftertaste that develops over time.

    Through sensory analysis, you can not only assess the quality of Sencha tea, but also develop a deeper appreciation for the complexity and subtlety of this extraordinary drink. Every sip of Sencha offers a new discovery, a new nuance to enjoy.


    Sencha tea is an inexhaustible source of enjoyment and discovery. Every cup is an invitation to see the world with new eyes and explore new taste horizons. Start your Sencha journey today and share your experiences with the world. Cheers to the wonderful world of Sencha tea!