July 2015 - Sencha from Kagoshima
For the July shipment, we have selected a Sencha (煎茶) from Kagoshima (鹿児島). This tea qualifies as a Shincha (新茶) since it is made from the first harvest of the year.
Sencha (煎茶) is the most popular green tea in Japan, and is served with most Japanese meals. 80% of Japanese green teas are Sencha. The word itself comes from the Japanese verb "senjiru" (煎じる) which means "to infuse (with something)".
Very thin needle-like tealeaves of Sencha have a distinctive green color. Brewed Sencha has a transparent gold appearance and a well-balanced taste between sweetness, bitterness, astringency and umami.
The prefecture of Kagoshima
The prefecture of Kagoshima produces 20% of all Japanese green teas. It is the second largest production area of Japan, right after the prefecture of Shizuoka. Kagoshima’s temperate climate allows for 4 harvests a year.
The amount of tealeaves should be adapted according to the desired taste: around 2 teaspoons (4 grams) for 140ml-200ml (5 to 7oz) of spring water. The first infusion should be done at 70ºC to 80ºC (160ºF to 180ºF) for 1 to 2 minutes. The second infusion should be done at 80ºC to 90ºC (180ºF to 200ºF) for 30 to 40 seconds.
Preparing cold Sencha
With this month shipment we've included some tea bags to prepare cold sencha. Let's try to make cold green tea for the upcoming summer season.
First put ~20 grams of tealeaves in a tea bag and turn over the folded brim to cover the opposite side. Then, pour one liter of spring water with the tea bag in a bottle, let it cool in a refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours and then remove the tealeaves.