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What is sencha?
Sencha is Japanese green tea and it is the most popular green tea in Japan. As opposed to Chinese green tea, sencha is not pan-fired but steamed, giving it a clear green colour and gentle flavour.
What does First Flush mean?
First Flush refers to when the tea is harvested. A First Flush is always the best quality, because it is the tea that is picked during the first harvesting season of the year, generally in April and May.
The time when tea is harvested is important. The tea plant is left alone during the winter, when it is given time to recover, grow and generate nutrients. When it’s time for the First Flush harvest the plants and leaves are packed with nutrients, amino acids, natural sugars and catechins – all elements that enhance the tea’s flavour. The earlier the harvest, the greater the nutritional value and the better the taste of the tea.
Sencha Momoyama First Flush
Sencha Momoyama First Flush is an exceptional and especially high-quality green tea that clearly distinguishes itself from senchas of later harvests. Fruity fragrance, sweet and pleasing.
Sencha Momoyama First Flush is named for the Momoyama period, a crucial era for the development of the Japanese tea culture that lasted from 1573 to 1615.
The most popular tea during that period was matcha until the Japanese green tea ceremony came into being. The Japanese learnt of the tea ceremony through contact with the Chinese, and decades later the Japanese tea masters based their Japanese sencha tea ceremony on the Chinese version. Japanese green tea quickly became wildly popular.
- Sencha Momoyama First Flush is grown in Kirishima in Kagoshima Prefecture.
- It is a fruity and aromatic green tea thanks to the fact that the young tealeaves and buds are grown at an altitude of 200 to 300 meters, harvested in April and steamed for a maximum of 30 seconds. Japanese green tea that is only briefly steamed is also known as Asamushi green tea.
- This Sencha Momoyama is distinguished from other Japanese green teas available in Europe because of its early harvesting. Most Japanese green teas are harvested later in the year – the earlier the harvest, the greater the nutritional value and the better the taste of the tea.
100% Japanese organic green tea
Let the tea steep for about 3 minutes.
This Japanese green tea can be used for three infusions. The first and second steepings are important and give the tea a different taste – the tealeaves open up and their initial flavour is released during the first infusion, and because they are already open during the second infusion they steep in the water and release a different flavour.
For 1 cup: add 2.5 g of Sencha Momoyama First Flush to 100 ml of water at 80 °C. Leave to draw for 60 seconds.
Add 100 ml of water at 80 °C and drink the tea immediately.
For a gentler taste:
Add 12 g of Sencha Momoyama First Flush to 1 litre of water at 70 °C. Steep for 3 minutes. For the second infusion, add a litre of water at a temperature of 70 °C to 80 °C and leave to steep for another 3 minutes.
Tips for preparing Japanese green tea
Use soft water when making the tea. Soft water has a low mineral content, and water’s hardness can affect the taste and colour of the tea. Tap water is often hard so we recommend that you use bottled water with a low mineral content in order to get maximum enjoyment from your tea.
The better the tea’s quality, the lower the temperature of the water used for your tea. That’s because high-quality green tea is rich in tannins and amino acids – tannins give it that bitter taste and amino acids are responsible for the umami and the pleasant aftertaste. If the temperature of your water is under 100 °C, the tealeaves won’t release the tannins that make the tea taste bitter, while the amino acids can also do their job at a lower temperature. Gyokuro,which is considered to be the highest quality green tea in Japan, tastes extremely bitter when the temperature of the water exceeds 40 °C.
A First Flush Sencha and shaded teas are mild with a subtle but far-reaching flavour. In order to experience the umami it is important that you follow the directions on the packaging and use sufficient tealeaves.
In theory tea can be kept for a very long time because it is dried. But to consistently enjoy the quality we recommend that you use the tea within six months of opening the bag.
Japanese green tea can be used for three infusions. The first and second steepings are important and give the tea a different taste – the tealeaves open up and their initial flavour is released during the first infusion, and because they are already open during the second infusion they steep in the water and release a different flavour.
Japanese green tea is never drunk with sugar. Good quality Japanese green tea has a gentle and naturally sweet flavour and has umami – the very properties that the Japanese tea aficionados want to taste and experience.
Instead of adding sugar to tea, Japanese tea is often served together with a pastry or other sweet treat, and the aftertaste of the snack means that the tea seems sweeter when drunk.