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Tea Notes

Discover the world of tea, from the history of its cultural significance to the science of its benefits and the art of its preparation.

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Discover the world of tea, from the history of its cultural significance to the science of its benefits and the art of its preparation.

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How to Make Sencha Tea

10 Min Read | May 13, 2019

Green tea can take on a variety of forms, from refreshing iced infusions to creamy matcha concoctions, each requiring its own specific method of preparation. Sencha tea is among the most popular forms of green tea, and some consider its steeping to be an art. Pan-fired after being harvested, steamed, and rolled, these exquisite green tea leaves must be prepared with great care for optimal enjoyment. With sound instruction and a bit of practice, you'll be steeping it like a professional in no time.

START WITH THE RIGHT MATERIALS

A proper infusion of Sencha begins with a traditional teapot. While these vessels can range from miniature one-cup models to those that brew enough for twelve people, one of the most popular teapot sizes is 360 milliliters, or 12.67 fluid ounces. The pot must be large enough to accommodate the leaves, since sencha needs ample room to fully unfurl.

TEMPERATURE IS KEY

When steeping Sencha, the correct water temperature is critical. Getting this right will mean the difference between an optimal brew and one that's too bitter or too weak. The first step involves the taming of the heat. Start by boiling 6 ounces of purified water for each intended cup of tea. While it heats, you can set your tea cups out in a row and pre-warm them with hot water from the tap, but don't touch the tea leaves yet.

Sencha Temp 1200X800

Cool the Water Down: It can be difficult to heat water to the ideal temperature. For Sencha, the water should be approximately 170 degrees Fahrenheit. If your water has reached a boil (208-215 degrees), remove it from the burner and pour it into the empty teapot. This will pre-warm the pot while starting to cool the water down. For this initial step, the teapot must be empty, as you should never subject your Sencha leaves to boiling water.

ADDING THE SENCHA LEAVES

With the pot warm and empty, it’s time to add your Sencha. Using one generous teaspoonful of leaves for each projected serving, measure the leaves into the pot. Now, pour the hot water from each teacup back into the pot and allow the infusion to steep for no more than 60 to 90 seconds. Sencha brews quickly, and you don’t want to over-steep it and risk bitterness.

Sencha Leaves 1200X1200

THE ART OF THE POUR

Pouring Sencha provides an opportunity to put on a show. When serving, it's important to follow the Japanese custom of ensuring equal strength in every cup by doling the tea out in stages. Begin by lining up your cups in a row. Starting at the left and moving to the right, fill each cup just one-quarter of the way. Now, pour the same amount again, moving this time from right to left. Repeat the entire back-and-forth sequence one more time, incrementally filling each cup until it’s appropriately filled.

LET NO DROP REMAIN

After pouring, no tea should remain in the pot. If you plan on a second or third infusion once the first has been consumed, the leaves must be quite dry. So, shake the teapot if necessary, tapping the spout to return any stragglers to the bottom.

ADDITIONAL INFUSIONS

High-quality Sencha tea will provide more than one tasty potful, but its later preparations require a slightly different process. For the second infusion, use water of the same temperature and brew for just 30 seconds. A third go-round calls for a 90-second steeping time and water closer to the boiling point. Now that you know how to make Sencha tea, you’ll master the art of its preparation after a couple of infusions. Discover Tea Forte’s Sencha offerings and raise a cup to your good health.

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