Sencha tea is the most popular in Japan; it makes up around 80% of the country’s tea production! It is a Japanese green tea with a fresh taste, but the other flavor notes depend on where it is produced, the season, and when the sencha leaves are picked. The sencha green tea considered most delicious is shincha, or “new tea.” This variation is made specifically with the first pick of sencha leaves for the year.
It is no secret that at Bokksu, we love tea. We also love telling you about tea. For a deeper dive into the history, significance, and processing of Japanese sencha and other traditional teas, check out what we have written about brewing loose-leaf sencha tea. Also, read our crash course in essential Japanese tea. However, today, we will focus on the health benefits and myths about Japanese sencha green tea. All you have to know for this is that sencha is versatile and can be enjoyed year-round, making it an important brew to spill the tea on.
Japanese Sencha tea has a wide array of physical health benefits and mood-boosting effects.
- Sencha tea is rich in antioxidants, which help protect you from molecules called free radicals. A free radical is a harmful, unstable molecule that causes damage to cells and DNA, which increases the risk of cancer growth.
- The tea also helps reduce inflammation, boosts your immune system, and lowers cholesterol.
- Like other green teas, sencha is a great source of caffeine content, giving you an energy kick and improving your mood.
- Green teas also contain theanine, an amino acid that induces relaxation and lowers anxiety.
- There is also ongoing research looking at possible links between Japanese green tea and Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia risk. Studies have shown the tea can protect against the nerve cell death that benchmarks these diseases. Moreover, green teas are rich in a nutrient called polyphenol, which is highly concentrated in plants and can help regenerate nerve cells. Science is cool!!!
Overall, Japanese sencha and other green teas have a lot of benefits. However, we would be remiss to portray it as all fine and dandy. There are also side effects to be aware of and popularly held myths.
- This tea type has tannins, an organic compound that can lessen your body’s ability to absorb essential vitamins and minerals like folic acid and iron. Moreover, in excess, these tannins can cause increased production of stomach acids, leading to symptoms like nausea, heartburn, and stomach aches.
- A big green tea myth is that it is a perfect weight loss tool – it is often thought of as this fast working fat burner that will start to slim you down right away. We are sad to say, though, that it is not. While it can encourage fat burning, it is not a magic potion. It needs to be paired with a healthy diet and active lifestyle to catalyze any change, and even then, its effects are long-term. However, we do not want to be full Debby Downers, so while matcha green tea will not transform you overnight, it is a flavorful and low-calorie replacement for a sugary beverage that can help guide you towards a healthier diet.
So there you have it, the lowdown on sencha tea. Because it must be said, one of the biggest sencha tea benefits is the taste! As a reminder, in case you had somehow forgotten, we love tea here at Bokksu. Sencha is certainly no exception. In fact, it is near the top of our list because it is good hot or cold, and with any meal.
In case this article has you ready to hit the ground running, Bokksu has a wide variety of sencha teas at the ready. Check out the Sencha Koi San, a flavorful and traditional sencha brew. There is also the Okurikishima Tea, which is special as it comes from the Kagoshima prefecture, known for producing the best tasting and highest quality green tea. While iced tea is not something you would usually reach for when it is cold out, we could not go without mentioning the Satsumarche Mizudashicha Tea. This is a cold brew green tea made of a mix of sencha tea and matcha powder that results in an uplifting and flavorful drink. Perhaps you want to add some color to a gray winter day, or you are reminiscing about warm summer days; either way, this tea is for you. Whichever option you choose, we promise it will demonstrate the refreshing properties of sencha tea.