Although sencha tea and matcha tea are the two most well-known varieties of green tea, originating from the same species of plant known as camellia sinensis, these two teas are distinguished from one another due to the various growth conditions and processing processes.
The Japanese tea ceremony has been an important part of Japanese culture for a long time. Unfermented Japanese green teas such as sencha tea and matcha tea, have a far higher nutritional content than fermented teas due to the fact that fermentation typically reduces the nutritional value of the tea.
What is sencha green tea?
The fact that sencha tea is cultivated in the sun contributes to the numerous health benefits that come with drinking it. It contains a high concentration of polyphenols, especially catechins, which are known to work as antioxidants and may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
How is sencha tea made?
To make sencha, whole tea leaves are first steeped in boiling water, and then the leaves are strained out before the beverage is consumed. Additionally, it is renowned for having an aftertaste that is both energizing and slightly spicy - you can see why green tea lovers enjoy it!
Sencha tea is the type of green tea that is drunk the most frequently in Japan. Only the freshest, newest leaves of the tea plant are used in the production of this tea to make sure it is a light and refreshing drink.
When making sencha tea, the leaves are plucked and then steamed to stop the oxidation process. Following the steaming process, the leaves are rolled by hand into a variety of different forms. There are two main ways that sencha can be consumed; steeped in a tea bag or in loose leaf form.
What does sencha tea taste like?
Sencha tea is lauded for having an excellent balance of acidity and sweetness in its flavor, and it is distinguished by having a flavor that is somewhat peppery with a hint of warmth. It smells sweet and green, with hints of pine or melon, and it has a pleasant mouthfeel.
The greatest quality teas have a more complex flavor profile, which can be described as having a taste that is both contrasting and balanced.
What is matcha green tea?
Matcha is a bright green powdered tea.
In recent years, matcha tea has become an incredibly popular tea, although it is certainly not a new tea. with more people seeing the health benefits while also being interested in Japanese tradition. It is frequently cited as an example of a food that can improve one's mood. L-theanine, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and caffeine are three components of matcha tea that have been established in prior studies to have the ability to influence a person's mood as well as their cognitive functioning.
Benefits of matcha tea
Matcha tea, in contrast to Senchasencha tea, is grown in the shade and is hence distinct from sencha in terms of its nutritional profile. It is renowned for its ability to invigorate but at the same time calm. Caffeine and L-theanine are to blame for this effect.
Caffeine is well known for its energizing properties, whilst L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes feelings of calm without inducing sleepiness. The effect of drinking matcha in the morning is that it wakes you up without making you anxious, which is the ideal combo.
What does matcha tea taste like?
The flavor profile is quite diverse, with elements of soft vegetative grassiness, natural sweet nuttiness, a touch of bitterness, and a satisfyingly savory finish. Umami is the name given to the savory and pleasant flavor.
How is matcha tea made?
To make matcha, the tea leaves are first ground into a fine powder and then combined with hot water. You are ingesting the whole tea leaf when you prepare it in this manner, which is why it can have such a strong positive effect on your body, containing more antioxidants, l-theanine, and vitamins.
Matcha vs sencha: the differences between the two green teas
Let us take a look at the differences between these two forms of Japanese green tea.
Matcha tea is a powder; sencha isn't
Although loose-leaf sencha and matcha are both made from the same plant species — camellia sinensis — the finished products have quite a distinct key difference in terms of their texture, form, and consistency. Matcha is the green tea leaves that have been stone-ground to an extremely fine powder. On the other hand, sencha is available in rolled loose leaves.
The processing methods
Matcha and sencha are processed and prepared differently.
After the matcha tea plant has been picked, the youngest section of the plants, which are the leaves at the very tip of the shoot, are the only ones that are used, and the stems of these leaves are removed before they are used. Following the steps of steaming, cooling, and drying the leaves, they are then ground into a fine powder to create the final product, which is rich in nutrients.
When it comes to the production of Sencha green tea, the entire plant, including the leaves, stems, and veins, is harvested and then processed. The oxidation level of these is then brought down by boiling and simmering them in water for a while. After it has been dry, it is next kneaded into very minute pieces. The loose leaves are the finished product, and they are the only part of the plant that goes into making tea.
Flavor profile and color
Because of the difference in growing methods, matcha and sencha have quite different taste profiles.
Sencha has a grassy aroma, a sharp taste, and a flavor that lingers with a slightly pungent aftertaste when it is brewed into tea. The resulting tea has a yellowish green color. Matcha tea is characterized by its vibrant jade green color, velvety mouthfeel, and smooth flavor without any lingering astringency.
Both Sencha and Matcha go through a number of various stages of production, and as a result, their respective nutrient profiles look very different from one another.
Matcha is produced in the shade, which allows it to have more caffeine and more L-Theanine than other types of tea. Both of these can help you feel more relaxed and refreshed, in addition to providing benefits to your health. It boasts a higher concentration of these ingredients than Sencha, which not only makes it taste better but also helps you feel more energized. Both caffeine and theanine have been shown to have the potential as aids in the process of weight loss when used together.
Much like matcha, sencha leaves contain a significant amount of antioxidants, which have plenty of health benefits. Sencha leaves are not protected from the sun but are instead left in full sunlight which results in an increase in the number of antioxidants produced. These antioxidants are essential to your health and offer several benefits to you. However, it does have less caffeine than matcha.
Why is matcha tea the better option?
Both of these types of green tea come with health benefits, but we think that when it comes to matcha vs. sencha in the battle of the green tea, matcha powder wins. And, if you really want to have the very best green tea, Encha is the one to go for.
Encha matcha tea is perfect for green tea lovers. It has a bright green color. and has more antioxidants, a higher caffeine content and more amino acids than sencha. It comes from first harvest ceremonial grade leaves and this is what sets it apart from its competitors and why we like matcha over sencha. We recommend trying both types of green tea and deciding which green tea flavor profile best suits your liking!
Best Matcha Green Tea
- Encha Ceremonial Grade Matcha
- Hand-picked from organic farm in Uji, Japan
- First Harvest Matcha - Vibrant green color
- Highest quality matcha, never bitter
- Our Rating: 4.9 of 5 stars
- Tenzo Organic Ceremonial Matcha Green Tea Powder
- Authentic Japanese Matcha
- Rich in antioxidants, helps boost metabolism
- Ceremonial Grade - Vibrant Green Color
- Pique Matcha - Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder
- Harvested from a family-owned organic tea farm in Japan
- Increases energy and focus
- Highest-quality, shade grown ceremonial-grade
- Our Rating: 4.8 of 5 stars
- Kenko Matcha Organic Ceremonial Matcha
- Gold Class Ceremonial Grade Matcha
- Country of Origin: Japan
- First Harvest Matcha - Vibrant Green in Color
- Our Rating: 4.8 of 5 stars
Does sencha tea have caffeine?
Yes, sencha tea contains caffeine. Sencha is a type of Japanese green tea made from the Camellia sinensis plant, and like all others green teas, it naturally contains caffeine. The exact amount of caffeine in sencha tea can vary depending on factors such as the growing conditions and preparation methods, but in general, it contains about 30-50 milligrams of caffeine per serving. This is lower than the caffeine content in coffee, but still enough to provide a moderate energy boost and alertness. It is also, around the same concentration of caffeine as matcha, however, contains less antioxidants and l-theanine.
Is matcha better than green tea?
Matcha tea is made by grinding the entire leaf into a powder which means that you consume the entire leaf, rather than just steeping the leaves in hot water as with traditional green tea. As a result, matcha contains higher levels of certain nutrients, such as antioxidants and caffeine, than traditional green tea.
Additionally, matcha has a higher concentration of the amino acid L-theanine, which is known to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. This may give matcha an edge over traditional green tea when it comes to relaxation and focus. Read our full review on matcha vs. green tea - what's the difference?