Tea Culture

Tencha: The Premium Green Tea Behind the Best Matcha

If you’re a fan of Japanese green tea, you may have heard of a unique variety known as tencha. Unlike other types of green tea that are grown for consumption as a beverage, tencha is grown and processed with the intention of being ground into a powder, known as matcha.

Tencha tea leaves are grown under shade for several weeks prior to harvest. This process, known as “shading”, increases the chlorophyll content of the leaves, which gives the resulting matcha powder its bright green color. The shading also helps to create a unique and complex flavor profile that sets tencha and matcha apart from other types of green tea.

So, It’s Not Sencha?

Actually, no. Sencha and tencha are two different types of tea. In fact, it is not common to see people brewing straight tencha as it is usually ground into matcha. We did a short video explaining this difference here:

It’s a Process

The process of making tencha is quite labor-intensive, as the leaves must be carefully hand-picked and then quickly steamed and dried to preserve their delicate flavors and nutrients. Once the leaves have been processed, they are then ground into a fine powder using specialized stone mills. Matcha made from tencha is considered to be the highest quality matcha available, and is traditionally used in the Japanese tea ceremony, known as chanoyu. During chanoyu, matcha is prepared by whisking the powder with hot water to create a frothy, vibrant green tea.

The process of grinding the tencha into matcha us also quite labor intensive. The stone mills that are used must not get to hot or else the aroma of the tea will be altered. Just to make 30g of matcha can take one hour of careful milling.

But it’s not just the traditional Japanese tea ceremony that tencha is used for. The popularity of tencha has grown in recent years, as many people have started to use it as an ingredient in desserts, smoothies, lattes and even in cooking. People can get very creative with their matcha and it is nice to see. We actually do many recipes using matcha as well and you see them on our tiktok. Overall, tencha is a unique and delicious variety of green tea that is definitely worth trying for anyone looking to explore the world of Japanese green tea. With its complex and nuanced flavor profile, it’s sure to delight your taste buds and leave you feeling energized and refreshed.

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