How To Brew Loose Leaf Teas for Beginners: Sencha Tea

by Danny Taing

Tea is great. There, we said it; we love tea at Bokksu. In fact, we have a wide range of teas to enjoy from our marketplace; there’s everything from green teas, to herbal teas, to black teas, and even tea-making accessories.

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Imagine, right now, making a cup of tea. We wager a bet you picture yourself dunking a stringed teabag into a steaming mug of hot water. Well, were we right? If so, you certainly are not wrong; that is a very commonplace and convenient way to make tea.   However, today, we want to introduce you to the world of loose leaf teas. Unlike teabag teas, which commonly used ground-up leaves, loose leaf teas are not constricted by the bag’s size. Instead, the tea’s whole leaves are intact and have room to fully expand as they absorb water and steep. This maximizes flavor and infuses more minerals, vitamins, and aromas into the water. While loose leaf tea can take longer to steep, it leaves your drink with a fuller flavor than a teabag version of the same tea; you are likely to pick up additional subtle hints of flavors that get lost in the broken pieces of a teabag variety. Furthermore, loose leaf tea can be re-steeped, meaning the same serving can be used to make a second, or even third, cup of tea.

To immerse you in the wonders of loose leaf tea, let’s look at sencha as an example. Sencha is a type of Japanese green tea and is the most popular in Japan! It is one of the most fragrant green teas and is perfect for any occasion. It stands out due to its preparation; the entire tea leaf is infused in hot water instead of powder, like matcha green tea. Also, unlike most other green tea leaves, which are grown in the shade, sencha leaves are grown in direct sunlight.

To prepare the tea, fresh leaves are picked and then steamed to lock in the flavors. Lastly, the leaves are rolled out to dry, which is how it gets its characteristic needle-esque shape. Sencha can be consumed all year round and in any situation. It can be enjoyed hot on a chilly winter day or iced as a mid-summer refreshment. Another exciting thing about Sencha is that the tea’s taste and intensity can vary based on the water temperature and steeping time! Moreover, you can find sencha teas with different flavors based on where and when it was harvested. This makes it a particularly interesting tea to sample and experiment with, as you can always have a new experience!

Besides being a delicious tea, sencha is also a tea packed with health benefits. First off, sencha can help with weight loss; it is an excellent fat burner, and the higher caffeine content in the tea can help boost metabolism. It also helps strengthen your immune system. The tea is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help keep you healthy and aid in creating virus-fighting white blood cells. Sencha is also shown to improve blood flow throughout the body, which helps lower and regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Overall, the tea does not only taste good, but also does good for your body. Now that you are well acquainted with sencha here is how you can enjoy it right in your own home! You can enjoy it first thing in the morning with your favorite breakfast, or as a pick-me-up to get you out of the post-lunch slump at work, or as an accompaniment to dessert!

As you get more familiar with sencha, you can fine-tune your brewing preferences, but to start, you should generally use 1¼ tablespoons of loose-leaf sencha tea for a half cup of water. A secret to sencha brewing is to boil your water as usual, but then let it sit and cool down slightly before adding in the tea. This prevents the tea from tasting too bitter. After steeping (generally takes between 1.5 and 3 minutes depending on your blend), carefully pour the tea out into another cup while holding the tea leaves back, and enjoy!

So there you have it, all you need to begin your journey towards being a loose leaf tea connoisseur. Whether it is sencha, another variety of green tea, or a hearty herbal blend, we believe you can’t go wrong with a cup of tea. We hope this crash course in sencha opens the door to many more tea-rrific loose leaf adventures (pun is definitely intended)!

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