Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a slight obsession with matcha green tea. It is a huge staple in my life. I really love to drink it in the morning instead of coffee and usually add honey and almond milk for flavor. To my surprise, there’s this other tea called sencha tea that’s a lot like matcha. When I heard about sencha, I had to do some digging to determine how exactly it was different from my beloved matcha tea.
How Are Sencha and Matcha Alike?
Both sencha and matcha are green teas that originated in Japan. A big part of Japanese culture is the use of ceremonial tea. Both of these tea varieties play a role in Japanese tradition. They are also both non-fermented Camellia Sinensis tea. Fermentation will often decrease the nutritional value of a tea. So both sencha and matcha are notorious for their amazing nutritional value.
What Is Sencha?
I just recently discovered sencha tea, despite my avid obsession with its twin, matcha. Though it’s similar to matcha in that they are both Japanese green teas, there are actually quite a few differences between the two. Sencha tea is grown in the sun, which contributes to many of its nutritional attributes. Sencha tea is rich in polyphenols, including catechins. Catechins help to prevent heart disease and have antioxidant qualities.
Not only does sencha have a specific nutritional presence that matcha doesn’t, but it’s also prepared differently. Sencha is made by steeping whole tea leaves in water and then removing the leaves before drinking. It is known to have a refreshing taste and a slightly pungent aftertaste.
What Is Matcha?
Unlike sencha tea, matcha is grown in the shade, making it nutritionally different from sencha. Matcha is known for its ability to energize, yet calm at the same time. This is due to the presence of both caffeine and L-theanine. Obviously, the caffeine results in the energized feeling. L-theanine is an amino acid that has a calming effect, yet does not cause drowsiness. So basically it wakes you up without giving you the jitters, which is so valuable.
While sencha is made by steeping whole tea leaves, matcha is made by grinding up the tea leaves and mixing them with the water. This way, you are actually drinking the entire green tea leaf. Not only is the preparation of matcha different from sencha, but the flavors and textures are different as well. Matcha is usually much creamier than sencha, since it’s made with a powder. Although matcha is known for being slightly bitter, it doesn’t have as much of a pungent aftertaste as sencha tea.
If you didn’t know the difference between these sencha vs matcha or didn’t even know they both existed, then now is a great time to try them! If you’re looking for a light and refreshing drink, go for sencha. If you’re in need of some energy, then matcha is a great option. Both sencha and matcha possess some amazing health benefits that you shouldn’t pass up.