[SOLVED] Cheap everyday sencha


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby iannon » Nov 25th, '11, 22:21

Also the Zencha.net Sencha Moe at 12.90 per 100g with free shipping is a nice daily drinker as well :)
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby rdl » Nov 26th, '11, 22:51

iannon wrote:Also the Zencha.net Sencha Moe at 12.90 per 100g with free shipping is a nice daily drinker as well :)

if you were looking for pens for everyday use and went to a pen chat forum, i guess you would find out that it is not necessary to buy a $200 fountain pen when there are $40 pens out there that also work kind of well. probably you had in mind a package of 20 pens for $3.99.
i do like the sencha moe and would recommend it as well, but the chinese sencha the OP is referring to from upton is only $4.60 per 100g. i won't debate quality, but there is a large number of people who, like buying cheap ball point pens, buy inexpensive tea. that's why the japanese looked for areas outside of japan to grow tea at a more economical price; not to stop making the most sublime green tea within japan but to fill a demand for lower price tea. i don't think they are trying to fool anyone saying this is the best sencha on the market - pricing will reflect the quality before tasting does, but that it is a drinkable tea for everyday. chinese sencha i would think is manufactured by the chinese, but if the japanese borrowed and copied from china maybe today the chinese can make a decent japanese style sencha.
i am curious for the results that sencha said would be posted after the taste test.
(edited to add a thought not related to the topic: how much of the sencha grown outside of japan is sold as loose leaf and how much goes into bottled tea drinks and the like?)
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Nov 27th, '11, 02:20

rdl wrote:i do like the sencha moe and would recommend it as well, but the chinese sencha the OP is referring to from upton is only $4.60 per 100g. chinese sencha i would think is manufactured by the chinese, but if the japanese borrowed and copied from china maybe today the chinese can make a decent japanese style sencha.
i am curious for the results that sencha said would be posted after the taste test.


OP post mentioned bulk, so 100g @whatever price is not really 'bulk'. Upton offers both organic & regular Chinese Sencha style tea, the non-organic in 1000g size is dirt cheap, cheaper than 'fines' teabag grocery store tea :D.

sencha wrote:I did buy a sample of their Chinese sencha, but I also got some sencha and gyokuro from Japan, just to compare. I didn't spend much money, so if it turns out to be old/stale, that's okay.

gyokuro is a premium/luxury style sencha, it will always be more expensive due to the extra care in growing & processing...it's at odds with the 'bulk' pricing mission of the OP.


What exactly makes a sencha a sencha? Do any steamed green teas qualify, or is there more to it than that?


http://www.norbutea.com/JapaneseTea_History
After the fall of the Mongolian-ruled Yuan Dynasty in 1368, the custom of drinking tea in China shifted to drinking the infusions of whole, processed tea leaves that had been steeped in boiled water. Sometime during the late 1600s, these less elaborate "steeped tea" preferences of Chinese immigrants started to be adopted by Japanese tea enthusiasts, leading to the eventual spread of Sencha (literally translates as "boiled tea") throughout Japan. A little known fact is that another Japanese Tea Ceremony grew up around drinking sencha in the mid 18th century, known as Sencha-Do.


this link below explains> JapaneseTea_Types
^ http://www.norbutea.com/JapaneseTea_Types

Jian-Cha-Shade-Grown-Sencha-Organic-Green-Tea-2011 = gyokuro
https://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/Jian ... -2011.html

^haven't tried this one, but it's not hugely expensive.
Sencha, a very popular Japanese tea, originally came from China. Historical records from the Three Kingdom Period (190-220) mention that tea was made using high temperature steam for short periods of time. The famous tea master, Lu Yu, wrote the first tea book during the Tang dynasty (618-907). In this book, Cha Jing, he wrote in detail about how to make Jian Cha...
The steaming technique keeps a lot of chlorophyll and amino acids in the tea leaves, so tea made in this way has a very unique character. Chinese people call it Three Green tea, because the dry tea leaves look like jade, the tea liquid is bright green, and the wet tea leaves are spring green. The flavor of steamed teas is grassy, while wok-fried teas are more floral or fruity. Chinese people prefer the wok-fried teas, but Japanese people continue to enjoy steamed teas for the feeling of walking in a springtime field...

Although Chinese people do not drink much Sencha, they produce the majority of Sencha for other countries


It is not that green tea from Upton maybe 'stale' or 'moldy'...it's that they don't even 'vintage' date them, green teas lose their desired 'freshness' faster than any tea, save white & rare yellow teas. Doesn't mean a n00b won't enjoy and older green tea...and while losing their young fresh appeal in as short a time as months after harvest (even in cold storage see this link: http://www.norbutea.com/JapaneseTea_Processing ), you can often get good deals/sale prices on year old, or older green teas. Depends on how demanding you are on the preference for freshness.

Buy samples, as many as you can afford---preferably more than 6g, so you can experiment with steeping time& temperatures; however as noted, without vintage dating, you have no idea if the samples are even from the same batch as the lose tea they are selling.
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby Chip » Nov 27th, '11, 02:37

I have seen "sencha" used to describe any green tea from Japan, and/or to describe any steamed tea from Japan, and/or used to specifically describe what "we typically call sencha."

For clarity, I prefer the latter as do most credible vendors. They will then use specific names for other steamed teas such as guricha, etc.
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby gingkoseto » Nov 27th, '11, 12:17

No comment about the original question, because I've had too little of each :mrgreen:

About the name of sencha, I think what makes it confusing is, the name "sencha" originally meant a tea drinking/brewing method, unlike many other tea names pointing to processing/production method. In Japanese history, sencha was in contrast to matcha as a brewing method. In Chinese history, sencha was in contrast to "tea soup" before it, and matcha and brewing method after it. Interestingly, the sencha method in Japan is pretty much the "brewing" method in China. The sencha method in Chinese history is more like boiling tea in water, as some people do now with puerh.

When sencha is used as a tea name, I think it's better to use it for specific types of steamed tea instead of all steamed tea, because some steamed teas have never been called sencha in history. But in reality, people use all kinds of names for all kinds of things. So eventually what's important is basic information of producing region, harvest date and process method.

Considering the production cost in China and sencha culture in China (currently very few, if any, Chinese drinks sencha, and Chinese sencha is pretty much for export only), I think for similar quality, Chinese sencha should be a lot cheaper than Japanese sencha. If it's less than "a lot" cheaper, or cheaper only for lower quality, then it's qualified for a "rip off". :mrgreen:
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby sencha » Nov 28th, '11, 15:32

I just got my samples in the mail. :mrgreen: I decided to try the Chinese sencha first, but apparently was in too much of a rush because I spilled half the bag on the floor. :evil: At least it wasn't the gyokuro or dragonwell. I'm definitely not doing that again. :lol:

The dry leaf smells exactly like fresh hay, not at all like how I remember adagio's sencha, but still pleasant. I like how it smells and tastes once steeped, but adagio's overture had a scent and taste that reminded me of the sea, which was what really set it apart from the Chinese greens I've tried in the past. It's definitely not bad for the price ($4.20/125g), but I guess I'm going to have to spend more money if I want that taste I loved.

I still have:
Gunpowder
Temple of Heaven Gunpowder
Dragonwell
Oliphant Estate Ceylon Opa
Chinese Jasmine
Japanese Gyokuro
Japanese Sencha Shizuoka #2
and they threw in a bonus sample of Kenilworth Estate Ceylon Orange Pekoe

If I'm not mistaken, the last is a black tea. I'm kinda interested in trying it, as it'll be my first loose black tea. I don't like the bagged version anywhere near as much as green tea, but maybe this will be different?
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby sencha » Nov 28th, '11, 22:57

After thoroughly cleaning out my IngenuiTEA, I decided to try Upton's "First Grade Gunpowder Green." In one word: delicious. :mrgreen: I think Adagio's gunpowder was very slightly more aromatic and vegetal (this is only my second tea review, so forgive me if I'm using the wrong terminology :P), but this is still incredibly delicious. One thing I don't remember from Adagio's version was the wonderful buttery "mouthfeel" I get from this gunpowder. I assume this is what they call "umami?"

While the Chinese sencha was a bit of a let down, pending further tastings of the other samples, this is definitely going on my bulk buy list. $4.00/125g and $14.80/500g (a little over a pound) definitely fits my budget. 8)

Oh, and I did not spill any this time. lol
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby sencha » Nov 29th, '11, 18:21

I just tried the Japanese Gyokuro and it tastes and smells exactly like Adagio's Sencha Overture, but it's much more expensive. Does this sound right for a gyokuro? Maybe my palate just isn't refined enough to detect the subtleties? Or do you think it's just that the gyokuro is low-quality or really a sencha being passed off as gyokuro?
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby Chip » Nov 29th, '11, 19:37

No, gyokuro should not taste nor smell like Overture.

Often "Kabusecha" is passed off as gyokuro by vendors less specialized. Kabuse is similar to sencha with some gyokuro traits as well.

And then there are different grades of gyo as well.

Once Upton sent m Bai Mudan instead of the silver needle I had ordered, so it could also be switched at birth ... :mrgreen:

But I cannot speak specifically about what you may or may not have.
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby sencha » Nov 29th, '11, 20:03

Chip wrote:No, gyokuro should not taste nor smell like Overture.

How would you describe the taste of gyokuro as compared to sencha?

Chip wrote:Once Upton sent m Bai Mudan instead of the silver needle I had ordered, so it could also be switched at birth ... :mrgreen:

I guess this is a case of "I told you so." :lol: I really wanted to like Upton though. :(
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby Chip » Nov 30th, '11, 01:18

Trying new teas is never a guarantee for success ... but we still constantly try new teas.

Be careful about bulk buying green teas. Often a tea drinker will burn out on the same tea after a while and tastes can change ... and greens can go stale.

Another pitfall is the small bag you bought might be from a lot that you like, the bulk for a tea like gunpowder could be from different lots that you may or may not like as much.

BTW, I rarely buy more than 100 grams or 4 ounces of a green tea at a time.
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby sencha » Dec 7th, '11, 23:51

Chip wrote:Why stop with Chinese sencha ... there is Brazilian sencha offered by Yamamotoyama. :arrow:

What is your opinion of Yamamotoyama's sencha offerings?

http://www.yamamotoyama.com/greentea_4.html

Ocha-Zanmai sencha $7.20/150g
Ocha-Zanmai Fukamushi sencha $7.20/150g
Tokusen Kokyu sencha $5.70/100g
Tokusen sencha $4.50/100g

They also have a "family pack" sencha $4.00/200g, but I doubt this is the same quality as the above offerings.

I've had some experience with Yamamotoyama's sencha in the form of Stash's premium green tea (I think so, at least... the description states the tea comes from Yamamotoyama gardens in Brazil), and I definitely like the taste.

I'm looking to spend less than $6.00/100g.
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby iannon » Dec 8th, '11, 00:23

honestly..i would stay away from the clear wrappered ones..and at the price point of their "premium" Tokusen Kokyu sencha you dont have much to lose..
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby Chip » Dec 8th, '11, 00:29

Someone once said, drink what you like, like what you drink. :mrgreen:

Price points seem in line with what you want, and you have tried and liked other selection(s). Someone on TC needs to try them and report back. :idea:
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Re: Chinese vs Japanese sencha

Postby sencha » Dec 8th, '11, 00:31

Sorry for being so cheap. I just can't afford a lot right now. :lol:
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