Tencha is the name of the leaf used to make matcha. It is generally made by shading to prevent the leaf from becoming bitter (reducing sunlight prevents catechin from building up as the leaf grows), then steaming, drying without rolling, and finally refining into flakes.
The Yabukita cultivar is the most common cultivar grown in Japan because it is a perfect balance between ease of cultivation and flavor (for sencha). It has become the standard in Japan as a result. However, the cultivar does not produce the greenest color, nor the sweetest flavor as tencha / matcha, so is often used for lower grade matcha (culinary and lower grade ceremonial).
Grade: This particular would like be ground into a Standard Ceremonial Grade matcha if made commercially.
You can enjoy this tencha as a tea, or attempt to grind it yourself. Note that commercial level stone mills as well as pulverization machines can create very fine grain matcha powder (5 microns at the highest quality, 15-25 microns for lower quality matcha). Grinding on your own with a handheld grinder or even a coffee grinder will probably not reach the higher quality levels, but 20-30 microns may be possible depending on your grinder.
Steeping recommendation as tea
There is no one recommended method to steep tencha since it's not commonly consumed as tea, but we recommend you start with standard sencha steeping and then adjust the parameters to preference: 3 grams of tencha, steeped for 2 minutes in 200 ml of 70C/160F degree water.
Use hotter temperature to extract more astringency and bitterness, cooler temperature for more sweetness. Use more leaves or less water for stronger flavor.
Cold steeping: I also recommend cold steeping 5g / 500 ml of water in the refrigerator overnight: 8-12 hours.
- Ingredients: Green tea
- Cultivar: Yabukita
- Harvest: Spring
- Region: Kyoto
- Name: Shogyokuen
- Type: Tea factory, family business
- CEO: Hiroshi Kobayashi
- Established: 1827
- Employees: 12
Hiroshi Kobayashi is an award winning blender, and one of 13 tea professionals in Japan who hold the top rank of tea appraisal, level 10.
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