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It will require more nutrients before it can be harvested.
Sencha (煎茶) is the most popular tea in Japan, accounting for almost 80% of the tea consumed. Usually the top parts of tea leaves and buds are used to produce Sencha. It is grown in full sunlight and is processed in multiple stages: sifting, cutting, roasting and often blending. Sencha is noted for its delicate sweetness, mild astringency and flowery-green aroma.
Types of Sencha
This is the least steamed sencha, and the most traditional. Tea is steamed for 30-40 seconds before final processing.
A medium steamed sencha, the most common today.
This tea is steamed two to three times longer than chumishi, resulting in a less bitter tea with a unique flavor. The needle shaped leaves of traditional sencha are broken down into smaller pieces by the heavy steaming and associated processing. When brewed, fukamushi produces a cup that can be very dark green, depending on how broken up the leaf is. The flavor is often considered stronger, bolder, and deeper than other senchas.
Shincha (新茶) and Ichibancha (一番茶)
Shincha and Ichibancha are produced during the first harvest, dictated by the blooming of cherry blossoms, which is usually in April or May, depending on geography (Cherry blossoms bloom first in Southern Japan, and last in Northern Japan).
Shincha is a special kind of first flush tea. It is processed less than regular sencha, which results in a tea which has a more intense flavor, but a shorter shelf life. For this reason, shincha is only sold during the first few months after the harvest. Ichibancha, on the other hand, is processed so that it may be stored and sold throughout the year.
Kagoshima is favored by many sencha enthusiasts. The reason is unknown, but the terroir of the region seems to be involved.
Shizuoka tea is the most readily available sencha online, and is the source of most of Japan's sencha.
Uji is the oldest tea-producing region of Japan. It is known for producing high quality sencha and gyokuro.
Due in large part to its increased surface area, sencha tends to require less heat, time, and leaf to infuse for a given amount of water than many other teas. Sencha may be reinfused a second time, and usually at least a third.
For a fairly standard sencha, one level teaspoon steeped in 4-6 ounces (c. 120 to 180 ml) of water for roughly 1.5 minutes and no more than two minutes at no more than 180°F (c. 82°C) should produce a good cup.
There is a certain amount of variance between different sencha. Fukamushi, for instance, only needs half the steep time of a more standard-issue sencha to develop its full flavor. The leaf to water ratio is often decreased as well.
A rough guideline for all senchas is that the second infusion should be steeped for about 30 seconds with the same temperature water as the first.
The third infusion is often made with the same time used in the first, but with hotter water (roughly 190°F/88°C).
At first, many people are surprised that green tea can be re-infused. After getting used to it, most take their leaf to second and third steeps, but some even go for 4th and 5th steeps. The 4th and 5th infusions can be made with near-boiling water, and a much longer steep time. 4th is considered steeped around 5 minutes, and 5th around 10 minutes. After the first 2-3 steeps, the leaf has lost most of the constituents that can make tea bitter, so later infusions are very forgiving in temperature and steep time.