5 Easy Steps to Make Sencha Properly

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Sencha is the most popular green tea in Japan that produces a bright, grassy infusion. It’s a great tea for every occasion, no matter whether it’s made hot or cold.

Sencha tea in a mug

Sencha Tea

  • Sencha is a Japanese green tea.
  • There’s caffeine in sencha.
  • It’s the most popular tea in Japan.
  • The process to make sencha includes steaming whole tea leaves.
  • Sencha translates to ‘simmered tea.’ ‘Sen’ means ‘simmer’ and ‘cha’ means ‘tea.’
  • Came about in the 17th century, around the same time as tea arrived in Japan from China.

Brewing Guide

BREW IT HOT
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose sencha or 1 tea sachet
WATER: 1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
160°F
STEEP TIME:
2 minutes

BREW IT COLD
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose sencha or 1 tea sachet
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
Cold water
STEEP TIME:
3 hours

Conversion chart

TO MAKEWATERTEA
1 serving1 cup1.5 teaspoons sencha or 1 tea sachet
2 servings2 cups1 tablespoon sencha or 2 tea sachets
4 servings4 cups
(1 quart)
2 tablespoons sencha or 4 tea sachets
8 servings8 cups
(2 quarts)
4 tablespoons sencha or 8 tea sachets

MY Sencha Pick:

Loose sencha tea

Questions You May Have

What does sencha tea taste like?
Sencha has a fresh, grassy flavor with vegetal notes. It can be an acquired taste. To me, it tastes like complex-flavored spinach water.

Why is sencha so bitter?
It’s not when brewed properly! Don’t use boiling hot water and brew it for 2 minutes at most.

Is there caffeine in sencha?
Yes. Sencha contains caffeine like other green teas, but not as much as coffee.

Are there any calories?
Nope. This tea is completely calorie-free.

Loose tea, tea sachets, or tea bags?
It’s best to use loose tea since it’s the best quality. Tea sachets are the next best thing if you can’t get loose tea. Skip the sencha tea bags since it’ll contain the lowest quality tea.

Is sencha tea a real tea?
Yup, sencha comes from the camellia sinensis plant, which means it is a real tea.

How is sencha brewed in Japan?
Traditionally, sencha is brewed in a Japanese teapot called a kyusu but I really like and use this glass one.

Sencha Tips

  • Sencha isn’t a tea that is prepared with milk or sugar. Drink it straight to enjoy the true taste.
  • If your tea is too astringent, it’s either because the water is too hot or it was brewed for too long.
  • Look to buy sencha that is grown and harvested in Japan.

FREE SENCHA BREWING CHEAT SHEET

Join my email list and get the free sencha brewing cheat sheet!

Sencha tea ingredients

What you’ll need

Sencha tea in glass mug

HOW TO MAKE IT HOT PROPERLY

STEP 1: Boil water. 

The right water is really important for brewing good tea, so don’t just boil tap water. Use filtered water if possible.

To make green tea, an electric kettle with a temperature setting is a must. Set the water temperature to 160°F.

If you’re boiling water on the stovetop, turn off the heat as soon as it starts to simmer.

Boil extra water so that you can warm up the teapot. 

STEP 2: Warm up teapot.

Pour some of the hot water into your teapot. Swirl the water around and then throw it out. 

This is a really important step to brewing tea properly. Warming up the pot helps maintain a stable temperature while brewing the tea. 

STEP 3: Put sencha tea into teapot and add hot water. 

It’s 1.5 teaspoons of sencha for every cup of water.

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep for 2 minutes.

Sencha can be a little finicky with steep time. To make sure it doesn’t get bitter, be careful to time it and don’t brew it for more than 2 minutes.

To keep the water hot while the tea steeps, make sure the teapot is covered.

STEP 5: Strain sencha leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

A perfect cup of sencha that is never bitter, just full of umami.

Cold Brewed Sencha Tea

How to Make it Iced Properly

Iced sencha tea is so refreshing and it’s even better when it’s cold brewed!

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes

STEP 1: Put sencha tea and water in a pitcher or glass container.

Just like the ratio to make hot tea, use 1.5 teaspoons of sencha leaves to make cold brewed sencha.

Using cool or room temperature filtered water.

STEP 2: Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Green tea doesn’t need a long time to cold brew like black or oolong tea.

You can cold brew in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours.

STEP 3: Strain sencha tea leaves and pour tea into a cup. 

Since the tea is already chilled, adding ice is optional.

Sencha isn’t meant to be had with milk or sugar, but if you want to sweeten your iced tea, use simple syrup.

Simple syrup is just sugar and water, so it’s super easy to make at home. Just mix equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

more green tea

Sencha Tea

Sencha Tea

Yield: Makes 1 serving

How to make hot & iced sencha tea properly.

Instructions

  1. Boil water.
    If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 160°F. Heat a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot. If boiling water on the stovetop, let it come to a simmer, then turn off heat.
    (Filtered water is best.)
  2. Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into the teapot and swirl it around a bit. Discard the water.
  3. Put sencha tea into teapot and add hot water.
  4. Cover teapot and steep for 2 minutes.
  5. Strain sencha tea leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

Notes

To make cold brew iced sencha tea:

  1. Put sencha tea leaves and cool or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container.
    (Filtered water is best.)
  2. Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for 3 hours.
    It can be cold brewed for up to 6 hours.
  3. Strain sencha tea leaves and pour tea into a cup.
    Ice is optional since the tea is already cold.


To sweeten your tea:

If you want to sweeten, use simple syrup which dissolves easily into iced tea.

You can make simple sugar at home by mixing equal parts sugar or honey and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

1 thought on “5 Easy Steps to Make Sencha Properly”

Leave a Comment