2013/07/05

Aroma Sencha

I like aroma. Aroma brings us relaxation. The aroma of tea brings me happiness. (In my case, not artificial one, the aroma of tea itself :-)

Speaking of which, I've learned that sencha in the past had more aromas individually. I was surprised because sencha now is regarded as “umami” tea rather than as “aroma” tea.

Why did it have more aroma?   ---- Withering is a key word.

Nowadays, I think, because of a rule made by a Japanese tea association and the mass-producing era, it is considered that the taste of tea should be unified, and sencha has to have its freshness. Even a little bit of aroma created by withering is not  thought to be suitable for high-quality sencha. Therefore, tea farmers add the heat to the leaves right after picking them up to avoid withering. Also thanks to advanced machines, the leaves can be kept freshness for a while.

Of course, producing green tea doesn’t require any withering process. However, in the past, the leaves were withered unintentionally, which created its own character to each tea. Actually, many elder people say the tea in the past had deeper flavor.

Now, the time has changed and it is not mass-producing era anymore."Unified" is not always needed. Some, especially tea geeks (including me), are eager to find something special, one of which could be the sencha with a little bit of “on purpose” withering. We call it “ichoka (lit: icho=withering, ka=aroma) for the aroma. I believe this “Ichoka- sencha” will be accepted as another type of sencha sometime soon.



by T