What is Sencha?
Sencha (煎茶) is the most popular tea in Japan and is unique in its distinctive emerald colour and grassy, vegetal taste. Directly translated as `brewing tea´, 80% of all green tea produced in Japan is considered Sencha. After being picked, the tealeaves are immediately steamed for about 40 to 50 seconds to prevent them from oxidising. The tea is then rolled in several processes: rough rolling, strong rolling, middle rolling and finally fine rolling. This transforms the leaves into the beautiful needle shapes that are typical of Japanese tea.
Handmade tea is extremely rare in Japan. To celebrate the beginning of the spring tea harvest season and preserve long-lasting traditions, every year Wazuka tea farmers get together with members of the community to make this very special hand-made Sencha.
This beautiful, unique tea has received the highest bid in Japan for 9 consecutive years at the Kyoto tea spring auction. In 2015 the auction price for this unique tea was 160,041 Yen (about $1450) for a kilogram. See the video below for a glimpse of this annual tea picking event, made by a friend of Obubu from the New Mexico Tea Company.