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.
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.
Grades included in this set
Note that it just happens that we have single cultivars in this set. Certain cultivars do not necessarily mean that the tencha or matcha is better, but there are certain tendencies. Yabukita, for example, tends to be more bitter and produce a matcha with a duller green color.
- Premium Culinary Grade: This particular would like be ground into a Premium Culinary Grade matcha if made commercially. (Summer harvest)
- Yabukita: This particular would like be ground into a Basic Ceremonial Grade Matcha (Spring harvest)
- Okumidori: This particular would like be ground into a Premium Ceremonial Grade Matcha (Spring harvest)
- Samidori: This particular would like be ground into a Imperial Ceremonial Grade Matcha (Spring harvest)
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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