Good quality Sencha tea should possess two important characteristics: a slight bitterness in its rich taste and a pleasant, lasting aftertaste. Gyokuro, Sencha, Bancha, and Houjicha are all popular Japanese teas that contain tannins (Catechins), caffeine, and amino acids. The taste of Sencha is dependent on achieving the right balance between the bitterness of tannin and the flavor of amino acid. High-grade Sencha or Fine Gyokuro teas contain more amino acid, which enhances their rich flavor. On the other hand, daily drinking teas such as Bancha or Hojicha contain less amino acid, resulting in a less flavorful taste but a pleasant, lingering aftertaste.
To brew high-grade Sencha, it is crucial to use water at approximately 70 degrees Celsius. This helps to avoid dissolving tannin, which would make the tea bitter while enhancing the dissolution of amino acid, which makes the tea richer. Adding a greater amount of tea leaves and waiting for 2 minutes results in a thicker tea. It is recommended to serve each person approximately 50ml of tea. For standard-grade Sencha, 90-degree Celsius water should be used to dissolve tannin and brew the tea for 1 minute using a lesser amount of tea leaves. Each person should be served around 80ml of tea.