There are several varieties of green tea. A lot of them even sound alike.
To help you understand the differences between them, we are going to take a look at the top two most common kinds. They are matcha and sencha tea.
Matcha, which translates to ground tea, is precisely that. It is green tea leaves ground up into a fine powder. The purpose of this variety is to provide a more intense tea-drinking experience through a daily ritual.
There are two grades of matcha green tea. One is ceremonial grade, and the other is culinary grade.
Ceremonial grades are a premium form of green tea powder that comes from the youngest tea leaves. It gets finely ground into a baby powder consistency for easy infusion with warm tempered water.
Ceremonial matcha is highly respected in Japanese traditions and used as the preferred class of green tea for performing their sacred tea ceremonies.
For smoothies, baked treats, and beauty routines, culinary grade matcha is the best grade to use. To make culinary matcha, farmers harvest the mature leaves. These leaves create a grittier consistency and sharpened flavor.
The health benefits matcha offers are in the highest available form. When you drink matcha, you are consuming the entire leaf. With dried leaf tea, you are filtering the leaves and drinking the infused water left behind.
Since you are consuming all of the powdered leaves infused in the water, you are absorbing more of the health-promoting benefits that the green tea plant has to offer.
In addition to ingesting the whole leaf, matcha is also uniquely grown using a specialized shading process. This form of cultivation applies an increased amount of pressure on the plants.
Under this type of strain, more of the naturally occurring elements that produce the desired health benefits become elevated and create a potent wellness tea.
Matcha is enjoyable in various ways. Check out our Matcha Prep 101 article for three recipes on how to make this miracle powder into a cup of tea you will enjoy every day.
Sencha is much simplier to explain. It's the highest quality of dried leaf green tea available and the most popular in all of Japan.
Sencha leaves come from plants that grow in full sun and do not undergo any shading. After picking the leaves, to prevent oxidation, they get steamed and rolled to retain most of their nutritional components.
You can enjoy drinking sencha by using an infuser, tea bag, or strainer. To check out all the specifics on how to prepare this dried leaf form of green tea, read Sencha Prep 101 to try our easy recipes.
Sencha is a very beneficial tea to drink that has all of the same health expereinces as Matcha in a lesser potency. It's nice to give yourself some variety and switch between the two.
Hopefully this clears up any confusion you may have about these similar sounding teas.
All there is left for you to do now, is to grab some and see what it can do.