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Tencha Green Tea (Japan)




Young Koji queried Master Lao Cha: – Sensei, why does everyone adore Matcha, yet overlook its origin, Tencha?

Lao Cha smiled: – Consider the peacock, flaunting vibrant feathers, and the unassuming sparrow beside it. Matcha, like the peacock, dazzles with its ceremony and fame. Yet, Tencha is the sparrow – modest, often unseen, but holding its own quiet beauty. Those who look beyond the peacock's display will discover in Tencha a gem: a tea both gentle and profound, teaching us that true worth often lies hidden, awaiting the curiosity of a discerning eye.

Koji's eyes sparkled, the wisdom found in the garden's simplicity.

Tencha is a unique kind of tea that's less commonly talked about than its famous successor, Matcha, but shouldn't be overlooked if you appreciate the finer points of tea culture. The name "Tencha" (碾茶) comes from two Japanese words meaning "grind" and "tea," hinting at its primary use: it's the leaf used to make Matcha. But there's more to Tencha than just being a precursor to Matcha.

Around three to four weeks prior to harvesting, farmers begin to shield the tea bushes from direct sun exposure. This practice of shading the tea is forcing the leaves to accumulate L-theanine, giving the tea a naturally sweet flavor. Additionally, the leaves gain a higher content of chlorophyll, antioxidants, and umami. Following the harvest, each leaf undergoes a meticulous process of being de-stemmed and de-veined, a task that demands expertise, time, and patience.

Our Organic Tencha is something special. It's a carefully selected blend from notable cultivars such as Sae Midori, Asanoka, and Oku Midori. This isn't just any blend; it's the result of close relationships of our supplier of this tea with farms in both Kagoshima and Shizuoka, ensuring that only the top-quality leaves make it into our Tencha. The man behind this blend, Tea Master Mitsuhiko Masuda, puts his heart and soul into his work. For him, the satisfaction and appreciation of those who drink his tea are what it's all about.

When you first come across our Organic Tencha, you'll notice its sweet, malty aroma with intriguing notes of artichoke and even a hint of dried raspberry from the dry leaves. It's a tea rich in umami, reminiscent of Gyokuro on the first infusion and balanced with a gentle hint of bitterness on the second steeping, and no astringency. There's a subtle nuttiness there too, reminiscent of almonds, alongside vegetal notes of broccoli stem and sweet pea. It's a complex profile that's rewarding to explore.

While Tencha is traditionally processed into Matcha, there's a growing interest in enjoying it in its loose-leaf form. It offers a different experience, one that's less about the creamy frothiness of Matcha and more about savoring the leaf's own character. And if you're the hands-on type with your own stone mill or even a simple mortar and pestle, you can grind our Tencha into fresh Matcha right at home. This allows you to engage more deeply with the tea-making process and lets you experience the freshness and full flavor profile of Matcha in a way that pre-ground versions can't match.

Whether you're a seasoned tea enthusiast or just beginning to explore the vast world of tea, our Organic Tencha offers a unique and rewarding experience, bridging the gap between the art of traditional tea making and the enjoyment of modern tea culture.

Now is your chance to obtain this outstanding rare Japanese Green Tea. 

Watch a video of us tasting Tencha

  • Organic
  • Cultivar: Okumidori, Sae Midori, Asanoka
  • Region: Kagoshima, Shizuoka

Brewing guidelines:

     125-135℉ / 50-55℃ for the first infusion; 150ºF/65ºC for the second one

   1g per 35ml

   4min for the first infusion; 1 minute for the second infusion, then 30 seconds

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Trent Thomson

The Tencha tea that Path of Cha has made available is consistent with their unique offerings. This small company consistently stands out in the tea world, and has true experts in "micro" teas. The Tencha (pre-matcha so to speak) is so rich, yet delicate with it's umami flavor. I highly recommend this tea, and this wonderful company! Check out their blog if you get a chance, as it is a true book of tea!