In the U.S., most of the green tea we consume is from China. Very few are exposed to Japanese teas, and in particular, Sencha. Sencha is the most popular green teas in Japan and represents approximately 80% of the green tea produced in Japan. How is it different from the typical Chinese green tea? First, sencha leaves are initially steamed whereas Chinese green tea is pan-fried. This initial steaming step creates a more vegetal, almost grassy-like flavor with the sencha. In fact, it also has a slightly sweet flavor as well.
I personally prefer the taste of sencha over Chinese green tea any day and would recommend it to anyone who would like a lot more flavor in their green tea. This summer, instead of brewing up some black tea or Chinese green tea, try getting your hands on some sencha and definitely enjoy it over ice.