Loose tea facts – Japanese Sencha vs. Chinese green tea
The primary reason for the difference in flavor between Japanese Sencha (green) tea and Chinese green tea has to do with the processing. With Japanese Sencha, the loose tea leaves are initially steamed for a very brief period to prevent oxidation, whereas Chinese green tea leaves are initally pan-fired without any steaming process.
Ultimately, the steaming process with Japanese sencha creates a more vegetal, almost grassy-like flavor. The Sencha loose tea leaves are also much greener in color and have a long cylindrical, needle-like shape.