Tea has always been a part of the Australian culture, most likely due to the country’s historical connection to Great Britain. Despite originating from ancient China, the allure of tea is so great that it has not only remained a staple beverage over time, it has also won over fans from around the world.
From centuries-old tea traditions to artisanal brewing techniques and interesting teas trends that arise nowadays (think bubble tea!), it is evident that tea is more than a simple beverage. Moreover, the host of health benefits that tea bestows upon tea drinkers is an added bonus. If you are a tea-lover, you would know that there are so many different types of tea, each boasting a unique taste profile. So which is your all-time favourite?
In Australia, many tea-drinkers prefer black tea. If you are looking for a change, why not go beyond the usual classic teas and give Australian Sencha a try? Just as the Sencha in Japan is grown in the verdant hilly regions of the country, Australian Sencha, a Japanese-style green tea, is often cultivated in the Victorian Alps in Australia and its surrounding areas.
With rich soil, clean air and fresh water flowing from pristine rivers and clear springs, the Victorian Alps stands out as a prime tea-growing zone. Furthermore, the rivers that fan out from the Alps and wind down to flatter terrains are also excellent sources of irrigation for growing tea plants, known as Camellia sinensis.
One such area is situated at the intersection of two rivers, Acheron and Goulburn. Nestled in northeast Melbourne, amidst the Acheron Valley, the fertile river flats make for an ideal tea-growing environment. Located in the southern hemisphere but seated on similar latitudes as Japan’s main tea-growing districts in the northern hemisphere, tea plants not only flourish here, but also get to develop distinct, high-quality tea leaves.
Given the unique environment the tea plants are cultivated in, Australian Sencha exudes a delicate grassy aroma along with a mild herbaceous taste. If you like Japanese Sencha, but prefer a similar tea with a sweeter and less intense grassy aftertaste, then the Australian Sencha is a perfect choice.
Benefits of Sencha
Did you know that Sencha has many beneficial properties? Since Sencha is a green tea, it contains natural compounds such as polyphenols that may assist in protecting our skin from sun damage. Green tea is also loaded with vitamin C and catechins, an antioxidant that can help to reduce free radicals in the body.
Sencha can play a part in promoting relaxation too. This is due to the amino acid present in the tea known as theanine. With a lower level of caffeine as compared to coffee, drinking Sencha can refresh your senses while helping you to lower stress and anxiety. While Sencha is often consumed warm, you can also make it into a chilled ice tea for the summer!
Here are more reasons why Sencha is good for health:
- It may aid in boosting metabolism, burning calories and weight management
- It may contain anti-inflammatory properties
- It may play a part in fighting against virus and bacterial infections
- It may assist in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level
- It has anti-ageing properties that may help in enhancing skin condition
- It may support mental alertness and may help with staying focused
- It may improve oral health by preventing tooth decay
How to brew Sencha
When it comes to preparing the perfect cup of Sencha, keep in mind that this green tea can turn bitter or burn if the water is too hot.
First, add the Sencha tea leaves to your teacup or teapot. As a guide, you can use around 2 grams of tea leaves for every 250ml of water.
Feel free to use a strainer or simply do without it as the Japanese do. The leaves of the Sencha will expand, so make sure your teacup or teapot has enough room to accommodate the tea leaves so that the flavour of the Sencha can develop fully while steeping.
Next, boil the water and let it cool slightly to approximately 80°C before adding the water to the teacup or teapot. To get the exact temperature, you can use a thermometer or a variable temperature kettle . Also, to capture the best flavour of the Sencha, use filtered water or spring water if possible.
Finally, let the tea steep for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on how intense you wish the tea to be. During the process, you can cover up the teacup or teapot to help with the steeping. You can re-use the same tea leaves for 2 to 3 times.
Brookfield House Sencha blends
At Brookfield House, we are proud of our unique whole leaf tea blends and infusions. You can order our teas online For the purists interested in Japanese-style teas, we offer premium Australian Sencha and Sincha. For the tea enthusiasts who love a modern twist, we have an assortment of tea blends to suit different palates and preferences.
As Sencha is a delicious and versatile tea for blending, we have created Native Strawberry Gum, a visually stunning champagne-hue tea with accents of rose petals, purple cornflower blossoms and strawberry gum, a native ingredient with an enchantingly fruity taste along with our Australian Sencha.
Rose petals are rich in vitamins, calcium and iron. A powerful antioxidant and loaded with phytonutrients, rose is used frequently in tea. It may help to alleviate digestive problems as well it may improve the quality of sleep. For women who experience menstrual cramps, rose petals are said to be able to reduce the discomfort when consumed in tea.
Purple Cornflowers are not just pretty to look at, but they are also high in vitamin C and folic acid, which may help with detoxification. At the same time, these flowers are anti-inflammatory and may have diuretic effects. Calming and soothing, cornflowers may assist in lowering stress and reducing anxiety.
A native tree of New South Wales, the leaves of a Strawberry Gum emanate a sweet berry taste that many liken to a mix of strawberry and passion fruit. Not only is the strawberry gum a great source of antioxidants, but it may also help to improve and balance the gut microbiota. Every sip of this floral tea evokes memories of summer. The freshness of roses and nuance of orchids mingle with a light touch of berries. It is soothing, refreshing and truly romantic; a lovely drink for an afternoon tea with cakes as well as a wonderful pick-me-up at any time of the day. In addition to sweets and baked goods, you can also pair Sencha with seafood, salads, vegetarian and light Asian rice dishes