At my balcony, I have some tea plants that I’ve been taking care of.
Since their are still too young, I don’t get to harvest them regularly.
Also, I’ve been taking cuttings of them and selling them. That means even less available leaves to make tea.
But recently I was able to make my first homemade sencha.
I saw a video about it. Here are the steps:
Stop the oxidation process
If we don’t stop the oxidation process early on, then we won’t obtain a green tea.
In the video, they place 80 grams of young tea leaves in a dish and cover them with plastic wrap.
Then the leaves are heated in a 600 watt microwave for a minute and a half.
Since I had so few leaves, and cooking times at a microwave vary depending on the amount of the ingredients, I decided to use a steamer for one minute.
The leaves become softer after this process.
Let the tea leaves cool off
Spread the tea leaves on a kitchen paper, and use a fan to cool them manually.
This helps the leaves to retain their best color and aroma.
Drying and rolling
Using a hot plate or a frying pan at low heat, move the tea leaves with chopsticks to avoid burning them.
After 10 minutes, transfer the tea leaves to a kitchen paper and roll them lightly in your hands for 5 minutes.
Repeat for a total of four times. This means that this part of the process takes one hour.
Exert more force when rolling each time.
This time place a kitchen paper on the hot plate or frying pan at the lowest possible heat.
Dry for 15 minutes.
You should drink your sencha quickly, because it may contain more moisture than commercial green tea.
In other words, it can spoil quicker.
I had too few leaves, and most of them weren’t as young as they should have.
They were harder to roll because they were older. It’s also hard to roll tea leaves when you don’t have enough of them.
Now that I think of it, I don’t even know how to roll tea leaves properly.
My finished product doesn’t look like sencha at all, but since it’s my first time, I was happy with its appearance.
Unfortunately, the tea was very light because of the lack of tea leaves.
I’ll update this post the next time that I harvest enough tea leaves.
Oh, and here’s the video that I watched: