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Sencha green tea

Sencha green tea is a variety of Japanese green tea, derived from Camellia sinensis. Camellia Sinensis is known for the presence of preserved polyphenols greater than 30% of the total weight in its variety, with it being used medicinally since ancient times.

Plenty of constituents is contained in the leaves, such as tannins, flavanols, and flavonol glycosides, alkaloids such as theobromine and caffeine as well as polysaccharides and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, and zinc (2). Most known flavonoids are primarily catechins, such as epicatechin, epicatechin-30gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin (EGC), and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) (4). EGCG is the most plentiful, about 60% of the total catechin concentration followed by EGC (20%), ECG (14%), and EC (6%) (5).

While most of the green teas in the market stem from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis, such as matcha tea, and sencha tea has a different texture and flavor.

Sencha tea is made from tea plants that have been exposed to the sun all year and cultivated in the shade for thirty days prior to harvesting (1). Sencha leaves are tightly compressed into needle-like shapes. Covering the leaves seems to increase the chlorophyll concentration of the leaves, causing the leaves to turn dark green. This method boosts the amino acid content; however, oxidation can happen, thus sencha leaves are steamed (1).

Sencha green leaf tea is rich in EGCGs that positively affect the immune system

Sencha leaves are steamed after being dried in humid air to maintain their freshness. It is then pressed and dried. Sencha tea has been found to have a great amount of EGCG, therefore presenting anti-viral, biological, antimicrobial, and anticancer activities. However, it has 137 times less EGCG compared to matcha tea (6). Brewing Sencha Green tea produces a smooth but rich and refreshing aroma with a sweet aftertaste.

Green tea polyphenols have presented activity against a wide spectrum of microbes. EGCG and ECG have been demonstrated to impede the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria (5).

1. Horie H., Ema K., Sumikawa O. Chemical components of matcha and powdered green tea. Japan Society of Cookery Science. 2017;50(5):182–188. 

2. Yi T., Zhu L., Peng W.-L., et al. Comparison of ten major constituents in seven types of processed tea using HPLC-DAD-MS followed by principal component and hierarchical cluster analysis. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft und -Technologie- Food Science and Technology . 2015;62(1):194–201.

3. Chacko S. M., Thambi P. T., Kuttan R., Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chinese Medicine . 2010;5(1):p. 13.

4. Sano M., Tabata M., Suzuki M., Degawa M., Miyase T., Maeda-Yamamoto M. Simultaneous determination of twelve tea catechins by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. The Analyst . 2001;126(6):816–820. 

5. Reygaert W. C. Green tea catechins: their use in treating and preventing infectious diseases. BioMed Research International . 2018;2018:9. 

6. Kaihatsu K., Yamabe M., Ebara Y. Antiviral mechanism of action of epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate and its fatty acid esters. Molecules . 2018;23(10):p. 2475.