Thu, 4 August 2016
This week on Talking Tea we're exploring the intricacies of sencha, the most ubiquitous of Japanese green teas. Sencha? Intricate? Many tea drinkers don't think of those two words in the same context, but we sit down with Zach Mangan of Kettl, a Japanese tea seller based in Fukuoka, Japan and Brooklyn, New York, to sample some senchas and to look at how multifaceted this tea can be.
Kettl has developed a reputation for being a purveyor of tea to some of the most acclaimed restaurants in New York City, and Zach talks with us about his own tea journey and his inspiration for launching Kettl. We chat about how sencha is grown and processed, how differing production techniques result in variations in taste, aroma and complexity, and how Japanese tea producers mix tradition with modern technology to create their teas. As we sample and compare a blended sencha from the Uji region and an unblended single-cultivar sencha from Nagasaki, Zach talks with us about why sencha is often (but not always) a blend, and about how differences in steaming result in the quite notable variations in appearance, texture and flavor of asamushi, chumushi and fukamushi sencha.
More information about Kettl, including its online store, info about its retail shop, classes and events, and where you can find Kettl teas in New York City, is available at Kettl's website, kettl.co.
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Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.
This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.
Image of Kettl's Asanoyume sencha courtesy of Kettl.
Very interesting to delve into the world of sencha! It's a complex topic to tackle since sencha is such a large and sweeping category of tea, but this episode helped break down the nuances, and varieties into more manageable pieces. I hope this episode convinces some listeners to give sencha more careful consideration, since it really can provide its own spectrum of rewarding tea experiences.