Gyokuro vs sencha health benefits is a comparison a lot of people make.
While both of these teas are healthy, they are very different when it comes to their content of caffeine, theanine and catechins.
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Health Benefits of Sencha vs Gyokuro : Complete Video Guide
Before analyzing the difference between gyokuro vs sencha, let's analyze these teas
Before we talk about gyokuro vs sencha health benefits, let’s first define each of these teas
Gyokuro is one of the most sought after leaf teas in Japan.
Gyokuro has become famous for its unique, sweet and savory flavor, which can only be developed through a long and careful production process.
First, the tea plants are cut off from sunlight for 3 weeks before the harvest.
This prevents the tea plant from converting sweet and savory theanine into more bitter catechins.
The longer a tea plant is shaded, the more it captures this smooth and sweet flavor profile.
What leaves are selected for Gyokuro tea?
After the shading process is complete, the top leaves of the tea plant are selected as these are the highest in nutrients and the sweetest in taste.
Once the leaves have been harvested, they are gathered up to be steamed, rolled and dried.
It is easy to identify gyokuro tea because the leaves are rolled into these tight, pine needle shapes and they take on a much darker color.
If you're interested in learning more about gyokuro tea and what makes it so special, you can find this complete guide to gyokuro tea here.
While Gyokuro is the most sought after tea in Japan, Sencha tea is the most popular.
It is produced in a similar way, but there are a few differences that lead to the disparity between gyokuro vs sencha health benefits.
First of all, not all senchas are shaded prior to the harvest. Sometimes a farmer will shade a sencha tea for about a week before the harvest in order to smooth it out.
This is nothing compared to the 3 weeks shading process for gyokuro, which makes the cultivation of these two teas quite different. Sencha also tends to be made from the top 3 leaves of the tea plant, which makes the two teas similar
Deep Steamed Sencha
Sencha teas can also be steamed for a longer time, which wouldn’t be attempted for gyokuro.
This longer steaming process breaks down the tea leaf, allowing more of it to flow into the cup.
This is why fukamushi sencha teas have an intense green color and a powerful flavor.
This longer steaming process makes the tea leaves more brittle and therefore they are more likely to break into these smaller leaf particles
If you want to learn more about sencha tea and the different kinds of sencha tea, you may want to read this article on 👉 everything you need to know about sencha.
Gyokuro vs Sencha health benefits
One factor that makes the gyokuro vs sencha health benefits different is the caffeine content.
Gyokuro contains somewhere in between 120-140 milligrams of caffeine per cup, while sencha can contain half that.
The reason why Gyokuro is so high in caffeine compared to a regular tea like sencha is because of its long shading process.
Why does tea have caffeine?
The tea plant produces caffeine as a defense mechanism to protect against insects, and when the tea plant is shaded it actually produces more because the shading process is a stressful time for the tea plant.
This is why long shaded teas like gyokuro, and kabusecha tend to be the highest in caffeine.
We just made a full ranking of the caffeine content in different kinds of teas, and if you want to see it you should check out this article on the 👉 lowest caffeine tea
Another difference in gyokuro vs sencha health benefits is theanine. In addition to affecting the caffeine content, the shading process also influences the theanine in the tea.
As we mentioned before, when the tea plant is cut off from sunlight, it produces less of these bitter catechins and retains more of its sweet and savory theanine, but what is theanine?
Theanine or l-theanine in the case of tea, is an amino acid that can induce a calming effect on the brain.
This is why you don’t get the same jittery feeling or crash with green tea as you do with coffee. The l-theanine can slow the absorption of caffeine and give you a longer lasting energy throughout the day.
Benefits of theanine
L-theanine can also influence alpha brainwave activity, the same brain waves stimulated during long periods of meditation.
This is why the original consumers of green tea in Japan were the monks, who found it improved their concentration during meditation.
As gyokuro is a longer shaded tea, in addition to having more caffeine, it will also have more theanine.
When it comes to the gyokuro vs sencha health benefits there is one arena where sencha has the edge and that is catechins. This has two benefits when it comes to weight loss and immune support. Let’s discuss both of these, as well as a few studies to back up the claims.
When it comes to comparing gyokuro vs sencha health benefits, one of the things people are interested in is weight loss. While green tea is no substitute for healthy diet and exercise, there have been some promising results in studies on the efficacy of green tea for weight loss.
There is a 2018 study where subjects were given green tea before going out for a 30 minute walk. The group given green tea showed enhanced fat oxidation during their walk when compared to the placebo group, which might lead to better overall weight loss.
Cold and Flu
Another thing people often look for when comparing gyokuro vs sencha health benefits is cold and flu prevention. This is another factor that can be helped by the catechins within green tea. If this is indeed the case, unshaded sencha teas would have an advantage over gyokuro.
This study compared two groups of healthcare workers. One of the healthcare worker groups was given a green tea catechin and theanine supplement and the other group was given a placebo.
The study found that the group that took the green tea supplement was 3 times less likely to come down with the flu compared to the group that took the placebo. This would suggest that the catechins in green tea might help people avoid getting sick with the flu at all.
Worried about getting sick? Check out our ultimate guide on👉 tea for the cold and flu.
Final Verdict on Gyokuro vs Sencha health benefits
When it comes to comparing gyokuro vs sencha health benefits, both teas have their strengths and weaknesses. It seems silly to discriminate when both teas are healthy and delicious. We recommend you try both of these incredible Japanese green teas and see which you prefer.
Best sencha tea to try
If you’re looking to get started on the world of sencha tea, we recommend you go for the Fukamushi Yamaga. This is our most loved sencha and it is a deep steamed tea from Shizuoka. This tea takes on a vibrant green color, a smooth yet powerful flavor and it even has some notes of lychee berry, particularly when you cold brew it.
Best gyokuro tea to try
If you want a good gyokuro to try, you can go for the Cha Musume. This tea is the most popular gyokuro produced by the legendary Mr. Sakamoto in Shibushi. This tea is made from the Yabukita cultivar and it has a direct umami flavor, pleasant sweetness and this distinct floral note which is quite enjoyable.
For more information on Mr. Sakamoto and the process he uses to produce incredible gyokuro tea, you can read our article on Mr Sakamoto Green Tea.