Sencha Brewing Guide


Brewing sencha in a Banko Kyuusu

Sencha brewing overview

Japanese teas are usually brewed in small teapots called kyuusu (急須) - if you don't have one, any teapot will work, but kyuusu work best (check our current selection of ceramics for kyuusu).

Sencha is sensitive to water temperature. The basic thing to keep in mind with sencha is that you don't want your water too hot and you don't want to steep for a long time.

Most senchas brew best between 70-80C (160-175F), for around 30 seconds to 1 minute. The hotter your water, the less time you want to brew for. The goal of brewing is for the leaves to open.

Senchas will give you good flavor for 3 brewings - there's no limit to how many times you can brew, but the flavor will start to thin out.


How to brew in a teapot

The basic recipe:

Leaves: 3-5g

Water: 120-150ml at 70-80C (160-175F)

Time: 30s-1m 


Casual traditional method:

Boil your water, in the meantime measure your leaf and put it into your teapot. Bring the water all the way to boiling - it's then cooled to the desired temperature by pouring it into cups or vessels, each time dropping the temperature.

  1. First, fill your teacups with boiled water. This warms your cups, and cools the water.
  2. Measure your tea leaf and put it into the teapot. 3g or roughly a large tablespoon for 1 person, add another spoonful for 2-3 people.
  3. Pour the water from your cups into the teapot. This will be around 120-150ml of water if you're using traditional teacups, and it'll be around 70-80C (160-175F), cooling while you prepare the leaf. This is a traditional and convenient way to prepare your water without needing thermometers or special instruments.
  4. Wait for the leaves to start to open up. This usually takes 30 seconds to around 1 minute - oversteeping will make bitter tea, really keep it under a minute or so.
  5. Pour a little at a time into each of the cups, alternating between them. The tea gets stronger as it pours, so this is to ensure everyone has the same cup.
  6. Pour out every last drop. You don't want hot water to remain behind, because it will continue to cook the tea.
  7. After enjoying your first cup, you can add new hot water for 2nd and 3rd brewings. For these brewings, don't wait for any time at all after adding your water to the teapot, just serve straight away. The tea leaves have already opened fully by this point, and don't need time to steep.


  • Mugs and western style teacups are much larger than Japanese teacups, so just fill partway if you're using that kind.
  • Kyuusu typically serve 1-3 people, and if you're serving more, you can just make additional brewings.
  • Once you get the hang of it, play with how much leaf you're using - a little more, and little less, find the strength you enjoy.
  • The traditional water cooling vessel is the yuzamashi, but if you don't have one of those you can use a bowl or another cup.


Brewing Asamushi and Fukamushi Sencha

For light-steamed asamushi senchas, you'll likely need a little more time for the leaves to start to open, around 1 minute to 90 seconds.

For deep-steamed fukamushi senchas, the leaves are broken down more by the deep steaming, so they need less time to open, usually not more than 30 seconds. It's best to aim for water that's a bit cooler too, around 70C (160F).