Sencha Overture

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Green Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
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175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 16 oz / 473 ml

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From Adagio Teas

Green tea from the Shizuoka region of Japan. Sencha translates as ‘common,’ but there is nothing ordinary about this exquisite ‘spider leg’ tea. The latter refers to the leaves’ long, slender shape. Our ‘Sencha Overture’ is a wonderfully delicate second flush (summer) tea whose soothing taste and fresh green scent make it a perfect everyday treat.

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at and in many gourmet and health food stores.

37 Tasting Notes

1319 tasting notes

I can haz stealth tea!

As in I once mentioned not being very familiar with japanese greens apart from some sencha way back when and a few assorted and barely remembered samples. And genmaicha, of course, which is almost a category all to itself. This lead to a swap between EvaPeva and myself, only yours truly sent out a package and then forgot all about.

Imagine my surprise when I find a big yellow envelope in my letterbox this afternoon! This day started out with some pretty solid reluctance to go to work, finding out that work wasn’t actually so bad (following up Uber-Bad tuesday with a day in which everything just works.) and then coming home to this! Only downside is now I’m wondering if I’ve ripped EvaPeva off, because… pokes selection Wow. Let’s just say that I am most definitely about to be edumacated in japanese greens!

Anyway, after wibbling for a while about which one to try first (and writing the intro to this post), I decided on a sencha because that’s always the first one that comes to my mind when I think ‘japanese green’ and because there seems to have been an outbreak of people singing the praises of sencha lately. I was feeling a little inspired by that.

The leaves have a lovely colour. Such a deep, dark green, like pine needles. That’s one of my favourite colours, so that’s a few points in favour right there. They have a sweet, grassy smell too which is actually really nice. It’s funny, I’m sure I’ve used the word ‘grassy’ before, but it wasn’t until I smelled this one that I really feel like I figured out what I actually mean with that.

I don’t own a fancy-pants thermometer and usually when I need water of a lower temperature than boiling I just wait and let it cool off for a bit and wing it from there. I have a funny instinct that with this one I should wait just a wee bit longer than I usually do. Not sure why, it’s just an feeling, so I’m going with that and arming myself with patience here. (Maybe at this point I ought to actually go to Adagio’s site and look it up…). So here we are. Waiting. Patiently. Or something.

Okay, I’ve waited long enough!

It has that funny radioactive neon yellow-y green colour that makes me wonder if tea can actually glow in the dark (wouldn’t it we cool if it could?). I always thought that the smell of genmaicha must be largely due to the popped rice, because it had this toasted sort of smell. Not like popcorn, but something kind of along the lines. I’ve just discovered that that wasn’t really the rice at all. Not unless someone invented invisible rice. It’s a green sort of toasty though. I have a suspicion that I ought to be able to recognise this aroma as being similar to something else. Just can’t think what it could be. Asparagus maybe? Or something like that.

For such a relatively pale tea it sure does have a lot of flavour. A LOT lot! I’m thinking spinach here. And a little butter.
Second cup has a bit of a bite to it what with the way I have the leaves loose in the pot and all, but it’s still that same spinach-y flavour underneath. With a little butter. And a lot of bite. This is also where that toasty, slightly nutty, flavour comes out more. I don’t think I’ve been oversteeping my genmaicha, as I was barely even steeping it at all, but I’m definitely recognising the flavour from there.

…Sooo, if I drink a tea that smells like asparagus and tastes like spinach, does that mean I can get out of eating my greens?

Anyway, lesson the first in japanese green: Very nice! I could fall for this one. Next will be to see how this particular one holds up to other senchas. An adventure for another day.


WOHO for Japanese greens!!!=D


:) glad you started with this one actually………the others ones are going to be higher grade…’ll see the differences immediately. This one is great for everyday consumption.


Yeah, I didn’t check what other people had said until afterwards and was surprised that most people found it relatively mediocre. My rating stands for now, but I suspect I may have to knock it down a little bit later on. I was quite surprised about the genmaicha thing. I did know what genmaicha is made on, but all those things I thought were the rice! That was really odd. I have some water cooling off for a second steep at the moment.


Ohemgee, I’ve had those exact thoughts about sencha and its near glow-in-the-dark properties! Glad I’m not the only one!


It’s odd and colour shifting. When it sits and develop a bit it turns all yellow. I noticed that with the genmaicha I had too, but didn’t think that much of it. Another one of those things that I didn’t know was a trait of the type (apparently) and not just of that particular tea.



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1281 tasting notes

Continuing down my Japanese tea route I will be drinking this tea next. My husband prefers black tea or heavily oxidized Oolong but I am hoping he will eventually learn to appreciate green tea as much as I do. Hopefully his new tea bowl will help him to do so.

I didn’t like Adagios description of spider legs cringes but I can understand why they used it. In appearance the leaves are thin, crisp, fairly long and pointy with dark green and green/yellow colours. They have a strong and sweet grassy yet perfumed scent.

Once steeped it has a very mild aroma but the grassy tones are still noticeable. Flavour is sweet and grassy with a light floral finish, smoother than I was expecting and fresher too. It has a dry after taste that remains sweet and perfumed. If I was to compare the sweetness to the likeness of anything it would be sweetpea partially because of it’s rich green and grassy nature matching the sweetness.

Additional steeps bring out more sweetness and thicker grassy tones whilst the dry perfumed after taste reduces.

I wasn’t expecting much from this but it really is pleasant. A good all around every day Sencha.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

Ewww yeah, the spider leg description is very unappealing.

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98 tasting notes

So I ordered a ton of Japanese green tea to try out in my new Kyusu that I bought myself for destroying finals.

Dry Smell: Smells like fruit leather, strawberry fruit leather.

Wet Smell: Smells like Matcha with a little bit of sugar.

So I rather enjoyed this as my first Japanese green tea (outside of Matcha). It pretty much tasted just like Matcha only a little sweeter then I’m used to. It tasted nice and clean and distinctly different from how Chinese green tea tends to taste.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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158 tasting notes

I’m pretty torn over this one. It smells good in the tin — to me, at least; I can definitely see how this flavor profile is one that people probably either love or hate — though I was worried it was going to have that weird seaweed-fish flavor that some green teas seem to have. I don’t even know enough about green tea to know which varieties produce that fishy taste, though I know they’re supposed to be Japanese.

I got distracted toward the end of the steep time and I’m not certain by how long. 30 seconds is my guess, but it could’ve been more. I guess I shouldn’t have worried though…my lack of enthusiasm isn’t that it’s too strong, but that I wanted it to taste just the way it smelled after it brewed, and it doesn’t. Maybe that’s because the water wasn’t quite hot enough (though the recommendation is 180, so the five degrees seems like it shouldn’t matter)? I’m finding that I really really like the smell…‘vegetal’ doesn’t even begin to totally cover it…but it doesn’t seem thick and chewy the way that it smells, and that’s what it made me want. The taste isn’t bad, but the rift between what it promises and what it delivers is enough to make me sort of disappointed with what I’m getting. I won’t have any trouble finishing the tin, but if there are sencha teas out there that actually follow through on how pungent they are, I’d rather look for those than reorder this one. Not knowing enough about sencha makes it hard to know that for certain, but it should be fun to look!

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Adagio’s is a good kind of starter sencha in that it isn’t that objectionable for sencha newbies… there are lots of more flavorful ones out there that will give you that more pungent taste that matches the smell. Personally, I enjoy Den’s offerings but there are lots of vendors out there that specialize in Japanese greens that I’ve heard good things about (,,, itoen, ippodo..) though I haven’t gotten to try many of them. One day I will try them all. Oh yes.


All of that is really good information to have. I’ll definitely check one of those out…maybe start with Den and poke at the others to see if they’re not intimidating! Thanks for the tips.

East Side Rob

Wow, my wife made some Lung Ching (Dragonwell) the other day and, damn, it kinda does smell like fish. I’m going to try not to make that association, however the next time I have a cup.

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21 tasting notes

I’ve written in the past about the bitter nature of this tea and how I never find the sweetness that some others have noted.

Well, I’m writing today to update that. I brewed my morning cup at work today. The tempature was a bit of an unknown since it was heated in a water cooler/dispenser, but I brewed it for as little as possible. Probably around 30 seconds.

And Eureka, it has a smooth, mellow, toasted flavor with what could be described as a sweet aftertaste.

Very good.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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46 tasting notes

Drinking this tea this afternoon to keep the energy levels consistent. The first few times that I made this tea I really didn’t like it to be quite honest. It was bearably bitter and extremely vegetal. There was a very quiet note of sweetness and ever since noticing that sweetness I’ve been trying to bring that flavor out even more. I’ve tried various amounts of tea, steep times, and steep temperatures in the attempt to get it right. Today I believe I have found a formula that works for my palate.

I brew in a 12 oz mug and use 1.5 tsps of tea leaf. I steep this tea for 2 minutes (really exact timing is essential) at 170º. The sweetness of the tea is still a bit hidden but it comes out more on the second steep. However, the bitterness and vegetal flavors have subsided a bit using this formula. I notice more of a balance in flavors rather than very distinct notes all vying for my attention. This formula has enabled me to raise my rating but not as high as other teas still because I just don’t know if this is the right sencha for me.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Haha, it was the same for me. It took me a while before I finally enjoyed Sencha.

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61 tasting notes

Putting off work and back logging tea.
I had this last night and was only half way paying attention. From my recollection, it is very very vegetal. In fact, I felt like I got my daily serving. But, as a veggie person I wasn’t terribly bother by it.
As for being a sencha, my plate isn’t well rounded enough to say it was good or bad, but from my one prior experience with sencha (at Texlux now that I think of it) this is what I think of when I imagine sencha.
Again, I might have over steeped it and will aim for about only a minute next time round.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

The Japanese greens tend to be a lot more grassy than the Chinese, but “very, very vegetal” sounds like you’ve over-steeped it – Japanese greens are pretty sensitive to that sort of thing.


I do over steep my teas more often then I like to admit, I will retry with much less steep time!

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260 tasting notes

This isn’t a bad tea by any means. It definitely tastes like sencha. Buuut, it’s not as full flavored as other senchas I’ve had.

Those distinctly grassy, vegetal notes are present. They’re just…not quite as opaque. Almost like they’re slightly translucent? Someone needs to adjust this tea’s alpha channel. [Apologies, horrid photoshop reference there.]

To be fair, and maybe it’s because I’ve been drinking a lot more black tea, most green tea has a sense of translucence to it. The flavor in greens is always absolutely present, but most have a kind of watery quality to them. Which makes sense in a way, I guess. That characteristic is just more present in this tea.

All of this leads me to conclude that this might be a very good starter tea for someone who is looking to get into greens. However, as someone who has grown to acquire the taste of sencha it just isn’t cutting it. It’d do in a pinch, though.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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87 tasting notes

This is as basic sencha as you can get. It smells nice from the tin, sweet and creamy and looks fresh with deep green colored leaf.

I’m brewing it as I usually brew senchas – 3 consecutive steepings at 160F in a kyusu.

1st infusion – 1 min 20 secs – sweet creamy taste, not bad but not complex either.
2nd infusion- 10 secs – deeper color, somewhat murky brew with noticeable bitterness that I don’t appreciate at all.
3d infusion – 30 secs – lighter, still bitter, flavor is almost non-existent.

Summarizing everything I said above this sencha can be brewed only once and should be considered as an introduction tea for those who haven’t tried Japanese teas before.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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862 tasting notes

Ok, I’m having trouble really explaining what I want to, here. (I’ve restarted this note like 5 times only to erase and begin again.)

So, the gist: ordered Samurai sampler because I was dreadfully curious about Adagio’s products, and also because I was pretty positive I liked green tea, but hadn’t tried enough variety to really be sure.

This is my first one of the four samples, and I am super excited about the other three after trying this. I got that steamed green smell right away after steeping, it smelled a bit like spinach to me, honestly. Which is a good thing; I love spinach. I drank it straight, which is another good thing. I normally have to use sweetener of some kind in tea to get the flavor I like – but this was just so good I downed the cup before I gave it any thought.

So yummy!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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