When we think about Japanese tea, names like Matcha, Sencha or Genmaicha comes to our mind. But there are other interesting types of tea that deserve much more attention. One of that is Kabusecha. Tea lovers enjoy the complex flavor and umaminess that it offers. So today let’s find out more about Kabusecha, how it is made and various health benefits of this Japanese tea variety.
What is Kabusecha tea?
Kabusecha means “shaded tea” or “covered tea” in Japanese. It derived from the word “kabuseru” which means “to shade”. The tea is shade-grown naturally for a short amount of time. The period, which lasts for around 7 to 14 days increases the tea leaves’ amino acids content. Kabusecha is considered one of the premium grade of Sencha. It is quite similar to Gyokuro tea. But the covering duration for Gyokuro is longer at three weeks or can last up to a month.
Due to its cultivation method, the flavor profile of Kabusecha is more complex than regular Sencha. The astringency and grassiness are subtle in this tea. It tastes milder, refreshing, rich in umami flavor with a hint of sweetness. Most tea drinkers place Kabusecha flavor in between that of Sencha and Gyokuro.
Kabusecha is easy to brew. After brewing, it has a lovely light green color. Even though it holds a lot of similar characteristics with Gyokuro, when it comes to brewing, keep the steps that you would make a cup of Sencha. You can brew it with slightly cooler water temperature to benefit from the full umami taste of Kabusecha. The steeping time range from 30 seconds with hot water (185°F – 85°C) to 2 minutes with cooler water temperature (65 °C – 149°F).
How is Kabusecha tea made?
In order to make Kabusecha, the tea plant is covered for 7 to 14 days before harvest. The percentage of shading is around 45 to 50%. People used cloth or reed skins to cover the tea plants from the sun. The new young leaves that grow out without direct sunlight will have a darker green color and refined balance in taste.
The hand-plucked young tea leaves go through the process of steaming, rolling and drying. This process is similar to the production of other green tea varieties. Some tea makers use the deep-steamed technique during the processing of Kabusecha. The shading time and percentage of shading can vary from cultivar to cultivar. Another factor like fertilization also plays a role in differentiating the quality.
Kabusecha health benefits
Kabusecha is one of Japanese green tea variety. So you can expect to receive fantastic health benefits of green tea; plus the extra amino acids that come during the shading period.
Regular consumption of green tea proved to promote good health and prevent various diseases. Some health benefits from Kabusecha include promoting heart health, oral and digestive health. It supports the improvement of insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes and reduces the chance of developing this chronic condition.
Japanese green tea like Kabusecha is rich in antioxidants. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s study found that women who consume green tea regularly have a lower risk of colon and stomach cancer. Other studies also link green tea with slowing down the growth of tumors and cancer-causing cells.
EGCG – epigallocatechin-3-gallate, the polyphenolic compound found in green tea has shown anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It is suitable for people with oily skin in reducing sebum excretions. At the same time, extract from green tea can help with the treatment of acne, keloids and atopic dermatitis.
Kabusecha or other types of green tea can help speed up our metabolism and increase the burning of fat. It is low in caffeine and often includes in healthy weight loss plans. Besides, green tea does wonder in promote relaxation, calm our mind and reduce stress level. No wonder it is one of the most consumed drinks in the world.
Where to buy Kabusecha tea?
Kabusecha production is small compared with other widely popular Japanese tea like Sencha or Genmaicha. It accounts for less than 5% of the overall tea production in Japan. So you can expect that it is not readily available at the supermarket shelf. It is best if you can pick for yourself some premium Kabusecha when you visit Japan. But if that option is out of the way, place an order online might be the next best solution.
Organic and premium Kabusecha are often packaged in small vacuum sealed bag to keep its freshness. The price for 100 grams is at the 20 to 25 dollar mark. It is reasonable compared with other types of premium green tea like Gyokuro.
As Kabusecha is grown in different prefectures in Japan. The exact flavor of this tea varies from maker to maker.
If you are in the US and you do not have a chance to visit Japan, you still can find Kabusecha on Amazon.
List of Kabusecha products that are available in the US:
For your reference, Here is the list of a few tea brands that we recommend you to try.