Learn all the differences between Sencha vs Genmaicha

Sencha vs Genmaicha is a comparison many people make, as these are two of the most popular green teas in Japan. In this article, we are going to compare genmaicha vs sencha tea to see what makes these two green teas similar and what makes them different.

We’re also going to go into a genmaicha sencha benefits comparison, to see which one might be a better choice for you. Without further ado, let’s get started.


Comparing Sencha vs Genmaicha

What is Sencha?

Sencha is the most common type of green tea in Japan. It’s made from young tea sprouts that have been steamed, rolled and dried. You will usually find the dry tea rolled into these tight needle shapes, which lock in the flavor until it is ready to be released all at once into a glorious green infusion.

The flavor of sencha tea tends to be on the sweeter side compared to other green teas, with a hint of this grassy flavor and citrusy astringency.

What is Genmaicha?

Genmaicha is made by mixing tea leaves with pieces of toasted rice. This began as a way for people to stretch out their tea supplies and make it last longer, and now it is a popular Japanese green tea enjoyed by people all around the world.

The pieces of toasted rice add a pleasant, sweet cereal note to the tea, which can be quite soothing both in the morning and in the evening.


Sencha vs Genmaicha Caffeine

Sencha caffeine level is more or less 40mg per serving and genmaicha can have as little as 10mg of caffeine per serving. The big difference in the caffeine of sencha vs genmaicha comes from the addition of the roasted rice. Because the toasted rice contains no caffeine, it reduces the overall caffeine content of the genmaicha tea. This is one of the major differences between genmaicha vs sencha.

Which teas are highest and lowest in caffeine? For a complete ranking of teas based on their caffeine content, you can read our guide on 👉 Which Tea Has the Most Caffeine

sencha tea harvesting affect caffeine level

How picking Genmaicha vs Sencha influences caffeine content

Another difference between sencha vs genmaicha has to do with the type of leaves used to produce the teas. Sencha is typically made from the younger leaves of the tea plant, while genmaicha is made from the older tea leaves. These are the leaves used to make bancha tea.

Not only do these older leaves have a milder flavor, but also a lower caffeine content.

Why Does the Tea Plant Produce Caffeine?

The tea plant produces caffeine as a defense mechanism to protect itself against insects. Because the younger leaves are more tender, they produce more caffeine. The older, more mature leaves are thicker, so they don’t need as much protection.

This is why teas made from younger leaves like gyokuro, matcha and sencha are high in caffeine and teas made from older leaves like genmaicha, bancha and hojicha are low in caffeine.


What are the benefits of Genmaicha vs Sencha?

To do a quick genmaicha sencha benefits comparison, lets take a look at three different aspects of the tea and see how they compare to one another.

Health benefits

When it comes to the overall nutrient profile of sencha vs genmaicha, sencha may just take the cake. Even though the older tea leaves might be higher in certain minerals, the younger leaves are higher in caffeine, theanine and antioxidants.

One thing worth noting is that if you are sensitive to caffeine, you may find that genmaicha is a better fit for you, particularly later on in the day.


The flavor of sencha is more complex, with notes of sweet corn, spring grass and steamed vegetables. You may get a tiny hint of astringency with this tea, but it is well balanced by the sweetness of the young tea sprouts.

If you are a fan of these warmer flavor profiles, you may prefer genmaicha. The toasted rice in this tea gives the flavor some of these sweet cereal and caramel notes that can be quite pleasant. Finally, this tea does contain pieces of roasted rice that makes this tea tastes like coffee.

If you’re interested in learning about how you can improve the taste of your green tea, you can learn all about it in our guide on 👉 How to Make Green Tea Taste Good


When it comes to the price between genmaicha vs sencha, there really is no contest. Genmaicha is one of the more inexpensive types of Japanese green tea, and it can be as little as a third the price of a premium sencha. By the way, Genmaicha is included in our list of the Best Cheap Loose Leaf Teas

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