Monday, September 8, 2014

Green Tea 101- Well, Just Tea 101...

Did you know all teas are grown from the same plant? Matcha, Oolong, Earl Grey- all begin with the leaves of the Camelia sinensis. But its the way those leaves are treated; be it fried, dried, steamed, toasted, or withered that give each tea a distinctive personality.

A quick rundown on how tea is categorized:

Black and Oolong (sometimes called wulong) teas are made by leaving picked leaves out to dry in the sun, where they go through their “withering stage,” meaning a chemical reaction takes place when the leaves interact with the sun, causing them to oxidize. Black teas soak up the rays until turning a brownish black, while oolongs only stay out long enough to ferment partially.

Green teas are not left in the sun to oxidize like black or oolong. Freshly picked leaves are subsequently steamed or fried in a pan- keeping them from fermenting. The subtle differences in the way the leaves are rolled, flattened, and dried gives way to many different varieties(including our faves- matcha and sencha). Green tea is the only type of tea containing the antioxidant EGCG- which is said to do all kinds of things from preventing cancer and heart disease, to helping with weight loss, and freshening breath.

White tea, the rarest and least processed type of tea, has a very delicate flavor and aroma. This subtle tea is made from young leaves, picked very early in the season while the buds and still closed and covered in teeny, tiny silvery white hairs.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Don’t know Matcha ‘Bout… Breath Mints

Aspartame, phenylketonurics, blue 1, soy lecithin. The sweet taste of freshness, or science experiment gone awry?

Most of us don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about the nutritional content of those ubiquitous ice-themed breath fresheners, but many mints come equipped with warning labels that would be equally at home on something you use to scrub clean your kitchen, and are not likely to include many natural ingredients.

Like a lot of us, your first instinct is likely to hose down your mouth with the strongest menthol flavor you can find to effectively wipe out a case of dragon breath. This simply doesn't work; menthol and mint flavors might taste like they’re doing something, but they don’t have any antibacterial properties, and just temporarily cover up any unsavory flavors. Rather than throw a minty mask over the problem, avoid sugar or artificial sweeteners like saccharin and aspartame. Here’s a gross factoid to tell your friends: sugar actually provides food for bacteria, (they enjoy eating protein and sucrose, BTW) which releases sulfides when digested, creating a sticky breeding ground for germs, and contributing to tooth decay and gingivitis- yuck! Just something to consider next time the impulse mints near the checkout start calling your name...

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Los Angeles Tea Festival Returns!

Mark your calendars! The LA International Tea Festival returns next weekend, and we'll be there with free samples! Get 50% off admission when you buy your ticket online, with promo code SENCHANATURAL.
The festival runs the weekend of August 16 & 17th, from 11 am - 5 pm, at the Japanese American Museum near downtown Los Angeles. Click here for tickets & directions, and we'll see you there!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Free Green Tea +C!

This August, get a FREE box of Green Tea +C! We're promoting daily wellness to support your immune system, and what better way than an easy effervescent mix of green tea with Vitamin C?

Add a box to your cart, and it becomes free with a $50 retail purchase (or $100 wholesale order).
Did you also know the box folds open like this for easy access? Super handy for your countertop, so that you never forget your daily dose of the good stuff!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July is Dragonfruit Month!

We declare July to be Dragonfruit Month, and we're offering 20% off all Dragonfruit products!

Also known as "pitaya," this night-blooming cactus fruit originated in Mexico but made its way to the tropics of Southeast Asia, where it is now cultivated.

Named for its bright pink skin that resembles dragon scales (as well as for its climbing vine that "slithers" its way upwards), the flesh is actually a mild aromatic flavor similar to kiwi fruit.

Our Dragonfruit Mints & Green Tea +C are the perfect combo of sweet & tart... Try them today!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Interview with Kosher Artisanal

Our CEO gave a rare interview to Kosher Artisanal, which functions "as a curator for high quality, high end foods that are all Kosher." Get a glimpse into our history below!

“I think there’s a more holistic approach to health that has a lot more sustainable long term advantages than just going for the quick fix,” says David Kerdoon, founder of Sencha Naturals, a green tea breath mint producer. With an eye towards all-natural products and a lifelong interest and fascination with Asia, David established the company in 2005. “I went to college in Korea, I worked in Indonesia and Japan,” he explains. “When I was out there, I kind of fell in love with green tea.” Noticing that Americans had a skewed perspective of the product (“I always thought green tea is just a beverage,” he says), David worked towards incorporating it in less traditional ways.

Enter Sencha Naturals’ breath mints. With its own manufacturing facility in the United States, the company’s mints are made from a unique blend of green tea, obtained by combing the matcha and sencha powders that they import from Japan.

We chat with the founder and CEO (“I hate corporate titles. CEO stands for Chief Enlightenment Officer”) about Sencha Naturals’ name, its origins, and more.

What’s the inspiration behind the company’s name, Sencha Naturals?
Loosely translated, it means “green tea” in Japanese.

How did you come up with the concept?
As an American, I always thought green tea is just a beverage, but when I was going to see these herbalists and tea masters [in Asia], they were talking about how green tea would cleanse their palates, and it was [good] for their teeth, and they would scrub it in their hair. There are so many different ways to incorporate green tea beyond a beverage. I kept reading these articles about green tea being good for oral health and killing bacteria naturally, so I thought it would be cool to make a green tea breath mint. There are all of these breath mints on the market, [but] they don’t really do anything. You just have bad cool breath. The whole idea is also not liking strong mints, so make them a little more subtle, make them taste good, make them natural [so] they have some actual benefits to them.

The mints are made with whole green leaves. Where do you get them from?
We work with a small farm in an area in Japan called Shizuoka, that’s where we get our green tea. [The farmer] produces both matcha and sencha powders.

And you combine the two powders to make your own blend?
Yes, we have our own custom blend because it helps balance out the [powders]. That’s how we don’t get this really stringent bitterness.

Tell us about the process of making the breath mints.
We have or own manufacturing facility. What we do is that we bring both of these green teas in, we then blend [them] with other ingredients that help keep the mint put together. We use a non-GMO sorbitol, we use fennel, we have different herbs that we put in the mint. We also put peppermint oil, but we actually evaporate out the peppermint note, because what happens is that if you have peppermint it overwhelms the other flavors. We blend all that together and then we have our own tablet presser. Picture this big funnel, [where] the powder falls down, and there’s a machine that turns circular and kind of punches this powder with this really heightened pressure to form a mint.

Is there caffeine in the product?
There is, but it’s very low. As a generality, an average cup of coffee [contains] about 100 milligrams. Green tea is about a third of that, it’s around 30 milligrams. And then matcha and sencha are about one third of green tea, so it’s about 10 milligrams over three mints.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about the natural products industry?
There’s a misconception that natural means it’s less powerful and it’s not going to work. I would say that’s our biggest hurdle. You can be natural and still be affective. It’s just getting over this whole western ideology that western medicine and antibiotics are the only way to go.

What do you love most about the industry?
I think people in the natural products industry are really passionate about what they do. [They] really want to better other people’s lives and the environment, and I think there’s some genuineness to it. They’re not just saying it. I feel like it goes beyond profits and I like being around those kinds of people. We’re friends with our competitors. We try to work together; it’s more about sharing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Introducing Fresh Melon! The Summer's Newest Mint Flavor

Ripe for summer! Introducing our newest Artisan Edition variety of Green Tea Mints: FRESH MELON! This seasonal variety is juicy & refreshing... just what you need to cool off all summer long!

Fresh Melon is only here for the summer season, so get yours today! Order here: