75

The second to last paragraph concerns packaging and customer service so skip it if you’re not interested.
Thre’s a lot to like about this tea. Starting with the dry aroma, which was floral, relaxing, and complexly fruity-not to mention so strong I could catch wiffs of it through two plastic bags and a canvas messanger bag. Smelling the whole container in the store was like being drowned in perfume. The color of the brew is gorgous, a surprising deep red that gets a brown tinge with a few infusions.
Brewed hot, it produced four good infusions and a fifth that wasn’t bad, just too weak for my tastes. The first infusion didn’t have much sakuranbou and oddly enough, the sencha tasts grassy in a non-tea way, like it was made from the blossoms and leaves. But after that, the cherry pieces finally plumped up and permiated the liquor. The sencha serves as a nice, earthy background to the bright sakura and robust sakuranbou flavors.
I think it’s even better cold, though. The sencha is still down played, but the sakuranbou and sakura balence out and make each sip a refreshing celebration of spring.
Howeve,r I wasted two first infusions working out the brewing times and temperature. This is because the store staff did post them nor tell me when asked. I don’t want to say “disinterested” but they just didn’t seem to be concerned with the teas section. This was compounded by the bags given to hold the teas measured from the jars in the store were easily ripped and sealed with twistie-ties, not even a sticker or scotch tape. Given that they don’t sell canisters and much of their buisiness is tourism, I can’t comprehend why it would be difficult to keep a roll of tape on hand.
Summery: Break out your glass teapots. Like all sakura senchas, this tea is as beautiful to see and taste. It’s very floral and fresh, so someone looking for a leading sencha with a light accent probably won’t enjoy it. It’s certainly not the best sencha, and it lacks any bitterness or astringancy that I think would go well with the sakuranbou, but for $3.25 for 2 ounces it’s good and exactly what I was looking for. It takes about a tablespoon to make six ounces, due to how loose and bulky the leaves are.
Cold: Six hours Hot: Add 20-30 seconds and a degree each infusion
The bag in was put into (or rather what’s left of it XD):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bentobogle/4704002601/in/set-72157624283910164/

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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