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This review is for the newly-released 2012 Hashiri Shincha, which I just received from Den’s. I’m so glad I pre-ordered this. For some reason it really tickles me that the leaves I am brewing in Chicago today were still on the tree in Japan so recently.

Upon opening the bag, there is the unmistakable, intoxicating scent of fresh, grassy, sweet sencha. I followed the brewing instructions (160 F for 90 seconds) and was rewarded with a yellowish-greenish liquor. My first impressions upon sipping it were of buttered green vegetables, but the “buttery” sensation soon dissipates and shifts to a sweet vegetal sort of flavor. Grassy, but not bitter. Brothy. Savory and sweet at the same time — how does it manage that? The flavors are really strong and keep shifting from vegetal and grassy to sweet and almost herbal, and the flavors are long lasting; I can still taste this tea (in a good way) several minutes after drinking it. It’s delicious; like springtime in a cup.

The first time I brewed this I let it sit for just one minute too long and it came out a tad astringent, so I would say this is a tea that is, indeed, fussy about brew times. But if you follow the directions on the package, you’ll be rewarded with a remarkably sweet and flavorful cup.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec
TeaBrat

I got this too and still need to try it!

Doug F

Sounds wonderful and I love Senchas. Upton seems not to think the situation in Japan after the Tsunami is stable because many of their Japanese teas are unavailable. I guess Den’s thinks otherwise.

ScottTeaMan

I need to start a Sencha phase…….Note to self: BUY SENCHA!!

I think there are better places to buy Sencha anyway…….not to say they don’t have some good Senchas.

Shinobi_cha

This is one of my favorite teas, by far.

One experiment: try it with boiling water! Just brew really short — 15-20 seconds. As long as you’re careful, it should be very similar to 160 for 1.5 minutes…. the bitterness may be a tad stronger, but the aftertaste will more delicious and lingering still. I say this going off of my memory of this tea from last year, (mine hasn’t yet arrived yet).

RE Triumph: The radiation concerns in Shizuoka (because radiation never affected all the growing regions in Japan) are less this year, but one still has to be careful. Nevertheless, Den’s website talks about the availability of certificates done by independent labs showing that their teas are safe for consumption. Not only this, but Japan has increased the rigidity of regulations, to the point that, in order for any company there to sell agricultural products (at least for export), the presence of radiation has to be virtually zero.

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Comments

TeaBrat

I got this too and still need to try it!

Doug F

Sounds wonderful and I love Senchas. Upton seems not to think the situation in Japan after the Tsunami is stable because many of their Japanese teas are unavailable. I guess Den’s thinks otherwise.

ScottTeaMan

I need to start a Sencha phase…….Note to self: BUY SENCHA!!

I think there are better places to buy Sencha anyway…….not to say they don’t have some good Senchas.

Shinobi_cha

This is one of my favorite teas, by far.

One experiment: try it with boiling water! Just brew really short — 15-20 seconds. As long as you’re careful, it should be very similar to 160 for 1.5 minutes…. the bitterness may be a tad stronger, but the aftertaste will more delicious and lingering still. I say this going off of my memory of this tea from last year, (mine hasn’t yet arrived yet).

RE Triumph: The radiation concerns in Shizuoka (because radiation never affected all the growing regions in Japan) are less this year, but one still has to be careful. Nevertheless, Den’s website talks about the availability of certificates done by independent labs showing that their teas are safe for consumption. Not only this, but Japan has increased the rigidity of regulations, to the point that, in order for any company there to sell agricultural products (at least for export), the presence of radiation has to be virtually zero.

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Profile

Bio

I like strong, robust flavors. My current favorites include strong black teas (Keemuns, Yunnan teas and Assams, for example), flavored blacks such as Harney’s Paris, oolongs of any kind, and gyokuros. I like Rooibos and honeybush teas as well, and other herbal blends to help me relax in the evening.

I am willing to try just about anything, but I am not particularly fond of jasmine tea, very fruity or heavily flavored blends, anything with pineapple; and I know this is practically heresy, but I don’t like Darjeelings.

Location

In my kitchen, heating water

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