A resoundingly fresh Japanese green evidenced the moment the foil bag within the signature H&S tin is opened. This tea has an unmistakable scent of concentrated spinach and greens, and is supremely vegetal, perhaps one of the most I’ve tasted. Given the pricing of this premium tea, one should be judicious with their cups and savor the flavors.
I use 170 degree water for steeping with a metal mesh top strainer so the leaves could expand freely rather than being constrained in the t-sac bags I often use. I let it go for about 3 minutes. H&S recommends 155 degrees but the extra heat seems to bring out more of the sweetness in the tea, and I prefer just a hint of sweetness. The taste is more mild than the scent of the dry leaves but is wholly vegetal and rich.
I do not think this is a tea for beginners, but rather those who appreciate the spectrum of green teas and understand the difference between Japanese and Chinese green teas.