This organic green tea from Thé Santé is a bit disappointing, relative to some of their other superlative sencha offerings.
I noticed right off that there were quite a few twigs mixed in with the dried leaves. Then when I infused the tea, I found that the liquor was more golden than green. The taste is not strictly “sencha”-like. To me, it seems more like a generic green, more baked than steamed. It could even be Chun Mee!
Interestingly enough, I was musing to myself while imbibing the first infusion of this pot that the brew seemed more like a medium-grade China green (possibly a blend of some sort), than a high-grade Japanese sencha. It simply lacked that je ne sais quoi of the senchas dear to me.
All of this I observed before reading at the website that, in fact, in contrast to the labeling on my packet, which states quite boldly that “Japan” is the country of origin, this is a China-sourced tea prepared à la Fuji Sencha from Japan! I cannot say that it is false advertising, because my purchase was based on the information at the website (I ordered quite a few packets simultaneously to meet the free shipping threshold), but I was looking forward to a pot of sencha this afternoon, and this packet does say that it is from Japan.
Disappointing, but I am at least vindicated in all of my observations. I did not first discover that this was a China-sourced tea and then interpret the brew negatively, laboring under the fairly pervasive anti-China prejudices which can be seen and read all around. No, I found myself surprised that a tea from Japan could seem so much like an average China green, and then learned a bit later that it was!