This “everyday” sencha from Yamamotoyama is an excellent example of why I love Japanese products. Supposedly this is the analogue to Lipton in Japan, where people drink sencha many times each day—and tea is much more frequently imbibed than coffee. So one might surmise that the flavor would be mediocre. Not so! It’s a very decent quality sencha, and the price is ridiculously low. I have consumed my share of these bags over the years, but when the Japanese grocery close to my former place of residence closed down, I pretty much moved on.
While moving, I discovered a secret cache of a Japanese tea, including this one, and though it is old (albeit unopened and stored in a tin box far from heat and light), it still tastes very good and brews up a delightful greenish gold. I’ll be plowing through this bag in no time, and now that a huge megaplex Asian market has opened up within walking distance of my new place, I’m sure that I’ll be exploring the higher grades from this brand as well—in addition to some more obscure offerings in the tea aisle—which is vast!
I suspect that the naysayers are not following the prescribed instructions (which I added to the profile). Note that Yamamotoyama indicates that a tablespoon (not a teaspoon) should be used for 200ml of water. Also: a very short steep is key to success with this tea. Finally, there are some small particles amongst the leaves, so you need to use a very fine-gauged sieve or filter to remove them in order to avoid bitterness.
second infusion: very good!
third infusion: still good! now bright yellow.