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96
THE BIG FUKAMUSHI TASTING CONTEST

So I recently tried 5 different fukamushis, took notes each day, and now I’m ready to post the results and rank them! I used as equal parameters as possible to eliminate factors that could have affected the flavor or results. I am no expert or scientist; plus the results pretty much lined up with the cost of each tea, so there’s no big suprises here either!
(I’m going to put only the tasting note for each tea involved under the steepster profile of that tea, but the results I’ll include on each one).

Fukamushi Sencha Yame
6 oz + 2 tsp leaf
1st – 160, 45scds: The leaves were small (as to be expected), but were a very consistent shape and color (a darker green, it seemed, than the other fukamushis I’ve tried). As soon as I poured the water over the leaf, it let off a delicious, sweet smell…I knew it was going to be good. The color of the tea was a beautiful, clear green like matcha (in powder form, not the whisked tea). It had that glowing brightness, without the dark cloudiness that matcha has. Just by the look and smell I was guessing it was going to be very good.
It was. It came across first as a little sweetness mixed with just a hint of bitterness. There was no astringency at all. After the initial taste (which, did taste like that delicious aroma that arose when it was steeping..mmmmm), it quickly filled the mouth with such that familiar umami flavor…yet it was unique in some way that is hard to describe. It was like that to the last drop.
2nd- 180, 15scds: I don’t remember anything in particular about this one, other than it was also delicious. The umami wasn’t as strong but was still present.
3rd – 212, 15scds: A little yellower, as seems to happen with subsequent steepings. The flavor was more subdued and the mouth-filling/vegetal/umaminess wasn’t there, but it had a subtle sweetness to it. This was completely yummy in its own way. Really cool to see the different flavors this tea gave in the multiple steepings.

Drumroll please…..

1. Shincha Houryoku (Den’s)
2. Fukamushi Sencha Yame (Den’s)
3. Sen Cha (Sugimoto USA)
4. Fukamushi Sencha Special (Den’s)
5. Ocha-Zanmai Fukamushi (Yamamotoyama)

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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