280 Tasting Notes
I got a sample of this, and it is very nice.
I’d call it a pleasant, every-day kind of sencha. It’s grassy, a little sweet, and there’s very little about it that I think non-green tea drinkers would find unpleasant. The 2nd and 3rd infusions were also very dark, almost like a fukamushi, but it seems to be light-steamed.
I’m glad to have finally tried this, and I’d recommend it for anyone new to Japanese tea.
This is my first karigane (gyokuro-based kukicha), and it is a very interesting, enjoyable tea. The word ‘tart’ is a perfect descriptor. There’s a bit of the sweetness and strong flavor of gyokuro, but the tartness is one of the main flavors. I don’t think I’ve had any tea like it before, actually.
Regular kukicha (sencha-based leaf twigs), which I very much enjoy, is quite different from this. Though there may be some tartness in kukicha, I seem to remember it being sweeter, with a strong aroma.
Anyway, this is a great tea if you want sencha or gyokuro, but something a little different. It’s enjoyable and hard to mess up (even at hot temps it hasn’t become bitter).
This is definitely a mild, but smooth tea. It’s from the 2010 crop, so that could explain the muted flavor. Mild isn’t bad, but, I’ve had a hard time discovering what it actually tastes like… I’ve used a lot of leaf, or hot water, and/or vice-versa, but so far, what I can say is that it’s good – feels and even tastes a little creamy!
It’s enjoyable, but there are so many other options it’s unlikely I’d consider it again. Not that this matters, O-cha isn’t even currently offering it, as it comes from Shizuoka and there are a lot of fears about teas from this region presently. Eh, I’m not worried about buying tea from there at all . . . I’d say our prayers should be for the people who live in the midst of it and have no choice as to whether to eat or drink from contaminated sources!
This was like a typical hashiri shincha (first of the first flush).
Like these, it has a very fresh, young bitterness that is delicious, and accompanied by a sweet aftertaste.
Unlike your typical one though, the leaves were perfect… almost all fully intact and beautiful. The look is definitely reflected in the taste… a highlight of this year’s crop!
I think of the two ‘artisan’ shinchas offered by Shirakata Denshiro Shoten, this one slightly edges out the other (Moriuti Yoshio’s shincha), but barely.
I knew this would be good, but not this good.
After the first steep, I lifted the lid and the fragrant leaves make me take a step back. Had I a chair, I would have had to sit down.
From what I can remember, this is as good as the award winning gyokuro from Den’s Tea; actually it is probably a bit better. Not the best tea I’ve had, but pretty darn close.
Even though it isn’t a lot of water (2oz for 8g leaf), the tiniest sips explode with flavor. It’s intense.
100 – what more can be said?
Smooth, and the flavors are delicious and well-balanced!
I think the best parameters I’ve tried thus far are:
1g per 1oz, 140 F: 2 mins, then 45 seconds, then 2 mins 15 seconds
All three steepings were very pleasing. The third was surprisingly still full of flavor and subtlety. This tea showed that I could find a good asamushi sencha outside of Honyama. I didn’t doubt that it was possible, but hadn’t had any light-steamed sencha that compared. I recommend it!