This was the first sencha I ever tried that wasn’t one of those prepackaged loose leaf variants from the local Japanese markets. I was looking to taste a higher quality sencha (but not spend too much at first) to see what I had been missing, and after lurking through various tea forums, Den’s tea appeared to be the best in value and quality. So I ordered 2 oz from Den’s and received the tea nicely packaged in a sealed air tight foil bag with an oxygen absorber inside. I really liked how Den’s pays so much attention at preserving the tea’s freshness and the detailed presentation of the package, containing all the information and instructions needed about the tea you just bought.
The tea itself has a very nice sweet grassy aroma and the leaves had a vivid dark green color to them. Compared to store bought senchas, you can definitely smell the freshness of this tea, like recently picked leaves. The dry leaves were mostly made of long and short broken needles.
I prepared this tea using a Japanese Kyusu and following the suggested brewing guidelines of 180F water and 1 min steep time for the first brew (the second brew I used boiling water and 15 sec steep time as directed by Den’s).
The first brew gave me a bright green cup with a fresh “green” aroma. It reminded me of freshly cut grass with a hint of seaweed in the mix. The taste was very enjoyable. It had a refreshing grassy flavor, sweet, and slightly astringent. The second brew was done with boiling water and I steeped it just for 15 seconds. The tea came out with a much darker opaque green color. The aroma remained the same, but the taste became a bit heartier with more a pronounced astringent finish. I only brewed this tea twice.
The wet leaf had a very seaweedy smell with cooked veggies in between. The leaves also had a very nice bright green color.
Overall, I found this tea quite enjoyable and love to pair it with Japanese food. Loved the freshness this tea offers compared to the store bought versions. I enjoyed the first brew better than the second as it was slightly sweeter but still, I appreciated the robust flavor of the second.