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I’m sitting in my dining room with my bread dough rising and a couple of hours to relax, trying the first of two Upton senchas. I must say something about the packaging: while Harney & Sons is my favorite, I really like these personalized round labels from Upton that can be placed on your own tea tin.

I heated the water to under boiling and have brewed my first mug for almost two minutes. The dry leaves have a hay-like aroma, but the wet leaves have that lovely vegetal scent with a little added essence that, for some reason, makes me think of salt and the ocean. The liquor is not at all green, but a goldenrod hue.

The flavor? Well… This mug is rather bitter. I’m not sure if my brewing technique is the problem but the bitterness is strong and unpleasant. Lets try a second steeping… No… In trying to lessen the bitterness with a lower temperature, the flavor is weak. Steeping it longer brings out the bitterness.

I’m going to have to give myself some time to learn how to brew this or to let the flavor grow on me. It’s a bit harsh, with none of the sweet finish I’m told should be there. Maybe this tea will pair well with my grain teas (a la genmaicha).

By the way, I hated to do it but I added the tiniest bit of stevia to cut the harshness, and it helped. Oh, I’m soooo disappointed! What am I doing wrong? Is it supposed to taste like this?

Claire

How long did you steep it for? I usually get Sencha from Den’s and it seems to be best with a really short steep, about 30 seconds.

VeryPisces

I love sencha and steep it starting around 30 seconds and moving up from there. Nothing had worked yet for this, but some soba helped make up for my disappointment. :-/

El Monstro

Try adding more leaves but keeping the temp low? I steeped it for 3 minutes at 170F, used a heaping teaspoon of tea…turned out well.

VeryPisces

I’ve experimented using both your suggestions and have finally been able to enjoy it. A 30 sec or so steeping with a heaping “perfect teaspoon.”

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Claire

How long did you steep it for? I usually get Sencha from Den’s and it seems to be best with a really short steep, about 30 seconds.

VeryPisces

I love sencha and steep it starting around 30 seconds and moving up from there. Nothing had worked yet for this, but some soba helped make up for my disappointment. :-/

El Monstro

Try adding more leaves but keeping the temp low? I steeped it for 3 minutes at 170F, used a heaping teaspoon of tea…turned out well.

VeryPisces

I’ve experimented using both your suggestions and have finally been able to enjoy it. A 30 sec or so steeping with a heaping “perfect teaspoon.”

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Uselessly overeducated, bored travel agent for whom teas are a blessed escape. I switched to tea after a lifetime of Pepsi addiction and haven’t looked back.

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