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86

Sipdown no. 65 of the year 2014. A teabag from the work stash. This is only technically a sipdown because of form factor. I have more Den’s sencha, maybe even more samples—just not more in teabag form.

I love the way dry sencha smells. It reminds me of cut grass, only more food-like. This steeped to a light chartreuse color and the aroma is of warm cut grass with something reminiscent of melted, salted butter around the edges.

The flavor is light, mild and somewhat sweet, not at all bitter. And I wonder whether it’s the same tea in the organic sencha sample I tried a while back. In any case, in looking what I wrote about the organic sencha, I’m having the same thoughts about this. It’s very pleasant if what you want is a light straight green tea.

I wonder if it has suffered some because of its age, though it was in a sealed plastic packet because the taste isn’t quite as robust as I recall the organic sencha being. I’m rating it the same as I rated that, taking age into account.

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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