The dry leaf makes me sad. Not shiny, not a pretty green and the needles have a few full ones but a lot of broken ones – and this has no indication of being a deeply steamed sencha so we should have longer, full leaves. I wasn’t really expecting anything more, but one can hope, you know? The smell was interesting… faint but sweet but dry and not rich or buttery or vegetal at all. Once put in my preheated Tokoname pot, they did smell better but I’m not going to take that to mean too much because my pot alone smells nice when it’s been heated because it’s been used for sencha so much. The tea does smell stronger than my pot alone, so it’s not a total lost cause, but it’s still not looking good.
The resulting liquid is… yellow. And wet. That’s pretty much it. Very little smell and the taste is hot and… astringent at the end. And that astringency builds quickly to a salty taste that takes up residency at the tip of my tongue and just hangs on. That tastes adds a little thickness to an otherwise very thin bodied tea.
Problem one with this tea: it’s not the type of sencha I like. It’s obviously a lighter steamed sencha based on the clear yellow color and I prefer the richness from a deep steamed sencha. But problem number two: it’s not a good example of a lightly steamed sencha. It’s bland and has very little taste, only bitterness. The leaves are either old or weren’t stored well and that probably doesn’t help the lack of taste.
The only positive I’m going to give this tea is that I did finish my whole cup. But I’m not even going to try a second steep.