One thing I may never understand about tea is that smell never seems to equal taste. For example, I was in Teaopia and I smelled some of their Jasmine tea and it hit me like a shot of heroin, or at least similar to what I expect that to feel like. When I smell a quality Jasmine tea that I haven’t had in a while I am instantly in love. But here is the problem, when the tea is actually brewed it’s taste seems to degrade after every sip. Eventually it becomes tiring and almost like a bitter tasting perfume when drank and I realize it will take me at least a year to drink the mere 50 grams which is the minimum that they make you buy.
Point is, plain Sencha probably has the least inspiring scent out of all the teas teaopia has to offer. The dry smell is “meh”, the wet smell is still “meh”, but when I actually taste it I have no problem drinking 4 litres at a time. I actually expected to like the Temple of Heaven Gunpowder more than the Sencha, since it smells very rich dry and it does happen to cost a bit more, but no. While the gunpowder in no way tastes bad, it also seems to taste very flat, boring, and ordinary. Japinesse style is the way to go. Especially if you like a savory brew like genmaicha or tarry lapsang souchong as opposed to a tea that would be good with sugar added. Pu-erh is also terrible with sweetener added, but I guess the person who made the sample pot in the store doesn’t think so.
This might be unusual but I like to tier my steeping time and temperature quite a bit when making this tea. This way the last steep is always the best and the first steep is cold enough to drink right away.
-1st steep: 2 min at 55 Celsius
- 2nd steep: 3 min at 65 Celsius
- 3rd steep: 4 min at 75 Celsius
- 4th steep: 10 min at 85 Celsius