“Tsubo-kiri” tea, as far as I understand, refers to new tea that is placed carefully into storage immediately after harvest in the spring, then opened and sold to customers in the fall. Perhaps in English you would call this “aged sencha”? This is a limited edition tea sold only in October and November. I purchased this particular tea in the Isetan department store in Kyoto.
The dry tea leaves are dark, almost bluish green and rolled very tightly into a needle shape. This must be a lighter steamed sencha, as the leaves are fairly large. Aroma is mild.
Brewed at 165°F, the result is a very nicely-balanced, smooth, and mild sencha. The taste is initially sweet, followed by an earthy savoriness and a pleasant bit of astringency. Even with this low temperature, the tightly-rolled leaves fully open up and are quite pretty.
First: 3g tea, 5oz water @ 165°F, 1 minute 30 seconds
Second: 195°F, 15 seconds