This tea, along with Samovar’s Ryokucha, is what propelled me to power through my Calculus test this morning. The dregs of the caffeine’s effects are also what is propelling me through packaging up some stuff for a tea swap.
This is one of the best senchas I’ve ever had. It hits all the points I’ve come to associate with one that is well-balanced – vegetal, approaching roasty, with a sweet chlorophyll taste from the grassy side that at sometimes reminds me of hay, a hint of brine that keeps it from feeling like you’re sucking on a string bean, and it teases just enough at bitterness to keep it interesting.
The nice thing about this sencha is that the flavor is nice and full, but I don’t find it hard-hitting, if that makes sense. It’s not like it’s being pushed on to you, or bowling you over. It just kind of sighs into your mouth and blankets your tongue. The push and the pull of all the different flavors as they swirl and meet and break is fantastic.
The tea’s got a nice, smooth texture to it. Holding the bag, it’s weighty. Like you’re holding something luxurious and of substance. The actual leaves are crumbled, as is characteristic of sencha, but they feel rich, have an almost silky quality. As a liquid, it brews into a nice, bright, lime-y color. Finishing the cup leaves a residue that looks like matcha. I’m not sure if it qualifies as that, but it sure looks like it.
Maeda-en recommends that you take care on the water temperature, and I recommend that you heed their advice. This tea has a delicacy to it and unless you’re seeking bitterness it’ll hit you if you’re not careful. I’ve also been brewing this pretty short. On a day when I think I can take the rollercoaster of changes greens can undergo when you mess with their parameters, I’ll play around with it some more, but I’m pretty happy where I’m at for now.
If you want to get a good baseline for sencha, I’d highly recommend trying this one out. Also, if you’ve tried a genmaicha but couldn’t get on board with the rice they add to it, this might be your bag. It’s fantastic for days that require prolonged productivity, or when you find yourself craving a nice, solid green tea.