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The Final Sipdown: Day 14.1

Oh, brother. Only on tea 22 and I’m already using a save. [For those who haven’t read, I have allotted myself five saves so I don’t have to finish a sample I particularly like. You can probably guess where this log is going.]

It’s official, I’m a Japanese green fangirl. I can’t help it! And let me tell you, it’s funny to me because it isn’t even necessarily the taste of the actual tea that I am enamored with. Yes, the buttery, creamy quality that many of them [including this tea] encompass is absolutely deeee-LIGHT-ful. Especially my dear, sweet kukicha. [Would it be weird to name a dog Kukicha? It’s fun to say.] The vegetal, sweet grassy notes are ones I find quite tasty, especially in concert with the other flavors that Japanese greens tend to offer.

No, the thing that I most love about Japanese greens is the aftertaste. When I’m drinking a good one, it’s absolutely sensational. Sweet and refreshing, light and yet strong, it’s a study in distilled fullness.

I don’t think that I really have that much a sweet tooth, mainly because after those first few bites that’s usually enough for me; I get over saturated on sugar. But that moment right after swallowing a particularly good bite of cake? Oh, bliss. When all the little flavors linger and swirl into a sweet shadow of the essence of what used to be. It’s like a patronus of cake. [Sorry, I’ve got Harry Potter on the brain.] That is what the aftertaste of a good Japanese green is like to me.

This particular one has a distinct citrus note to me – specifically orange. The astringent note in it even reminds me of the bitterness in orange pith. All the regular players are present and accounted for – the grassy, vegetal notes are front and center. There is a light buttery, creamy component, though it is not anywhere near as noticeable as it is on kukicha. And I’m also getting a slightly nutty note. But it’s the citrusy note give it a refreshing lift. It’s making me think of the yuzu sencha I have, but the citrus note isn’t quite that pronounced. It’s much more subtle, and yet it has presence. Now that I’ve noticed it, I can’t stop paying attention to it.

Making this tea has not only led me to a second steep, but it’s made me break out my kyusu. Don’t you realize I don’t have time to dally about with second steeps right now, tea? And yet, I find myself not really wanting to hurry, and simply to breathe.

Breathe, and appreciate being home and having a day off tomorrow.

Breathe, and be thankful for the days I have left with my family.

Breathe, and marvel at the myriad of flavors that tea can provide while the sweetness rolls over my tongue.

And now, in the way that tea has of teaching me things I wasn’t necessarily planning on learning, I am beginning to realize something. Half of the beauty in Japanese greens for me might not even lie in the physical sensations it provides, but the natural inclination to slow down and ponder upon exhalation.

Teas Downed: 22
Saves Used: 1

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 45 sec
pinky

I loved the “patronus of a cake” idea.

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pinky

I loved the “patronus of a cake” idea.

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Former coffeeist, turned teaite. Lover of writing, reading, photography, and music. Traveler of life. Known to be ridiculous on occasion.

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