75
drank Sencha Zuiko by Den's Tea
311 tasting notes

This is a sweet, vegetal sencha I’m drinking to start the day. Alternating it with the Sencha Shin-ryoku, it might have a bit more umami, but really hard to be sure. They’re very similar, and I prefer both to the Fukamushi sencha maki I bought previously from Den’s.

I’m still pretty new to the Japanese greens, first tried them just six months ago, so have only had half a dozen different senchas, mostly small samples, to compare this to.

Shinobi_cha

Now you’ve had a ‘lot’ more experience with Japanese greens, have you tried it again to see what you think?

Interestingly, the first time I had this, I enjoyed it enough to buy more, but it wasn’t until I had been drinking it for a while, and then tried a few other senchas, that I really appreciated it.

Any senchas (other than from Den’s Tea) that you recommend?

(I’m new to Japanese greens as of just one year ago now, all because of Den’s Tea $3 sampler!)

teaddict

Haven’t tried it again yet. I have tried enough other senchas to be clear that I have a strong preference for teas with less umami, so the sweetness shines through more, but this year I ordered some teas straight from a couple of different suppliers, and haven’t drunk through them yet. I probably will be ordering from Dens again within a few months, but not sure what I’ll order.

So many lovely teas to explore, and so little time! For sencha particularly, I really love it as my morning tea, but I rarely have the time to give it the proper attention later in the day—and sencha is touchy enough that I definitely have to give it time. So I go through my senchas slowly.

From last year’s harvests, I particularly enjoyed Sayamakaori and Honyama senchas from Yuuki Cha, and another Honyama from Norbu (the ‘Zairai’ varietal).

….just checked Den’s pages again, and guess what? The Shin-ryoku is from Honyama. I think there is a pattern developing here!

Shinobi_cha

That makes sense about the sweetness; I’m pretty sure the Zuiko is more umami than sweet. This last fall, Den’s came out with a ‘Kuradashi’ (aged) sencha; it was the same tea as the Shin-ryoku or Zuiko, but aged 6 months. That was somewhat sweeter and very citrusy, compared to the regular Zuiko — my favorite sencha this year so far.

Yes, I think the Zuiko and Shin-ryoku are from the same exact tea garden. I don’t know what the processing difference is to make the former more expensive than the latter though.
Interesting; I’ve noticed a few from Yuuki Cha and I may check them out someday. Once I’ve drunk through what I have in my cupboard (which is full right now), I want to try Hojo Tea and O-cha. Hojo has a Zairai sencha also from Honyama I believe. I read (I think on Hojo’s website) that Honyama is one of the oldest high-quality tea growing regions.

teaddict

When I next order from Den’s, I’ll probably stick to the Shin-ryoku, because the Zuiko was more strongly vegetal, with higher umami, which is not what I prefer. The only clear productions differences in the listings is a note that the Zuiko comes from a single garden, and is ‘scissor picked’ rather than machine harvested or hand picked.

Shinobi_cha

I’ve sampled the Shin-ryoku before, but I need to get try it again; the fact that you say it is sweeter or whatever makes me think I would like it. Perhaps the Kuradashi is actually their Shin-ryoku, and that explains why I liked it more than the Zuiko. I email and ask them what the difference is between the two, since I know it is the same family that produces both.

teaddict

How do you know it is the same family that produces both?

Just curious, because I don’t see that level of detail in the descriptions.

BTW, what I am referring to as ‘sweeter’ here should be translated to, more apparent sweetness due to lighter flavor with less umami to obscure the honey-sweet flavors.

Shinobi_cha

Den wrote this article on the 2009 shincha harvest, long before I had ever heard of their company. However, they re-printed it last April or May again, because a lot of the information was still relevant. I found it to be fascinating! And it explains a lot about their farm where Zuiko and Shin-ryoku come from: http://www.denstea.com/index.php?main_page=shincha_report

Thanks for clarifying about sweeter; that makes sense!

Shinobi_cha

With regards to the link, the article is long, so scroll down to ‘Nakamura Tea Farm’ for the relevant info.

teaddict

Thanks for the excellent link. Now more eager for their kunpu shincha…

Shinobi_cha

No problem! Yeah, I want to try it as well as the “108th night shincha”

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Comments

Shinobi_cha

Now you’ve had a ‘lot’ more experience with Japanese greens, have you tried it again to see what you think?

Interestingly, the first time I had this, I enjoyed it enough to buy more, but it wasn’t until I had been drinking it for a while, and then tried a few other senchas, that I really appreciated it.

Any senchas (other than from Den’s Tea) that you recommend?

(I’m new to Japanese greens as of just one year ago now, all because of Den’s Tea $3 sampler!)

teaddict

Haven’t tried it again yet. I have tried enough other senchas to be clear that I have a strong preference for teas with less umami, so the sweetness shines through more, but this year I ordered some teas straight from a couple of different suppliers, and haven’t drunk through them yet. I probably will be ordering from Dens again within a few months, but not sure what I’ll order.

So many lovely teas to explore, and so little time! For sencha particularly, I really love it as my morning tea, but I rarely have the time to give it the proper attention later in the day—and sencha is touchy enough that I definitely have to give it time. So I go through my senchas slowly.

From last year’s harvests, I particularly enjoyed Sayamakaori and Honyama senchas from Yuuki Cha, and another Honyama from Norbu (the ‘Zairai’ varietal).

….just checked Den’s pages again, and guess what? The Shin-ryoku is from Honyama. I think there is a pattern developing here!

Shinobi_cha

That makes sense about the sweetness; I’m pretty sure the Zuiko is more umami than sweet. This last fall, Den’s came out with a ‘Kuradashi’ (aged) sencha; it was the same tea as the Shin-ryoku or Zuiko, but aged 6 months. That was somewhat sweeter and very citrusy, compared to the regular Zuiko — my favorite sencha this year so far.

Yes, I think the Zuiko and Shin-ryoku are from the same exact tea garden. I don’t know what the processing difference is to make the former more expensive than the latter though.
Interesting; I’ve noticed a few from Yuuki Cha and I may check them out someday. Once I’ve drunk through what I have in my cupboard (which is full right now), I want to try Hojo Tea and O-cha. Hojo has a Zairai sencha also from Honyama I believe. I read (I think on Hojo’s website) that Honyama is one of the oldest high-quality tea growing regions.

teaddict

When I next order from Den’s, I’ll probably stick to the Shin-ryoku, because the Zuiko was more strongly vegetal, with higher umami, which is not what I prefer. The only clear productions differences in the listings is a note that the Zuiko comes from a single garden, and is ‘scissor picked’ rather than machine harvested or hand picked.

Shinobi_cha

I’ve sampled the Shin-ryoku before, but I need to get try it again; the fact that you say it is sweeter or whatever makes me think I would like it. Perhaps the Kuradashi is actually their Shin-ryoku, and that explains why I liked it more than the Zuiko. I email and ask them what the difference is between the two, since I know it is the same family that produces both.

teaddict

How do you know it is the same family that produces both?

Just curious, because I don’t see that level of detail in the descriptions.

BTW, what I am referring to as ‘sweeter’ here should be translated to, more apparent sweetness due to lighter flavor with less umami to obscure the honey-sweet flavors.

Shinobi_cha

Den wrote this article on the 2009 shincha harvest, long before I had ever heard of their company. However, they re-printed it last April or May again, because a lot of the information was still relevant. I found it to be fascinating! And it explains a lot about their farm where Zuiko and Shin-ryoku come from: http://www.denstea.com/index.php?main_page=shincha_report

Thanks for clarifying about sweeter; that makes sense!

Shinobi_cha

With regards to the link, the article is long, so scroll down to ‘Nakamura Tea Farm’ for the relevant info.

teaddict

Thanks for the excellent link. Now more eager for their kunpu shincha…

Shinobi_cha

No problem! Yeah, I want to try it as well as the “108th night shincha”

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Bio

I’ve been drinking tea for 30 years, but only bought 2 brands of 2 different teas for most of that time. It took me almost 30 years to discover sencha, puerh, and green oolongs. Now I am making up for lost time.

I try to log most of my teas at least once, but then get lazy and stop recording, so # times logged should not be considered as a marker of how much a particular tea is drunk or enjoyed.

Location

Los Angeles

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