I think I got the hang of this now.
Today I was determined to get this tea correct. I messed up so badly the first time through, that I wanted the second time to be pitch-perfect. So I used a teaspoon of this in 8 oz. of water (instead of a tablespoon in 9 oz.) and steeped it for a minute. I started my pour at about 50 seconds, just to make sure I wasn’t going overboard.
And WOW, okay, the difference is astounding just in color alone. I’ve got here a clear, lime-green liquid. It’s absolutely stunning to look at. Not olive-green sludge that I had the last time. There’s a bit of green, foamy-looking sediment at the bottom. Nom nom.
And the smell coming off of the cup is definitely more of what sencha is supposed to smell like. It’s highly grassy, with buttery undertones. It smells like a fresh-cut lawn.
Now the taste. Okay, you know what? I can get behind this. I get this. There’s definitely a high grass content to this, so if grass isn’t your thing, then this shouldn’t be for you. It melds into a very light, butter note,. This is chased by a more savory element to the tea, a briny element that reminds me of kelp or seaweed. Rounding out the flavor is a touch of bitterness. It’s bitterness, mind you, not from oversteeping. It’s an inherent and almost pleasant quality.
There’s a mouthfeel too! Not as silky as something like Samovar’s Ryokucha, but it feels full and dense.
I recommend waiting a bit between sips, because a most wonderful aftertaste will grow across your tongue. I can’t describe it, but it almost tastes like you’ve sucked the chlorophyll out of a leaf. Even though I’ve never done that before… that’s what it tastes like. A very specific, juicy-green sweetness. Really bright and pleasing.
So yeah, I think I’ve got the idea about this sencha thing now, and it’s actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be! Thank you, Steepster, for helping me figure out what was wrong with my abysmal first steep, and thanks to takgoti, for being kind enough to send me some of this to nom on!