Sencha Ashikubo

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Green Tea
Flavors
Bitter, Butter, Fruity, Grass, Vegetal, Ocean Breeze
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by partea
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 oz / 309 ml

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39 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is the last of the samples from the DAVIDs order I placed a few months ago. Don't tell me it's time to get more... Straight senchas are usually a bit too grassy and vegetal for me. This...” Read full tasting note
    88
    michellefeda 318 tasting notes
  • “I haven't had this one in a while so it was a nice treat to steep it this morning. At first something went wrong... The tea brewed to a yellow color (it should brew green) and was much too bitter....” Read full tasting note
    96
    Kamyria 125 tasting notes
  • “Oh, this is good. This is really good. I really cannot stress enough that I do not need more tea. But I have a problem. I always need to keep a comfortable amount of my favourites on hand and I...” Read full tasting note
    94
    nomadinjeopardy 658 tasting notes
  • “David's favourite. It's no surprise that David steeps a pot of this beautiful Ashikubo green each morning. With soft notes of fruits and an almost buttery undertone, this is one of the most prized...” Read full tasting note
    DAVIDsTEA 187 tasting notes

From DAVIDsTEA

A premium sencha
If you’re a lover of Japanese sencha, this rare export is a must. It comes from the stunning Ashikubo valley in Japan, and is dried the traditional way – using wood fires. As a result, it’s milder and less grassy than regular senchas. Admirers point to its characteristic fruitiness and to the hint of toast that comes from the firing process. Most say they can’t go a day without it.

About DAVIDsTEA View company

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39 Tasting Notes

88
318 tasting notes

This is the last of the samples from the DAVIDs order I placed a few months ago. Don’t tell me it’s time to get more…

Straight senchas are usually a bit too grassy and vegetal for me. This one’s good though. In the scent I’m picking up the usually straight grass notes, but there’s also something toasty and sweet, sort of like kettle corn. There’s a little fruitiness in the smell too. I can’t quite put my finger on it – apples, maybe, or grapes.

I think I steeped it a little too hot, as there is a bit of bitterness, but it’s good anyway. Primarily it’s vegetal, but there’s a toasted note to it, almost like a very light gyokuro. DAVIDs website says that it’s dried using wood fires, so that’s probably where it comes from.

It’s good. I probably won’t order it again, but it’s good nonetheless.

EDIT: Thanks to a suggestion from ScottTeaMan, I tried steeping it at a much lower temp. I guessed on my kettle to bring it to about 155, 160. Suddenly all the bitterness and much of the vegetal has gone away, and it’s buttery and sweet with notes of fruit, so I’m upping the rating!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 45 sec
ScottTeaMan

Try steeping around 160*

Michelle

The problem is that my kettle is only set to 180 or 212… I have to estimate to get other ranges. But I’ll definitely try that for the second steep. Thanks!

ScottTeaMan

I always guess ….hehe…Look for light steam rising from the kettle. Next time you steep at tea at 180*, look at the steam. There should be less steam at 160, and the more practice you get-you’ll get better at it.

Or you could set it at 180* and let cool for 3-5 min. or set at 180, pour water in seperate mug and wait until water cools to 160* with thermometer, and then pour it over tea.

A lower steep will reduce bitterness.

TeaBrat

Michelle, I got a thermometer I use it a lot for japanese green teas. :)

ScottTeaMan

Even if you oversteep the water, pour it in a seperate container, and with thermo at 160…….WALLLAHHH! Next stop…….tea leaves.

I need one especially for my Shincha! :=))

ScottTeaMan

Any special thermometer Amy?? Have you seen the ones Upton’s sells?

TeaBrat

nothing fancy, I got it at a hardware store, I think it’s a candy thermometer

Michelle

@ScottTeaMan – tried it at 155 – SO GOOD. Thanks!

Michelle

@Amy – I have an espresso thermometer, and I used to use it a lot… but after getting my variable temp I’ve gotten spoiled and don’t want to wait :)

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96
125 tasting notes

I haven’t had this one in a while so it was a nice treat to steep it this morning.

At first something went wrong… The tea brewed to a yellow color (it should brew green) and was much too bitter. My first thought was the temperature, but I thought I had the right one. Did my thermometer lie to me? Or maybe I put too much tea in?

I decided to re-steep and see what happens…

Upon re-steep at a slightly lower temperature it regained its green color and the delicious taste I remember so well… so was it the temperature or too much tea? Yellow color would signal to me the temperature was too high, but the re-steeped tea is still quite strong so maybe both?

Anyhow, the re-steeped tea is delicious, vegetal and buttery. It’s got the pleasant astringency rolling about my tongue throughout the sip. Based on the strength of the re-steep, I’m sure there will be more coming…

I’m a little shaken by my experience (not good when that happens with the first morning tea) but satisfied in the end. :P

TheTeaFairy

Oh sorry for tea troubles! I love sencha but keep only one in the cupboard at a time and drink it quickly, cause it depreciates pretty fast. maybe that,s the reason your second steep was better than the first, you probably ended up «washing» it the first time. But maybe I don’t know what ‘m talking about and the tea is just fine, you’ll figure it out on your next brew :-)

Kamyria

I don’t know fairy…. maybe you are right… I’ll rinse it next time and see how it goes.

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94
658 tasting notes

Oh, this is good.

This is really good.

I really cannot stress enough that I do not need more tea. But I have a problem. I always need to keep a comfortable amount of my favourites on hand and I always feel compelled to try as many new teas as I can get my hands on. And, the new Toronto DT location is on my way to the Monday class I hate. I always stop in to cheer myself up on the way home. Thankfully/regrettably, that class is over as of next Monday’s exam and I will have to make more intentional trips up there.

Anyway, yes. I wanted a straight green this week as I hadn’t tried any from DT. I’m not sure why. I guess it’s for the same reason that there aren’t many reviews of this here; I kind of go to DT for my delicious and wild flavoured teas and elsewhere for most unflavoured ones since it is easy to overlook the understated classics when at DT. This was suggested to me and I was intrigued. I got some. I tried it tonight at work. This stuff is phenomenal. It’s gently sweet. Not very grassy, but maybe a bit of a hay thing going on. A little bit smoky and earthy, but so delicate and lovely and feels wonderful in my mouth, being just a little bit buttery. Oh man. I find it so refreshing.

This stuff is amazing. I can’t comment on subsequent infusions yet but I am now going to go re-steep my leaves.

aisling of tea

The Annex DT? Oh gosh, I love that store. We’re planning a trip there next week, since we’ll be in the area. It’s a perfect pick-me-up!

Maxime-Daniel Friðrikson

Hoo god! You’ve tried the cream of the Sencha! Haha. But, yeah. People always speak about the fancy DT teas, but the straight teas are actually awesome too!

Jessie

Yes, the Annex! It is lovely. The girls are so nice.

And, yes, now I’ll have to try all the straight teas.

Eisenherz

If you like the sweet-grassiness, make sure to try Kukicha! A little expensive, but definitely unique!

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187 tasting notes

David’s favourite.

It’s no surprise that David steeps a pot of this beautiful Ashikubo green each morning. With soft notes of fruits and an almost buttery undertone, this is one of the most prized teas in our collection.

Starting at 30 seconds, try resteeping this tea in 30 second intervals to optimize the experience. Each additional infusion brings forth an array of new scents and flavours, making it the perfect tea to begin experimenting with reinfusion.

Definitely a must have in any collection.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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84
488 tasting notes

Spinach sticky sweetness in the aroma. Strong spinach in flavour. Slight smokiness. Grassy tones. Buttery. Thick mouth-feel.

Flavors: Butter

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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95
33 tasting notes

This is a very good, really smooth green tea. I steeped it for 3 minutes (recommended on the packet) and found that to be too long. I’m fairly sensitive to bitterness though. My second steeping for 90 seconds came out much better.

This has a wonderful fresh vegital aroma when dry with strong notes of grass and much lighter of spinach and smoke. The smokiness is there in the tea in the background. It doesn’t push to the front at all but does make itself known. Its definitely slightly sweet and grassy and very, very smooth. The after notes are exactly the same flavors as when drinking directly for a loooong finish.

If you’re looking for a medium flavored (as opposed to a delicate or strongly flavored) sencha that’s delightfully smooth, this is the one.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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97
81 tasting notes

Not quite as high on my list of favourites as the Quangzhou Milk Oolong or Gyokuro Yamashiro, but definitely a close competitor!

I finally splurged on a tin of this after getting a $100 gift card for Christmas. In the same trip I also picked up an adorable glass gongfu tea pot. So I’ll give a quick recap of both my steeper-and-mug tasting and my gongfu session (as I finish off my last couple gongfu steeps)

First, my steeper-and-mug. I used the lowest setting on my new Breville Variable Temperature Kettle (not the tea maker, just the kettle). 175F. Because it’s such a delicate tea, and I wanted to do a decent steep (3m30sec) I didn’t want to go the next step up to 185F. It was a good call because I ended up over steeping a bit (almost 5 minutes), but it didn’t go off because of it. The beautiful vegetal notes came through first, followed by a slight butteriness, and finally finishing with a sweet alfalfa taste. I felt like I was sitting in Java’s stall, sharing it with him, inhaling his soft alfalfa-laced breath. It was a very comforting cup of tea!

Now, tonight, after a really negative dinner with my parents and sister, I shut myself in my room and pulled my sencha ashikubo off my shelf and sat down to do some gonfu steeps. I used a heaping Perfect Spoonful, and the second setting on my kettle (185F).

First steep: 30sec. bold vegetal qualities, like steamed asparagus? overwhelmingly vegetal, couldn’t pick up on the sweet butteriness I loved about my mug.

Second: 45 sec. Alfalfa and butter lettuce. Grassy, slightly less “steamed vegetables”. Sweet, like Java’s breath after he eats a handful of alfalfa pellets. Comforting!

Third: 1m20sec. PEAS! I actually had a bit of a flail over this one, it was just like eating buttery sweet peas at family dinners! This is possibly the best flavour profile I’ve gotten from this tea!

Fourth: Final steep. 3min. I had to run and pee, so it went a bit longer than originally intended, oops! Peas, but with a slight bitterness (without being astringent/drying), kind of like eating peas straight from the pod after they were on the plant for a little too long. You know, when they’re over ripe, kind of hard, and not as sweet as they were at peak ripeness? Still enjoyable though!

This is definitely the nicest sencha I’ve had. I generally prefer gyokuro or korean seyjak when I want a straight green, but this may be my go-to green for a while, at least until DT restocks the Gyokuro Yamashiro!

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29
442 tasting notes

Maybe I got some of a bad batch but this one tasted horrid to me. I got a taste that was almost burnt. Thinking maybe I’d burnt the leaves despite what I was pretty sure was the right temperature water I tried again with a lower temperature. And got the burnt taste even more. I tried adding some sugar to see what notes that would bring and it did change the flavour to more of a nutty and less of a burn, but it still wasn’t one I enjoyed. Having had this right after Dragonwell, which I adored, probably didn’t do this tea any favours.

Sorry Sencha Ashikubo, but with this experience combined with your price point, I won’t be adding you to my cupboard.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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100
6 tasting notes

WOW 0_0

I got this shipped to me this week, and was kinda fretting about the price as a 25g bag of this cost ~$9.75 – more expensive than the 2 other 50g bags I had bought! I went ahead to try it out first thing Wednesday night around midnight, after having gotten back from a night out at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. I was a tad disappointed when I tasted it and found it pretty bland :( Mind you, i was very excited to try it and didn’t brew it following the instructions to the letter.

Here I am now at my computer with a freshly brewed cup in hand on a Saturday afternoon and I can’t get over the taste! I followed the directions to the letter this time and the difference is like day and night! The taste is so nice – very present leafy greens but with a nice subtle smoky finish that lingers forever! I’m new to tea and I love strong coffee (read: espresso, straight up) so I have a hard time with the sometimes very subtle flavors in tea, so I tend to like black teas like Earl Gray and Irish Breakfast over green and white teas, but this one is just amazing without being too strong – there is no bitterness in this whatsoever

I get the feeling my wallet is gonna take a beating buying larger quantities of this _

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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90 tasting notes

buttery fruity and sweet. sadly this cup got abandonned after only a few sips and while it was good later when I sweetened it and drank it cold I don’t think I really appreciate it fully yet, so I will refrain from rating. Very excited to give it a second go

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