It’s another rare overcast day in the desert, and more work in contrasts. Out here, the bougainvillea and oleander are a bright magenta against pale beige and grey. In my cup, the tiny buds are a delicate pink against vivid green sencha. I wish every morning was like this, threatening heavy rain over a cup of seasonal tea. But I know it won’t be. I’ll enjoy it even more with that bittersweet knowledge.
Following Den’s parameters, this is quite bright, sweet-sour and slightly sharp on a thin, dry, but smooth texture. It’s a young feeling, as the fresh flavor comes and goes very quickly without settling, while the fruit-floral aroma teases and lingers. With the help of the sakura, this sencha leans more towards a crisp, buttery spinach than a grassy or marine profile. There’s surprising restraint in the flavoring, though, making this a very delicate flavored tea. Cute, bordering on lovely.
I think this might benefit from just a bit more leaf (+0.5g/3oz), but the very short steep time is perfect. I get four good steeps, with the first being the best from its delicate complexity.
On my last cup, I suddenly heard the alarmingly high pitch of something fragile breaking. I was far away – I had no idea what it was. Upon inspection, it was the lid to my favorite gaiwan – the reliable one I use everyday, the humbly beautiful one I display at my tea table. I have no idea how that happened, and I’m devastated…
But maybe this is another lesson in tea, yet again. Nothing lasts forever; not spring, nor desert rain, nor pink flowers. Not limited-edition tea, nor long-beloved ceramic. And definitely not devastation.
Life goes on, as does tea time.