Kagoshima Sencha Sae Midori

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
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Edit tea info Last updated by Auggy
Average preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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10 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Hello all! In case anyone has noticed, I’ve been a bit MIA for a couple of weeks-ish. I’ve been in Hawaii! I got back earlier today and am finally all unpacked, including the massive amounts of...” Read full tasting note
    92
    aug3zimm 911 tasting notes
  • “Yes. I said I would give Jackee Muntz a second try after taking care of the Yunnan-infestation. This was indeed my intention, but then I came over feeling all green-like. This one is also from...” Read full tasting note
    90
    Angrboda 1257 tasting notes
  • “In the warmed houhin, the leaves glowed in briny ocean and warmed green grasses. The first steep produced an achingly sweet cup, with intense theanine-infused juiciness. What a wonderful texture,...” Read full tasting note
    94
    the_skua 207 tasting notes
  • “A very pleasant tea. A mIld and light fuka, tending to be a bit stronger on the 2nd infusion. Third infusion was quite weak, in spite of the long infusion time First Infusion -- 5 g. per 8 oz...” Read full tasting note
    80
    sherubtse 66 tasting notes

From O-Cha.com

From the first harvest, this is a very special sencha from Kagoshima prefecture located at the southern tip of Japan. When a sample of this came to us, we could not pass it up.

A very easy to brew green tea! The “Sae Midori” clone of green tea plant is a cross between Yabukita and Asa Tsuyu varieties and was only just registered in 1990. Since it does not tolerate frost, it is mostly grown in Southern Kagoshima. Strong in color and aroma, but a bit on the sweet side, you will be greeted with a very wonderful, grassy aroma upon opening of the package. Without a doubt, this item offers one of the most intense, emerald green color you will likely ever come across in any green tea. We are sure you will be pleased!

Growing Region: 100% Kagoshima
Year Harvested: 2010
Grown Under: Full Sun
Steaming: Deep
Color: Deep Green
Aroma: Strong
Taste: Grassy
Astringency: Mild
Consistency: Thick/Cloudy
Breed: Sae Midori
Recommended Brew Temp: 175F / 79C
Recommended Brew Time: 45 seconds
Recommended Leaf to Water Ratio: .5g per 1oz (30ml) water
Notes: One of our very best!

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10 Tasting Notes

92
911 tasting notes

Hello all! In case anyone has noticed, I’ve been a bit MIA for a couple of weeks-ish. I’ve been in Hawaii! I got back earlier today and am finally all unpacked, including the massive amounts of tea I purchased while there. After all, there is a Lupicia in the Ala Moana mall. And Shirokiya, the Japanese department store also in Ala Moana Center, had a long row of tea. Oh yeah, and Don Quijote (the Japanese discount store) had some tea – including Maeda-en stuff. So yeah, I got 10 different teas in Hawaii, most of them sencha. And when I got home I had a delightful package from Chicago Tea Garden waiting for me with 4 more teas and my new yunomi that I ordered before I left. (I got this one – http://www.chicagoteagarden.com/buy/yunomi/yunomi-cup-03 – it’s awesome!)

Anyway, lots of Steepstering (and real-life things) to catch up on and that always goes better with tea. I cracked this one open before my trip for a swap but didn’t get a chance to try it. So I’m passing on my hordes of new tea to try a new-to-me tea (though it’s been sealed in my pantry for a while).

Tossing the dry leaf into a pre-heated pot smells sooooo tasty. Not buttery like some of my favorite senchas, but still sweet, vegetal and surprisingly fresh.

The taste is also fresh and very crisp and clean, also a bit thin? As it cools though, the taste thickens and it begins to taste like honeydew melon and a little fresh grass with some sort of not-quite-salty-but-somehow-oceanic lower note that’s really attractive. It still has this remarkable crisp/lightness to it even though it feels a little fuzzy/comforting. It’s not as thick and heavy of mouthfeel as my normal senchas but it is very nice. Oddly, the final sip gave me some white grape flavor, which I’ve honestly never gotten from any sencha before so maybe it was just a short circuit in my tastebud/brain connection.

Second steep, instant pour: This makes me think of apples even though, yeah, it doesn’t actually taste like apples. Perhaps my taste buds are jetlagged? Or, upon more consideration, perhaps it is because this steep has a crisp sweetness coupled with a little bit of texture which gives me apple-like feelings? Or both. Or something. I don’t know, it’s good.
5g/10oz/pour started at 40s

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

So jeolous, when I was in Hawaii this past March I had a lot of my In-laws with me and that meant no time to hunt or buy tea it was so sad. I plan on going back in 2012 and it will be just my hubby and daughter, lots of tea then.

oOTeaOo

welcome back! it sounds like you had a great time! I can’t wait to hear your reviews of the new teas :)

Brian

Oh wow, this stuff sounds amazing drool

Angrboda

Interesting that you found it to be a bit on the thinner side and I found it to be a wee bit strong. I suspect I’m more heavy handed on leaf amount than you are. Now that I’m reading this again while drinking it, I completely agree about the melon note. I hadn’t thought of that.

teaplz

You are adorable and I miss you.

Auggy

RachanaC – If you like Japanese greens, seriously hit up Shirokiya when you are there. They have tons of food stuff on their second floor, including a nice long row of loose tea. I got about 5 teas there but there were still more I was eying. One of them I’m not even 100% sure exactly what it is – I couldn’t recognize too many of the kanji (because my Japanese sucks) but with what I could grasp, I thought it looked good. Ironically, the brewing directions are translated into English. Nothing else though.

oOTeaOo – Thanks! I can’t wait to try them all! I’m going to try to be good and only open one at a time so they all stay fresh(er). We’ll see how that goes.

Brian – It is! This and O-cha’s Yutaka Midori are must-orders for me for next year’s shincha.

Angrboda – I tend to go for pretty thick and pungent sencha so this might be on the pungent side in general but compared to my favorites, it’s a little lighter, if that makes sense. Plus, sencha does tend to be really heavy – I think my 5g was maybe an even teaspoon? Perhaps less? I imagine it is easy to be heavy handed on the leaf for that. But good sencha like this should do nicely even heavy on the leaf – and it looks like you liked it so yay!

Teaplz – !!! You live! SQUEE! Hello!!!! So nice to see you again!

Angrboda

Yes, I used two even-ish teaspoons for my 400ml pot. It’s my standard leaf amount unless we’re talking really big leafed stuff like oolongs or whites (in which case the leaf amount used is ‘some’). I’m not deeply experienced with sencha yet either, so that might be another factor. I’m only scratching the surface. :)

Auggy

No worries – good sencha can be played around with (heavy leaf, short steep time, etc) to match your own desired pungency/strength likes and still turn out tasty!

Dan

Don Quijote was my favorite supermarket while I was in Hawaii. Its really fascinating how much they have.

Auggy

I had been to the store when it was a Daiei years and years ago but only vaguely remember it so I was amazed and kind of in awe at the amount of stuff Don Quijote had. And honestly, anywhere with that much Japanese food, I’m going to love.

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90
1257 tasting notes

Yes. I said I would give Jackee Muntz a second try after taking care of the Yunnan-infestation. This was indeed my intention, but then I came over feeling all green-like. This one is also from Auggy and a reminder that I have yet to find the best green tea. But I think it must definitely be one of the japanese ones, although that bolivian one I had rather grew on me as well. I thought for the longest time that the green for me was the bi lou chun, but… I don’t know. These days it doesn’t feel like it.

That’s a feeling that sencha has brought me closer to. I rather like how they go all radioactive in colour and that grassy, almost salty seaweed-y flavour. It makes them taste outdoors-y and active, where the chinese ones have a more sort of inactiveness about them. The sencha is the one that goes to the beach on an autumn day to see how big the waves are, while the average chinese green seems happier with hiding inside just in case the rain might actually turn out be harmful after all.

(And I know someone is likely to come charging in at this point, screaming MATCHA!!!!!!!” so I’ll just point that I’ve tried that and wasn’t convinced. Seems highly overrated to me with much the same flavour as a traditionally brewed sencha. In which case I prefer the traditional brew. Much easier to deal with in the end. So, no. I’ve lost all interest in matcha.)

So sencha. Seems to be the one I come back to time and time again. It doesn’t hurt that it seems to carry flavouring quite well also, for example with berries or with rhubarb, the latter of which I’m slowly becoming rather partial to. There’s just something about it.

ANYWAY! This one is a plain sencha. The leaves are lovely dark green colour, like that of a coniferous forest, but they are rather small resulting in a deep green porridge like substance in the strainer. Half of which then missed the pot when I tried to tip it back in…

It’s quite strong actually. It must be the small leaves that does it. I only gave it 30 seconds but it still feels a little bit over the top. And this is where I notice that Auggy suggested starting at instant pour… Tea brewing doesn’t really seem to be going well for me today! It doesn’t taste oversteeped though. Just rather on the strong side of things.

The flavour itself is familiar. Grassy and somewhat salty. It’s a flavour with substance again. Like the sticky rice pu-erh, this is something where I have to remind myself that I’m having tea. Not some sort of tea-soup. It’s not a meal, self.

I like this one. It’s an interesting flavour but also a straight-forward one. It doesn’t demand brain capacity of me that I don’t have and it forgives my initial unintended strength of brew. It tastes a bit, actually, like it might be rather difficult to ruin.

I should definitely start shopping around for the perfect Sencha (and possibly also familiarise myself a bit more with gyokuru which I’ve only tried once but found extremely pleasant). It’s quite a treasure hunt I’m setting out for myself here. I need to find the perfect sencha, the perfect keemun, the perfect yunnan and the perfect assam (I think I’m close on this one). That’s the rest of my life laid out right there.

Also, either I’ve been good at keeping up with the dashboard or you lot have all been very quiet for a while now. I think I’ll risk my neck and add some more interesting people to follow. Who are your favourite steepsterite to follow?

Auggy

It makes them taste outdoors-y and active, where the chinese ones have a more sort of inactiveness about them.
Okay, I think you’ve just summed up my thoughts on why I love Japanese greens so vs. Chinese ones without me even knowing I was trying to sum them up.

For this one, O-cha suggests 45s for the first steep. Hopefully I didn’t forget to include that in the directions (it’s possible that I forgot because I would have had to look it up). The instant pour thing is for the second steep. Sorry if I went straight to the second steep time! Though if you were heavy on the leaf, shorter steep time is good and it sounds like it went okay. Overbrewed sencha is evil and horribly bitter so drinkable usually means you did something right (even if it is strong)! :) Hopefully this one will prove to make as consistently tasty as their Yutaka Midori!

Angrboda

I don’t think I’ve ever really managed to truly oversteep a sencha. I’ve done it with chun mee which is not something I would recommend omg! O.o

You did include it, but I understood the 45 sec to be their recommendation and then the instant pour to be your suggestion, so two suggestions for both steeps. It seemed a bit odd to me to have the first steep significantly longer than the second one, but assume there’s some sort of waking of the leaves at play.

I think I’ll go make me the second one and we’ll see what happens with instant pour. :)

Auggy

Totally correct on the waking of the leaves, at least how I understand it to go. Most senchas seem happiest for me at <15s second steep. And with the more steamed teas, my filter gets clogged quickly which leads to a slow pour so an instant pour takes about 12 – 15s to complete. But I also tend to be kind of sensitive to the potential bitterness of sencha, so that plays a part in how I treat it.

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94
207 tasting notes

In the warmed houhin, the leaves glowed in briny ocean and warmed green grasses. The first steep produced an achingly sweet cup, with intense theanine-infused juiciness. What a wonderful texture, supple, sweet, and silky, with a strong bouquet of honeydew melon rind, oyster shell, and grape leaf. Savory and sweet all at once. I was so impressed with the first steep that I decided to hold off on a second session this morning and save my remaining 4g for a re-visit after I’ve tasted the other samples in my lot.

The second and third steeps were appreciably different, with the second exuding a not-bitter astringency that left a parching sensation in the mouth, a quality that played well with continuing sweetness, amplified green melon flavors, and persisting ocean brine. The third, however, was fairly plain and empty, but I was okay with that considering the shining impression that the first two steeps left. In many ways, this tea set a new bar for my limited experience with shincha.

Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=74

Auggy

I have this in my pantry but haven’t opened it yet. This log? Makes me want to open it now!

the_skua

I thought it was marvelous, but again, it was only my third shincha…although, I have a had a few other gyokuros and senchas with similar flavor profiles.

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80
66 tasting notes

A very pleasant tea. A mIld and light fuka, tending to be a bit stronger on the 2nd infusion. Third infusion was quite weak, in spite of the long infusion time

First Infusion — 5 g. per 8 oz water, 65 deg., 1 min.

Second Infusion — 5 g. per 8 oz water, 65 deg., 45 sec.

Third Infusion — 5 g. per 8 oz. water, 65 deg., 5 min.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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94
26 tasting notes

Tried the 2010 Shincha version of this tea.

Vibrant colour. Fresh, lifted grass aromas and flavour. Great depth and texturally interesting. Beautiful tea, one of my favourite 2010 Shinchas.

Price paid: $25 USD for 100g
Buy again: Yes

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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90
56 tasting notes

2013 shincha.
It tastes to me: Grassy, vegetal (zuchinni/cucumber), Floral (perfume), sweet, Marine (my friend said it tasted a bit like seaweed, it just tastes marine to me), and a slight kick of umami at the back that makes for a very sweet after taste.
the first infusion tastes like sour fish.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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60
16 tasting notes

A decent dose of umami compared to the light asamushis that I prefer, if that’s what you are looking for. I didn’t like this one.

I’m saying “not recommend” ‘cause I wouldn’t buy it again.

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