An inspection of the dry leaf appeared to contain a higher proportion of relatively large “needles”. A later inspection of the steeped leaves proves these to be a large number of stems and veins, something which I would predict to lessen the quality of a tea’s flavor. Continuing to compare this tea to my last experience, I found the first steep of the Yutaka Midori (YM) still sweet, but not as viscous or deep as the Sae Midori (SM). The flavor profile was different, with an array of tropical fruits, pineapple, lychee, and rambutan, all of which were quite enjoyable! Brininess really picks up in the back of the throat with some clam liquor, seawater, and dried kelp. Some green melon rind peeks in. Overall, this flavor profile didn’t seem particularly deep or thorough.
The second and third steeps were markedly different, with noticeable coarse bitterness that accompanied a sulfurous or tidal flat mud character, clashing with the tea’s sweetness. It made me suspect harsh chemical use in the growth of this tea. The second steep was not my favorite. The third showed more resilience, but was not enough to warrant a fourth. I know that this is a very lauded tea, but I must admit that I found it less enamoring than other examples from this year’s harvest.
Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=86