Found this at a local Nijiya market. They carry mostly organic green tea, and while I don’t usually seek out organic, it is nice to compare it. So far, I don’t think organic farming (for Japanese green tea) has reached the standard for flavor/etc. that non-organic has, but maybe (even hopefully) that will someday change.
As far as I have learned, the okumidori varietal, that this tea is made of, is usually for shaded teas, as it has a more distinct sweetness. Because the packaging is entirely in Japanese, I had no idea whether it would be an asa- or fuka- mushi, and I hoped it would be the former, but guessed it would be the latter (coming from Chiran, Kagoshima, and all the teas I’ve seen coming from there are super deep-steamed).
When I opened the tea, I found that I had guessed correctly. While I wanted a light-steamed tea, it was nonetheless interesting to consider what this varietal (which I’d never had before) would give being deep-steamed.
Anyway, I’ve experimented with a few brewing parameters, but found brewing it more like a gyokuro to have the most satisfying effect – for the first steeping, using between 140F – 150F for 1min 20 seconds.
In previous brewings (using a higher temp and shorter steep time), I found that the second steeping always had an overly strong vegetal quality that wasn’t balanced by sweetness, bitterness or any other flavor.
Using this more ‘soft’ approach, I found it to have a very nice sweetness at the end of the sip, and a delicious aftertaste that increases over time.
Unlike some fukamushi senchas that are strongly fired for the roasted aroma, this one seems to have been simply dried, which is why I think the sweetness of the okumidori can come through. I am no expert, but it probably doesn’t need to be as deeply steamed as it is.
This is a decent quality sencha, which I upped a bit, because it does come out very nicely when brewed at a low temp for a longer period of time, which seems maybe unusual for a deep-steamed sencha.