sencha kura

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
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Edit tea info Last updated by charab
Average preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Scent of sweetness is the first to push through, but also very earthy and fruity aromas accompany it, as a very delicate trace of dried fruits tries to get noticed. For some reason makes me think...” Read full tasting note
    83
    charab 33 tasting notes
  • “"A high quality first green tea of the year from the famous tea area Shizuoka. The young and tender leaves have a fruity aroma. A very delicate and sweet sencha from Otsuka, the multiple prize...” Read full tasting note
    92
    Crane 11 tasting notes

From Théhuone

Japan, Shizuoka

A high-quality, sweetish sencha, which young, soft leaves give a fruity aroma. The way of preparing is Fukamushi, which is steaming in higher temperature for a long time, that breaks the cells of the leaves producing stronger aroma.

Water temperature: 60-70 degree celsius

First steep: 60-70 seconds
Second steep: 20 seconds
Third steep: 40 seconds

About Théhuone View company

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2 Tasting Notes

83
33 tasting notes

Scent of sweetness is the first to push through, but also very earthy and fruity aromas accompany it, as a very delicate trace of dried fruits tries to get noticed. For some reason makes me think of dried apricots, but there are some other scents in it as well, dodging everytime I barely put my finger on them. Sneaky sencha this is.

The steeping process itself is both frustrating and rewarding if everything goes well. I have been working with this ninja-like specimen for some time and it still loves to give me gray hairs. To be honest, I can sometimes be considered very anal person when it comes to making things by the book to the utmost ridiculous detail, but this, this tea promptly makes me lose it. I have a craving desire to get it j u s t r i g h t yet at the same time I’m going berserk and think of ways of making this experience to go so wrong that even UN should consider intervening. Send me some of those blue barrets and I’ll show you an international escapade to last a lifetime. Which might lead to banning this type of tea and mentally scarring few generations, but what the hey. A n y h o w.

To make things a tad bit more interesting: the first time I encountered this tea was in a tearoom just a couple of hours before my wedding. I needed something to soothe and take my mind away from all the things happening around and sat there for a good hour by myself, wedding bouquet on the floor, enjoying the crisp, sunny spring winter morning (in March) and the delicate lingering taste of this tea. What I would’ve really said at the altar without having this moment, best to leave it untouched.

But that moment gave me a reference how the tea should look and taste when it’s made properly: spring green, like the first leaves that pop out in the trees, and very, very intriguing mixture of morning dew, dried fruits and sweet promise which doesn’t dominate others but complements them. The earth element was present, like fresh grass at five a.m. when the dew is on the ground. Ideal for mornings, that is.

Hence the frustration. Since being a person who doesn’t want to use thermometers and all that but learn things through trial and error because it’s always fun and problem solving is something my half-engineer mind enjoys, the steeping at home goes something like this many times:

First attempt: a bit too warm water, turned yellow and bitter and the flavor sharpens so much it’s violating my taste buds. eugh.

Second attempt: temperature just right, nice and green and sweet, but just had to forget the sieve in the cup as ended up doing something else suddenly. Well, at least it was g r e e n. The taste turned ugly. Note to myself: do not make complicated tea while making as well complicated art and/or schoolwork.

Third attempt: A-ha! All is right, the taste lingers as the sweetness is just right as well the solid character, not too thin on tongue and long enough to make the cup last longer. The dried apricots turn into more undefined rough yet subtle underlayer, like the after taste of dried fruits one usually ends up on the tongue: something dry yet still solid and moist. Very pure taste of green, if one could say that. This is what I enjoy with sencha, somehow the taste, even with trace of sweetness, resembles something I categorize as ‘pure’. And it’s also something I wouldn’t enjoy during winter, somehow light and airy flavor suffers when there isn’t enough natural light to boost them. Finnish winter melancholy blues is too much to handle for these types. Figures. Optimists never last here.

Still retracking my way to the succeeded attempt, step by step. But, everytime when things turn right, it’s worth it.

The UN approves.

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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92
11 tasting notes

“A high quality first green tea of the year from the famous tea area Shizuoka. The young and tender leaves have a fruity aroma. A very delicate and sweet sencha from Otsuka, the multiple prize winning company for best tea of Japan.”

Color of liquid: light yellowish green, with small particles of leaf dust swirling around. Beautiful.

I take a sip and close my eyes: grassy summer slopes with the sea visible from the hills, sun shining gently on top of everything, a warm slight breeze keeping the air fresh. I´m taking a nap beneath a giant lemon tree. There are no worries here. Soft but light. Umami.

I went to get some new teas today and battled my way through late- autumn Helsinki. The wind was so bitter I was sure my face would just fly off any minute. Somehow I made it back home and this tea was the first one I prepared of the batch of six I brought home with me. I´m happy I chose this nice Japanese wonder.

Sitting here after the first cup I feel acutely present in this moment. Being present is perhaps the only thing a human should strive for in this life. It is painfully difficult, though. Or maybe it´s more like that not being present in the moment is what is actually painful? Or running away from the pain that is present… I lost it.

Steep number 2: Only 20 seconds at 70 C. A lot darker mossy green and cloudy liquid. A conifer forest. Dash of citrus, a little spinach, not too much to make it vegetabley (?). The taste: now we are definitely in a moist shadowy forest, with moss covered logs and stones. Shiitake mushrooms. It´s that umami taste of sweetness without being sugary. A remarkable change between steepings. I´m starting to feel really pretty high with all the caffeine, L- theanine, antioxidants and what not.

A lot of the plants that are native to Japan also grow somewhat well here in Finland. I have a rare dwarf form of the Japanese rhododendron, for example, growing in my yard. Unfortunately the prettiest Japanese tree, the Acer palmatum, or Japanese maple is too tender to grow here. I´ve killed three of them being stubborn and just trying to plant them against what I know is inevitable. There´s something in Japanese plants that is very special; they look “Japanese” no matter where you grow them…

Steep no 3. 40 sec at 70 C. Gets more fruity and lemony. The flavors are mellowing out, comfortable and round. I´m a bit disappointed that the greatness stopped here, maybe a little bit short? But those first two cups were really special, so I won´t complain.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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