This tea is similar to Thes du Japon’s “Sayama-kaori” micro-fermented (or oxidized) sencha. However, while that tea is very much like a green oolong (losing most of its sencha characteristics), this tea is a nice balance.
As seems to be the norm with Thes du Japon, at least the teas they carry produced by Mr. Hiruma, the leaves of this one are a mix of sizes, with a good percentage being very long, beautiful needles (1" – 1.5").
I’ve brewed it for the recommended lengths of time (40s, 50s), but have found I enjoy it on the longer end (50s or 1 minute).
At first, it is refreshing, slightly astringent and earthy, its sencha-like qualities coming through. Unique and fun though, is that oolong qualities follow – a pleasant, flowery aroma.
The best part though is at the end — it leaves an intense and deliciously sweet (and flowery) aftertaste… and remains for a good while (I noticed it still present at least 10-15 minutes later).
I’m glad I chose this one, it is excellent.