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96
drank Fukamushi Sencha by Samovar
10 tasting notes

First a pre-cursor. For quite some time now, I stopped brewing sencha in the “western style” (Basically, the typical tea cup-size, lots of water, more brewing time, usually less steeps). I prefer the taste variation I get with the “traditional style” (less water, smaller cups, shorter brewing, typically more steeps) when it comes to sencha(I’m still lazy and do western for most other teas though). As such, my review is based on the “traditional style”.

I could sum up this tea in one word: Wow. I’ve been drinking sencha for years, but the more traditionally cultivated methods, this was my first time trying fukamushi-styled. I ordered this one on a whim, and was blown away with it. Clearly I’m a fan. Using more Traditional Japanese brewing, I can get at least 5 steeps out of this remarkable tea. The brilliant green persists through the steeps, and so does the delicious sweet, buttery almost grassy flavour (for those wary of grass-vegetal, to be honest it is not over-powering, its well balanced, almost a hint).

Brewing method: 120-140ml(4oz or just over) of water(same amount for all steeps) and 1 teaspoon. Water is Green temp (170-175/77c-81c), further cooled, by adding to the pot before adding the tea, then pouring from the pot to the cups(all this happens within a minute, but the cups and pot natural temp cools the water further), add the tea to the pot, then add the water from the cups to the tea(you really only have to do this the one time, unless you’re going long periods between steeps, the purpose is to cool the initial infusion, and to warm the vessels so there is no leaf-shock). Now steep for only 1 minute. Second steep, 30 seconds with current water temp (green 170-175F/77c-81c). Third steep, warmer (White-Oolong temps – 185-195F/85c-90c) 1minute. Fourth steep 5minutes with boiling water. Fifth steep 10 minutes with boiling water. I would drink this every day if I could, but, due to the involved method of brewing this, makes it impractical for most offices. I haven’t brewed it in the “western style”, and I’m hesitant to “waste” this tea that way. If I feel particularly lazy, perhaps I’ll try it, and give my thoughts on it then. But any green-tea lover should definitely try fukamushi sencha. Easily my favourite sencha.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
teaplz

Thanks for the awesome descriptive-ness of this! I completely botched my first attempt with a fukamushi sencha (Maeda-en’s), so it’s really great to read something that worked out!

unstable

Just read your review. Yeah, from what I can tell Fukamushi is stronger, more sensitive to quantities and time, which surprises me it worked as well as it did with my usual sencha regimen – but then again, I tend to use “heaping” teaspoon scoops for my regular sencha, where this I was almost exactly a teaspoon. The green does not really get to that golden yellow most sencha’s have, until about the 5th steep, and even then, its still very green. Not as green as Samovar’s Ryokucha/matcha, but green for a green tea. I’m also very cautious on time. I start pouring before the timer runs out. I don’t know. I’ve made this tea 4 times now(not counting the re-steeps), and each have been successful (at least for me).

Angrboda

Say, is that (traditional style) what is known as gong-fu style brewing? I’ve been meaning to try and learn something about that, but I always seem to get distracted and forget about it again, so I still don’t know how to do that other than I think it’s something to do with a more leaves and shorter steeps.

unstable

@Angrbody I’m not an expert. But, essentially yes. I always interpreted it as “less water”, than “more leaves”. Either way you spin it, its the same thing in the end(glass half full, or glass half empty). I use smaller vessels (cups and pots – more traditional asian size, that hold only 2-3 oz/60-90ml – to put that in perspective, thats 1/6 to 1/4 of a soda can, and kyusu, which average around 6-9 oz). Hypothetically you could do the same thing with more tea in larger vessels, but you’d have to play with the quantity/water ratio a bit to get it.

Angrboda

Cool, thanks. I have some small cups that might be good for experimenting with. Probably a bit bigger than yours, since I haven’t ever measured what they hold, but it should be close enough. I’ll have to try that some time when I have better time. :)

unstable

Guess I’ll throw in one last comment. If your using a pot/kyusu, or even a gaiwan. Remove the lid after each steep to let it breathe. Otherwise it can sort of “re-steep” the leaves with the build-up of moisture from the steam, which can possibly negatively effect the flavour of the next steep.

Keemun

Sencha rocks…

Lydia

wow! thanks so much for the brewing instructions. i tried following samovar’s but i found i a bit confusing and the tea came out way too strong for my taste. i thought maybe it was because i didn’t use a kyusu pot but after using your method, i immediately fell in love with this tea!

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Comments

teaplz

Thanks for the awesome descriptive-ness of this! I completely botched my first attempt with a fukamushi sencha (Maeda-en’s), so it’s really great to read something that worked out!

unstable

Just read your review. Yeah, from what I can tell Fukamushi is stronger, more sensitive to quantities and time, which surprises me it worked as well as it did with my usual sencha regimen – but then again, I tend to use “heaping” teaspoon scoops for my regular sencha, where this I was almost exactly a teaspoon. The green does not really get to that golden yellow most sencha’s have, until about the 5th steep, and even then, its still very green. Not as green as Samovar’s Ryokucha/matcha, but green for a green tea. I’m also very cautious on time. I start pouring before the timer runs out. I don’t know. I’ve made this tea 4 times now(not counting the re-steeps), and each have been successful (at least for me).

Angrboda

Say, is that (traditional style) what is known as gong-fu style brewing? I’ve been meaning to try and learn something about that, but I always seem to get distracted and forget about it again, so I still don’t know how to do that other than I think it’s something to do with a more leaves and shorter steeps.

unstable

@Angrbody I’m not an expert. But, essentially yes. I always interpreted it as “less water”, than “more leaves”. Either way you spin it, its the same thing in the end(glass half full, or glass half empty). I use smaller vessels (cups and pots – more traditional asian size, that hold only 2-3 oz/60-90ml – to put that in perspective, thats 1/6 to 1/4 of a soda can, and kyusu, which average around 6-9 oz). Hypothetically you could do the same thing with more tea in larger vessels, but you’d have to play with the quantity/water ratio a bit to get it.

Angrboda

Cool, thanks. I have some small cups that might be good for experimenting with. Probably a bit bigger than yours, since I haven’t ever measured what they hold, but it should be close enough. I’ll have to try that some time when I have better time. :)

unstable

Guess I’ll throw in one last comment. If your using a pot/kyusu, or even a gaiwan. Remove the lid after each steep to let it breathe. Otherwise it can sort of “re-steep” the leaves with the build-up of moisture from the steam, which can possibly negatively effect the flavour of the next steep.

Keemun

Sencha rocks…

Lydia

wow! thanks so much for the brewing instructions. i tried following samovar’s but i found i a bit confusing and the tea came out way too strong for my taste. i thought maybe it was because i didn’t use a kyusu pot but after using your method, i immediately fell in love with this tea!

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