drank sencha kura by Théhuone
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.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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An ex-coffee addict who just a little while ago finally admitted that coffee was only making him nervous and anxious. I´m at awe of the rich world that has opened to my senses after changing to tea. Each morning as I open my eyes I´m already thinking about which tea to have… it´s just wonderful, not a habit but a real passion. Or at least the beginnings of one.

Otherwise, I´m 36- years old, have a wonderful wife, two kids, two dogs. We live in an 70- year old house that isn´t sure to be standing for too many more.

With teas I´m still very much at the beginning stage where there´s so many things I haven´t tried and don´t know about that it´s almost overwhelming, but I´m trying to learn to enjoy the process and to be open to everything new.

I just keep on marveling about how satisfying a cup of tea really can be, on so many levels!


Vantaa, Finland

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