This green tea looks rather thin and delicate like mei hua or a bi luo chun but less fuzzy. The scent is sweet and has a note of tropical fruit, maybe passion fruit, as well as a lightly floral quality and a vegetal kind of green bean scent.
The taste is gentle. The most obvious to me is a lotus flavor, which is sort of a creamy and delicate floral and anise-like flavor if you’ve never had it. As the tea cools it tastes rather umami, a bit like gyokuro, and there’s a hint of pleasant bitterness in the finish.
On the second infusion, the flavor is similar but a bit sweeter and milder. Same with the third, but yeilding a little more bitterness.
I brewed it at 2.5g/100ml. When I brewed it again with only 2g of leaf per 100ml the flavor was much more delicate and the “pleasant bitterness” wasn’t even present at all, so it’s a much smoother cup. I’ve been experimenting with leaf amounts for green tea in a pseudo-gongfu style lately to try to find what works best for me. It’s been a lot tougher for green teas than most other types. I keep fluctuating between 2.5g and 2g per 100ml, and much like with this review, the higher amount gives stronger tasting results with more distinguishable flavors, while the lower amount tends to produce a more agreeable and delicate flavor, but bordering on so subtle as to be bland, not in the sense that it doesn’t taste good, but in the sense that it doesn’t taste significantly different from other green teas. Particularly, the repeated infusions seem really dull with this amount of leaf.
As for Sky Between the Branches, I think it’s one of the better green teas you’ll find from Republic of Tea. It’s worth a try if you have it in bulk nearby. They stock it at Whole Foods near me. I wouldn’t buy a whole can of it without trying first though.
Flavors: Floral, Sweet, Vegetal