So I recently tried 5 different fukamushis, took notes each day, and now I’m ready to post the results and rank them! I used as equal parameters as possible to eliminate factors that could have affected the flavor or results. I am no expert or scientist; plus the results pretty much lined up with the cost of each tea, so there’s no big suprises here either!
(I’m going to put only the tasting note for each tea involved under the steepster profile of that tea, but the results I’ll include on each one).
6 oz + 2 heaping tsp leaf
1st – 160, 30scds: The brewed leaf was a really pleasing, beautiful color; it looked like fresh leaves just picked (though it was very small pieces of course, because the steaming breaks it up like that). The initial flavor was almost exactly like the hashiri shincha, that young, somewhat bitter then sweet flavor that tasted very fresh. This tea seemed at first just like a more mature hashiri shincha. However, this gave way to a pure, powerful, mouth filling, broth-like umami, which was very different than the hashiri. Don’t imagine it tasted like ramen broth, but imagine it tasted like delicious tea, and had the same wonderful feel and effects of the most delicious, (even sweet) broth you’ve drunk. Yes, I could describe it the same many do, ‘vegetal’, but it was still tea. It was like all the richness you get from cheesecake or some other dessert, without being sugary, or giving you the feeling that you’d get sick after a couple of bites. You could drink cup after cup and experience that delicious richness without becoming sick in the process. So good!
2nd – 180, 15scds: I got 5 steepings from this, and 2-4 were also very good. The flavor slowly changed in each one, but was good for different reasons. I remember the 2nd having still a lot of that pure, almost thick flavor…almost as if you could eat it. It wasn’t as powerful as the 1st steeping, but had a bit more of the lingering sweetness at the end. By steepings 3 and 4, I remember the initial flavor being excellent, a delicious bitterness that quickly transformed to intense sweetness. After that dissipated, there wasn’t much flavor left in the taste, but was overall very good for being the 3rd and 4th steeping.
1. Shincha Houryoku (Den’s)
2. Fukamushi Sencha Yame (Den’s)
3. Sen Cha (Sugimoto USA)
4. Fukamushi Sencha Special (Den’s)
5. Ocha-Zanmai Fukamushi (Yamamotoyama)