drank Organic Sencha by Den's Tea
2000 tasting notes

Number 2 from the Den’s sampler — this was what they put in for the variable, seasonal tea. It’s leaves are lovely and delicate, almost feathery, and very green. They smell juicy and vegetal, like the unflavored Chinese greens I’ve tasted: a mix of cabbage, spinach, asparagus and butter, but there is also a fresh, field-like note to them. I hesitate to call it grassy because some people view that as a negative. Bucolic would be an apt substitute. There is something else as well, a slight marine scent. It’s interesting to me that this can coexist with the pastoral one. It’s rather like what you’d expect to smell if you were standing in coastal farmland.

60 seconds at 160F got me a gentle chartreuse colored liquor with extremely fine solute suspended in it. The aroma was very like that of the dry leaves, though milder.

The taste is fresh and pleasant, vegetal but not as much so or as buttery as in the Chinese greens I’ve tasted. Though I haven’t tasted that many green teas and certainly have not knowingly tasted a sencha before, this is what I think of when I think of what a green tea tastes like. It’s a sort of Platonic ideal of green-teaness, which is a cool association, though I have to wonder why I have this archetype in my head when I have no experience to back it up.

I was relieved that it wasn’t bitter or grassy (in a bad way), and I think it’s the sort of taste that will grow on me. Though I’m naturally drawn to the big, bold, robust flavors of black teas, there are times when you want a sauvignon blanc rather than a big cab.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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