I purchased this tea at a local international foods grocery for a relatively decent amount of money (100g for $10). Being only fluent in English, it was difficult for me to know what I was getting since the packaging is mostly in Japanese. I could understand the maker was Fukujuen and the it was a blend of Kabusencha and Sencha prepared in Fukamushi style (or deep steamed). I couldn’t figure out the location of where the tea came from for sure but I believe it is near Kyoto. Kabusencha has been grown in the shade more than Sencha. Kabusencha is supposed to have a flavor profile similar to Sencha with more Umami but perhaps not as much as Gyokuro. Fukamushi processing results in a tea much darker than a Sencha style. Fukamushi processing is supposed to suppress the astringency, while gaining more body and sweetness. I feel it also has a much more pronounced “marine essence”. For this tea, the packaging was very good and did an excellent job retaining the freshness of the tea. When I opened the bag for the first time and took a sniff, the scent was amazing. Moist, vegetal, and very grassy smelling. The first time I brewed this tea, I didn’t enjoy it too much. It tasted flat and boring plus I didn’t enjoy the tea debris in the bottom of my cup (result of Fukamushi processing from what I understand). The second time was a completely different story. I used a different filter and mug with less tea and a lower temperature (brewing Western Style). Going a little lower in temperature helped this tea immensely. Right around 160 degrees F for 2 minutes was my sweet spot. The recommendation on the packaging is to steep for 45 seconds but I prefer a longer steep. Adjusting the brewing temperature brought out a very smooth, sweet, umami rich flavor. This obviously is not the highest quality Japanese tea money can buy but with some care, you can get a very worthwhile experience out of this purchase.
Flavors: Cut Grass, Marine, Ocean Air, Vegetal