Kabuse Sencha

Tea type
Green Tea
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Buffalo Grass, Nectar, Umami, Vegetal, Broth, Cannabis, Fruity, Ocean Breeze, Seaweed, Spinach, Zucchini, Butter, Grass, Toast, Vegetables, Peas
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Edit tea info Last updated by Shinobi_cha
Average preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 9 oz / 264 ml

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From Obubu Tea

Our most premium green tea, Kabuse Sencha (かぶせ煎茶) or shaded tea, can be steeped into a rich syrupy tea using a warm water steeping technique because the leaves are so delicate and tender. Using a standard boiling water steeping method, and the taste is delicate and sweet.

Grown by covering the tea plants just after new leaves begin to sprout in early May, the shade reduces sunlight by as much as 85% to encourage the plants to produce wide, tender, chlorophyll-rich tea leaves. Two weeks later they are harvested and processed ready for shipping by the end of the month. Obubu’s Kabuse Sencha is grown at a relatively high altitude for the region (500 m or 1640 ft) on southeast facing slopes providing good exposure to the sun (an important combination for shaded tea!).

Product name: Kabuse Sencha
Ingredients: 100% aracha from Wazuka, Kyoto
Tea plant: Yabukita plants, about 35 years old
Cultivation notes: Covered for 14 days before harvesting with tarp to reduce 85% of sunlight reaching the leaves
Harvest period: mid-May
Processing notes: light steaming (about 20 seconds)
Product size: 1 bag (24.5 x11.5 x2.0 cm / 9.65 x4.53 x0.79 in)
Weight of contents: 100 g / 3.53 oz
Producer: Akihiro Kita
Expiration: Good for 6 months from shipment
Storage: Seal tightly and refrigerate

About Obubu Tea View company

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11 Tasting Notes

134 tasting notes

I had been saving my sample of Kabuse Sencha this past month until I had a nice calm evening to really sit quietly and enjoy the flavors of this wonderful tea. The aroma of the dry leaves is phenomenal and I decided to use the Wazuka, or Southern Kyoto steeping technique which Obubu Tea describes in their brochure and on their website. My small kyusu teapot was used for all, after being warmed first and 5 grams of tea added.

1st (concentrated) steeping: Only 3 oz or 80 ml of 160F/70C spring water, for 1.5 minutes. Brews up a “sencha espresso” that is very sweet, nicely vegetal and tastes like spring. Aroma and after taste have just a hint of a savory character.

2nd through 4th steeping: Full 6 oz or 180 ml of spring water gradually increasing the temperature and time with each steeping. The flavor and aroma become less sweet, and more vegetal with almost no detectable bitterness or astringency. Very nice balance, and truly enjoyable.

The leaves are so tender and hydrated after steeping, that they can easily be eaten. I used mine to make “green rice” for dinner. Simply added the leaves to some pre-cooked brown rice with just a touch of soy sauce and a few green chives on top.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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280 tasting notes

I had to try an ice brew method with this one, because I know it is so successful and wanted to give Obubu’s highest quality tea the best shot possible.

I may not have needed to do so, because every steeping was really delicious and overall the tea seemed pretty unique (in a refreshing way!). I’m surprised it is aracha, because it seemed to be only leaf (small whole leaves and broken pieces). There were so many small pieces in the dry leaf, I’m also surprised it wasn’t a chu or fukamushi.

I couldn’t figure out why I liked it, but it didn’t have the typical gyokuro flavors (nor the typical sencha ones)… it wasn’t strongly marine flavored or vegetal, or super sweet or bitter, or fruity, and yet somehow it was full of flavor and gave 5 good infusions.

I’ve finally finished the sampler from Obubu, and overall I wasn’t too impressed, but they do carry a couple that I found to be pretty good – this and Sencha of the Earth I can think of off the top of my head. Those might be good enough to pick up 100g some day. If they sold them in 50g sizes, I would definitely put them on the shopping list, because it would not only be cheaper in that amount, but 100g is just a lot of tea! (I get tired of the same one after a while, so it’s nice to have something different to try, and 2 – 2.5oz seems like the sweet spot for me).

Iced 8 min or more

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310 tasting notes

I just received this sample as part of the Owners Club Gift. I don’t like it at all. Very green and bitter. I tried it using the warm and then standard methods of steeping and didn’t care for either outcome.

155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 30 sec

try shorter steeps, say 30 seconds.

Obubu Tea

haha…it’s not for everyone :)

Obubu Tea

15-30 second steeps are best with this tea…….for those who like a light taste, it’s water in water out.

Rumpus Parable

Thank you for the info, I will definitely re-try it at shorter steepings.

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1113 tasting notes


Very vegetable and pure. The liquid comes out darker as you rebrew it, which is rare for me to do with sencha. I brewed this three times and was quite happy every single time, it was close to a gyokuro without the buttery texture. The smoothness and size of the leaf of this tea when combined to its color… makes it certain that I will have my first flush sencha from Obubu on preorder come February 2016 :)


i love the freshly cut grass taste of most Japanese green teas


nice pics :D

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521 tasting notes

This was included in my Yunomi order :)

I decided I should try out some warm water steeping for this, so I gave it a shot. I ripped open this package to take in my surprise. I pour out some astonishing long emerald shards. They vary in color from forest green to a lime topaz. The aroma of these leaves is pure vegetal. This tea evokes growth! I prepare my kyusu for a pleasant brew. The first steeping was a translucent nectar. The syrup was softly sweet with notes of light grass. This brew carried a bright spring scent of a vegetable garden in full swing. The next subsequent brews gained more and more depth. This drink became grassy and full of umami. I was able to get four steepings from these leaves (which is a lot for japanese sencha). I love this tea and I cant wait for this years harvest!


Flavors: Buffalo Grass, Nectar, Umami, Vegetal

165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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894 tasting notes

The dry leaf smells like an ocean breeze – light and cool, almost misty, with a touch of seaweed and salt.

Steeped, this one has a lot of marine qualities to it – strong seaweed and umami notes. Steeped for 45 seconds, it’s light and cooling. An additional 10 seconds changed it completely, making it very brothlike, with a much thicker body and a more savoury quality. There are hints of spinach and zucchini now.

Quite enjoyable. Less sweet than most of the other senchas I’ve sampled recently.

Edit: Second steep is weird. Tastes like generic fruity flavours and cannabis.

Flavors: Broth, Cannabis, Fruity, Ocean Breeze, Seaweed, Spinach, Umami, Zucchini

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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863 tasting notes

So, by mistake I overlooked a response to a tasting note I wrote about Steepster Select’s Obukucha from earlier this year. I was swooning about the briny seaweed notes in that tea, waxing poetic about how it is exactly the taste profile I want in a Japanese tea, etc.

The reply, written 8 months ago, would have saved me A LOT of searching for flavor profiles. Turns out that the salty mineral taste I seek is Uji region specific. D’OH. So I ordered some of that, but in the mean time I have like 5 other senchas to get through before they lose their freshness. This tea, which I got from the Obubu tea club earlier in the year, is one of them.

Brewed at the hot water steeping parameters ( 5g. tea for 6 oz. water @ 212F for 30 seconds), I opened this and the dry leaf smelled immediately of sweet buttered spinach. It looked like jade green grass clippings, so, quality sencha in other words.

Now that I know that sencha varies by region I’m that much more fascinated and interested in picking up the differences for myself. This is an earthy sencha – in that it gives me no marine/seaweed characteristics whatsoever. It is grassy, and again, that sweet, buttery spinach is what I taste. It doesn’t have what I necessarily consider to be umami, but it does have just a touch of astringence when it cools. Overall its a sweeter sencha, and a solid one if salty brothy senchas aren’t your thing.

Also, it pairs quite well with seaweed salad and udon noodles. I can speak from experience :).

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Spinach

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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306 tasting notes

This tea is chock full of umami flavor, very savory. There are hints of brussel sprout and grilled cheese sandwich (mostly the flavor of bread that’s been toasted in a pan with butter). It leaves a really savory flavor in the mouth. I wouldn’t say this one is sweet particularly, just really rich and mellow.

By the second infusion the tea tastes a bit metallic as it cools down. It seems to have expended most of the flavor on the first infusion (only 1 minute). There are fresh green bean and mild nutty flavors, overall it seems very subdued.

I’m a little new to sencha, so I’m not sure how much flavor should be present in the repeat infusions. It seems from my experience that it’s usually a lot more muted after the first, so most of my rating for the tea comes from there.

I actually really preferred Obubu’s Sencha of Brightness to this top-of-the-line sencha from Obubu that is double the price.

Flavors: Butter, Toast, Umami, Vegetables

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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2816 tasting notes

Tea #2 of the day…

Wow I was so looking forward to trying the senchas from Obubu, but sadly none of them have really blown me away so far and they all seem sort of similar. I made the sample in my Lupicia handy cooler and was just so eager to scarf down some green tea I am now drinking it by the glassful. Maybe I should have made this is a smaller teapot?

Anyway my tea liquor is very light, compared to other kabuse senchas I’ve had this isn’t nearly as bright green. It has a nice sweet vegetal flavor — reminds me of peas — but with a bit of palette cleansing astringency in the finish. Definitely not a bad tea, jut not super thrilling.

It does seem to be waking me up, however!

Flavors: Peas

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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675 tasting notes

I received a sample of this tea from Yunomius, an online marketplace that features small Japanese tea businesses. Thanks for the sample, Yunomius! Mine came months and months ago, so it’s from the 2013 harvest.

I brewed this tea using the company’s suggested “warm water” steeping technique (https://yunomi.us/716/warm-water-steeping-technique/). This was a totally different tea experience from anything I’ve had before.

I made the first steep at 160f for 2 mins in my gaiwan. The tea was thick, almost syrupy. The flavor was sweet, spinachy, and creamy. There was a slightly dry but thick aftertaste.

I made the second steep at 180f for 30 secs. This brew was smoooooth. Still thick, but not as syrupy. There was a vegetal sweetness to it and a slightly astringent aftertaste. It became more savory as it cooled to lukewarm – evocative of simple congee.

I made the third steep at 190f for 50 secs. This was the best yet. Sweet and savory in equal measure. The mouthfeel was absolutely perfect. Smooth and thick without being syrupy.

I made the fourth steep at 200f for 1 min. This one was more savory and vegetal with a slightly dry mouthfeel. What I’d normally expect from a good sencha, basically.

I made this in my gaiwan, but I would not advise it. It just couldn’t quite contain the leaves and bits got through into the tea. Maybe it just takes more finesse with the pour than I currently possess. If I had this tea again, I would brew it in my glass gong fu teapot.

The company suggests making a salad out of the used leaves. So I did! I mixed them up with some soy sauce and chowed down. It was decent. Just tasted like steamed spinach. I bet it would be good over rice.

Overall, this was a really special tea experience and a really special tea. I wouldn’t keep it in my regular rotation only because it’s rather pricey. I would definitely pick this up again as a special treat though. The Obubu website only sells it in 100g bags ($33 US), but yunomi.us has it in quantities as small as 10g ($4 US).


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