Market Stand Green Tea #2

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Green Tea
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190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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  • “I have been so far rather “wow’d” by the smoothness at total lack of bitterness, the durability of the teas to long steeping without a hint of over-extraction, and yet still able to provide...” Read full tasting note

From Sakuma Brothers

In continuing with the review of the teas sent by the Sakuma Brother’s farm in Skagit Valley, Washington – I elect to move on to the second sample of the green tea offering.

Its very interesting to find such a flavor profile shift, knowing in advance that the tea comes from the same soil, same farm, potentially same hill/elevation, same weather, and potentially the same production. It says a lot about the craft and complexity that goes into not only producing a good batch of quality tea, but also in delivering a consistent flavor profile that can seduce a tea enthusiast.

I have a few more details gleaned from the email I shared with Richard, one of the main Sakuma brothers, about their farm and he share that they are "still very much in the research and development stage of growing, harvesting, processing, and packing our teas. We are harvesting 7 different varieties developed/collected 20+ years ago by our partner who we have been working with for about 14 years. Our one acre parcel has produced up to 150 lbs of finished tea in the past and I believe it could produce a bit more. It is grown without chemicals but not certified organic. "

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1 Tasting Note

54 tasting notes
I have been so far rather “wow’d” by the smoothness at total lack of bitterness, the durability of the teas to long steeping without a hint of over-extraction, and yet still able to provide multiple steeps. It makes me wonder at the difference of various varietals as well as the potential affect that even modern production/shipping takes on all the teas that are imported and if this tea’s fresh appearance, aroma, and its steeping durability has something to do with ‘local’ harvesting. I recall having the teas from South Carolina and being very unimpressed, but I will admit that my tea understanding and palate was not ‘mindful’ and I can’t equivocate the two, except to say I much prefer the shining example of the Sakuma bros.

To get to the tea at hand and so share and show to amazing difference between production styles…here’s tea #2:

Market Stand Green Tea #2

Dry aroma: toasted, mineral, citrus, fruity, with a hint of fresh sockeye salmon flesh (I know this is a strange distinction, but having been a fisherman for 17 years in Alaska and also having a oddly acute sense of smell, I can actually smell the difference between species – I also should mention, this is a smell that is distinctive and should not be equated to ‘fishy’ but rather one of ocean brine and cleaner oceanic life, not the funk of groceries, open markets, or river fish)

Wet aroma: Fresh green beans, asparagus, citrus, trout, and marsh grass. (and yes I mean the flat, earthy fish aroma from freshly cleaned trout)

Appearance: Twisted- knotted, dark olive hued, almost camouflage like colors across the leaves.

Cup: 1st extraction. 3.1g in 8oz porcelain gaiwan, in 190 degree filtered water steeped for 2 minutes
White grapefruit hued liquor, soft mineral-zinc like initial flavor that finishes clean but leaves a almost vibrational feeling in the mouth, particularly along the back cuspids, like a merging of the body and flavor into a single fluid sensation.

2nd extraction: 200 degree water, 3 minutes
Strong lemony yellow hued liquor. Rich mineral front notes, clean and smooth body and finish, with a note of fresh asparagus and clarified butter.

Notes: This tea reminded me a lot of a number of green teas that I have had in a Mao Feng style but grown and produced in Ceylon and coming from the Camellia Assamica plant varietal. There is a similar signature in the mineral-like flavor and rich body. The color is also similar.
Some might be immediately turned from the descriptions of salmon, trout, and mineral, but as every palate perceives in a different way, I very much encourage people to try this tea as its character is so distinctive that is seems to suggest that it grows with natural sea fertilizers and perhaps is even translating the micro-climate of being in the Skagit valley.
Its very drinkable and seems impervious to over extraction and the leaves are large and carefully tended and it shows in the large leaves and the colors in them.

Thanks again to the Sakuma bros.!

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
E Alexander Gerster

It is interesting that they don’t have their teas separated into #1, #2, etc for any of the different types on their webpage. The two greens and one white that you have reviewed so far made me want to check them out. It would be nice also if they told you the vintage of the tea… Spring, Summer or Fall plucking. Sounds like great potential with Sakuma Brothers, and always appreciate your thorough reviews and tasting notes!


I would be happy to send you some of what I have left….I’m in a dialog now with one of the Sakuma brothers to see if we might be able to carry some of those teas through our retail stores here in Ohio….He sent me an email today with more info that I will share with my reviews of the oolong and the other white tea that might illuminate some of your questions.

E Alexander Gerster

Very cool! I’m never one to turn away trying a new tea! :)

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