2013 Sencha of the Earth:
I purchased the Alfredo and Akky Tea Box from Tealet fairly recently, and today I’ll be looking at the Sencha of the Earth from Obubu Tea. Before I get to the tea itself, I want to talk about the packaging a little. This was my first order from Tealet, even though I’ve known about Tealet for quite some time, I’ve never bought anything before because for the most part Tealet sells their teas by 15g, which is something of a weird increment to sell by when most tea stores sell either 25-28gs or an ounce for the smallest non-sample sized available, but I decided to buy the Alfreddo and Akky Tea Box because it was fairly inexpensive and I had an overwhelming desire to finally try some of their sourced teas. I like the idea and spirit behind Tealet, but I’d be more comfortable buying teas from them in the future if they increased the amount of tea, even if that means raising the price.
The dry leaf had a peppery vegetable smell and had the standard sencha look, mostly unbroken, but there were little bits of shredded leaf; mostly green, but with a little light yellow thrown in. Regardless I started brewing at 175 °F in my houhin for one minute. Immediately I could smell a green bean aroma while the taste was mostly nutty, but I could also distinguish both bark and something sweet, although there was some bitterness as well. I’d like the bitterness to be more pronounced, but this steeping was fine, right now it was sweeter than being bitter and has a pleasant astringency. It had a a very pleasant mouthfeel, a little thicker then what one’d expect for a Japanese tea.
For my next steeping I brewed at 180 °F for one and half minutes. This time the aroma was nutty and maybe a little seaweed. While the taste was drastically different from the last; this time it had a strong nutty taste, a mild seaweed taste and very mild honey notes. This infusion was still sweeter then bitter, but not as sweet as the last. I am starting to like this tea more. Generally I like bitterness in Japanese greens.
For my third steeping I brewed at 185 °F for two minutes. This was my favorite infusion; it had a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness. The aroma was pretty much gone by now, but it still had a nutty taste, almost like a Long Jing, but a little more grassy this time, it still had a sweetness there, but it was a little muted. While it did not have the same mouthfeel of the first and second infusion, this was by far my favorite steeping
I got three more infusions out of the leaves, but after the third they became very light. Overall I rather enjoyed this tea. I haven’t had much luck with Japanese teas this year, but this is definitely my favorite Sencha that I tried (although I still have two more in the Tealet Tea Box, so who knows if it will still be my favorite afterwards). This Sencha of The Earth revitalized my interest in Japanese greens, and I’ll have to keep my eye on Obubu Tea.