Sencha from Fuji, Sôfû cultivar

Tea type
Green Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Shinobi_cha
Average preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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  • “What I guessed would be a particularly unique sencha in the same vein as a few others I’ve reviewed from Thes du Japon, has actually felt a little more like ‘coming home’ to a familiar tea. If I...” Read full tasting note

From Thes du Japon

Type of tea : Futsumushi sencha (normal-steamed sencha)
Origin: Shizuoka Prefecture, Fuji City, Imamiya
Cultivar: Sôfû
Harvest: First spring harvest (ichiban cha), hand picked

At the foot of Mt Fuji, the talented Katsuhide Akiyama grows around 40 different Japanese tea cultivars. They include Sôfû, a variety of tea plant originally developed for semi-fermented teas (Oolong). It is thus a cultivar that we can expect to have a strong fragrance. Sôfû is born of the crossing of the great Japanese classic Yabukita with the excentric Inzatsu 131 of Indian origin.

It is a green tea, a hand-picked futsumushi sencha (normal-steamed sencha), with delicate, finely rolled leaves. After infusion, the leaves release a subtle fragrance of sweet flowers from the lands of monsoons. This is a quality that is also found in the aftertaste of the liquor, which has a good balance between sweetness and astringency, mixed with light notes of lily of the valley, a legacy from Inzatsu 131. The taste of this tea is light, but long in the mouth, and also contains subtle hints of white grapes.

It is a delicate, subtle tea.

Steeping method
Quantity of leaves*: 3-4 g / 1-1.3 tsp per person
Quantity of water: 70 ml / 1/4 cup per person
Water temperature: 70°C / 158°F
Steeping time: 70-80 seconds

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1 Tasting Note

280 tasting notes

What I guessed would be a particularly unique sencha in the same vein as a few others I’ve reviewed from Thes du Japon, has actually felt a little more like ‘coming home’ to a familiar tea.

If I were to name one sencha that I really enjoy, have had more than others, and is always appreciated, it would be Sencha Zuiko from Den’s Tea. It’s a classic light-steamed sencha, from Honyama. But, I don’t love the fact that it only comes in 2oz packages, rather than 100g…anyway…

This tea has the very same dry leaf smell (once put into the warm teapot, they become very sweet and bakey-like), and the very same aroma from the liquor, a nice mix of nori, bakey, bitter, and sweet. I don’t know for sure, but I think this tea had these qualities and felt familiar because it is also made from the Yabukita cultivar.

What made it unique and distinct, however was a delicious, sweet, flower tone that lay underneath these other, familiar flavors. The sweetness, maybe like honeysuckle, was really good, and most apparent on the first two steeps.

This distinct floral aroma becomes less sweet, but more clear as floral, in the aftertaste. No, it’s nothing like the orchid taste of oolong, nor is the aftertaste a strong sweetness that remains in the throat for a long time. Instead, it is a very refreshing, subtle aroma that is more clear after the other, typical sencha flavors have disappeared.

I was most surprised by the fact that this aroma only grew stronger after additional steeps! Most senchas I find I’m done at 3-4 steeps… this one seems to get a real second wind at the 4th and easily goes 5… maybe more.

If you like standard, quality, light-steamed sencha, this tea is a good fit—with a delicious twist.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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