Sencha Special Grade Yamato (TJ16)

Tea type
Green Tea
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Butter, Grass, Seaweed, Spinach, Zucchini
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Edit tea info Last updated by Pamela Dean
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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From Upton Tea Imports

A superior grade of Sencha, with a brighter flavor and smoother aftertaste. Also known as our “Sencha Yamato”. Highly recommended.

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15 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

Tastes like spinach veering into seaweed territory. More seaweed as it cools. It’s not bitter and I think it is of good quality – it’s just not my thing. (I don’t like sushi and don’t like seaweed at all!) I think this is going into the Traveling Teabox!!!!!! I think I may make some Earl Grey to get this taste out of my mouth!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

Are we measuring TTB excitement by amount of !s used? You must be pretty excited with those six. :p


Partially excitement about the teabox, partially how much I would like this tea in a box going somewhere else than my tea cabinet! :) :) :) and partially because I chronically abuse the exclamation point (!!!!!) It’s a good tea, just not at all my preference. If I had a tea that I thought was poor quality, I’d put it in my compost bin and wouldn’t inflict it on anyone!


I do hope people aren’t afraid of adding stuff they don’t like to the box. Chances are someone down the line will like it. Otherwise it would just go to waste.


Oh yes – I just meant that I wasn’t giving away junk :) It’s good stuff… for the seaweed inclined :) :) :)


Hee, yeah. After all I added the white cucumber that Ricky sent me. I know there are others who like that (or are curious to try it), so it’s going back across the water again. :)


So, you didn’t like it?


:P~ ~
(That is me spitting out the seaweed I mean tea!)

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257 tasting notes

I have taken to sampling green teas and I like this. I don’t think that green tea will ever be a favorite of mine, but I like to have it occasionally. I ordered some samplers from Upton Tea Imports—-they have earned my eternal gratitude by providing 15 g. samples for just a little bit of money. The tea is bright, vegetal, flavorful. It is not an exuberant green that tastes like rolling around in a spinach field or in a huge vat of freshly mown grass. It’s restraint is a virtue, however.

Curious, I looked up the meaning of Yamoto and the ever-reliable (:-)) Wikipedia informs me that: “The term was semantically extended to mean “Japan” or “Japanese” in general, and carries many of the same connotations as Americana does for the United States.”

While I think I like this tea better than the other reviewers, I also doubt that I will select it as a “go-to” green tea. I’m still seeking that one green tea that I will cherish above all others and want to keep in stock.

SECOND STEEP: The second steep was very well-behaved; was neither too weak nor too strong. It seemed to have blossomed a bit more towards a slight floral note. Very aromatic.

2 min, 30 sec
Jim Marks

Finding a Japanese style green that appeals to any given person’s palate is a completely subjective adventure. Some people love those “shredded kale” kinds of varieties and some people hate them. Anyone who can’t cope with any vegetal element at all should be drinking Chinese green, not Japanese (imho).

I think green, like oolong, is far too big of a spectrum to have just one “go to”. White and black teas this is not too difficult to do. But green and oolong can be radically different from each other, and “great” for completely different non-contradictory reasons.


I really do agree with you, Jim Marks. I have got some other greens that I like and I have enough samples to try out quite a few. I gather that the shelf life is no more than 3 months, so it does require a bit of a balancing act to have not too much nor too little.

Jim Marks

Yeah, that’s the kind of thing when I miss living close enough to the TeaG retail shop to just go in and get “to go” cups of various things until I found what I liked.

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1113 tasting notes

Mmmm, sencha! I like this pretty well but I think I prefer the sencha from Den’s tea. I will have no problem finishing the sample of this I ordered though! :)

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6770 tasting notes

I grabbed a sample portion from the Traveling Tea Box only because I haven’t tried this specific kind before.

It’s not memorable…it does taste like dark leafy green spinach…I couldn’t drink it alone so I am pairing it with my lunch which happens to be Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna. It fits well and brings out the cheesy and sauce flavor of the Lasagna more – LOL – Honestly, I doubt I would try the Sencha Special Grade from Upton again…sorry…

But I am grateful to have tried it…rather than to never have tried it at all, I suppose. :)


That was the only tea I’ve ever rated a “1” – ugghh!!


I wondered about that…lol…my lunch is what made me finish the cup! LOL

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166 tasting notes

Smell is what I expect from a sencha, with buttery, seaweedy notes. Taste leans towards the buttery tasting side, with a pretty smooth, clean mouthfeel. This is one of the better senchas I have had thus far, but then again I’ve never really tried a Japanese green tea that I didn’t like. I wish I had some of my other favorite senchas on hand so I could do a direct comparison.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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76 tasting notes

I’m on a green tea kick and this sencha hits the spot. Thanks Stephanie for this. Everything you’ve sent so far has been great.

This tea is very savory with a sweet finish. Not recommended for anyone who isn’t a serious green fan.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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183 tasting notes

A rating of 1, really? maybe best not to give a numerical rating to teas you don’t like altogether, because it can skew the ratings for a tea, like this sencha which IS grassy and wonderfully evocative of the ocean environment it hails from. I’ve had many cups of this sencha and, for those who like this type of tea it is one you can really sink your teeth into. Keep the water below 190 and steep for 2.5 minutes max and you’ll avoid any bitterness.

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972 tasting notes

I got this sample from KiwiDelight. I’m not really going to go into the dry leaf, because I think most of us know what dry sencha looks and smells like (at least, anyone who reads my notes will know by now). Steeped for 1 minute as per usual.

The aroma is pretty standard but still nice – a mixture of spinach and alfalfa with a buttery edge. Tasting this, I assumed that this was a heavily steamed variety because it has more intense flavors. However, it’s actually because it’s not harvested until autumn (I don’t know how steamed it is, it didn’t say). It’s a nice balance between the intense and sweet flavors of gyokuro and the more savory flavor of sencha. I get notes of spinach, zucchini, and butter with a little touch of savory seaweed. Overall, quite tasty and I would definitely drink it again. :)

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Seaweed, Spinach, Zucchini

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

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633 tasting notes

a nice moderate sencha :) with medium grassy/veggie taste :P

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215 tasting notes

This sencha is ‘clean and green’ in flavor. I moistened it with cool water before steeping, as a buffer against my predictable lack of care in regard to water temp. I poured hot water and decanted after 30 seconds, yielding a pale green liquor which was only slightly bitter, with enough flavor to be worthwhile. I like spinach, which is fortunate when it comes to green tea. The resteep was also 30 sec, with almost no bitterness and more asparagus. Still, this is more exercise than enjoyment for me, as I continue my attempt to appreciate these fussy steepers. I kept wishing it were a white instead. I may never be big on greens, but this one has made it into my ‘okay’ category. It helps if I’m in a monkish, less self-indulgent mood and remind myself of it’s healthfulness.

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