Saturday, July 10, 2010

The 2010 Yuuki-Cha Kagoshima Shincha Magokoro

Having been a long-time sencha drinker, I decided to give Shincha a shot.  This is Fukamushi, so I know my kyusu will most likely spill a good bit of the smaller, broken stuff.
I will purchase a new camera soon

The leaves have a pleasant shine to them, and have a sweet aroma with the hint of some kind of vegetable - Asparagus, perhaps?  

50, 2, 2, 5, 15

I had hoped to get more than five infusions from this stuff, but from what I understand, 4 grams of leaf is not enough.  This isn't chinese style, mind you, so the 7-10 grams per session is way too much.  So five or six grams should do the trick when I taste and review this again.

The first cup was extremely bright and sweet tasting, with a rich umami profile that seemed to stay with me after the gulp.  The smoothness!  It had the smoothness of a high quality young-pu-erh, without the thick liquor, of course.  Some grassiness crept in as the tea cooled.

Cup two was flash brewed, revealing a much darker colour and a thicker mouthfeel.  The sweetness and tartness here were much more balanced, having enough of each so that they complemented one another. I detected herbal notes here, something that I have never tasted in a Japanese green tea before.

Cup three revealed to me that flash brewing can only work for so long - and in my case, shorter than expected.  The colour of the liquor was incredibly pale compared to the rich neon green colour from last time.  The flavor was mild, with only a tiny bit of sweetness and a slightly grassy aftertaste.  

Despite the lack of flavor in the previous cup, I continued on with the last two.  I increased the infusion time to try and get something from the leaves, and it worked!  The flavor was sweeter, with a more pronounced mouthfeel and a hint more of grassiness.  The umami was present, but rather small.

Cup five had faded into warm blandness with a livid green colour.  The aroma of the liquor had even faded somewhat, something grassy with a creamy sweetness.  
A new camera or photographer is greatly needed!

Overall, the tea was enjoyable.  I could fault it for it's short brewing time, but I also figure that my lack of skill in brewing this tea may have contributed to it's short life.  There were no toasty notes present anywhere, so I suspect no baking or either a very light baking.  If you have 20 bucks to spend on a few ounces of tea, give the stuff a try.  You might like it!

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