Monday, December 20, 2010

A package arrives!

I've arrived home from an interesting trip north to see my friends.  It had some stresses, all of them from the trip itself as well as the car, but the actual time spent with friends was simply priceless.

Walking inside, I noted some mail left for me.  A large envelope with tea!  Such joy.  Sp1key sent me these wonderful samples, and I very much look forward to sampling them and writing about them here, dear reader. Now onto the sample.

Boredom is an interesting thing.  As I was wandering my old stomping grounds in Charlotte, NC, I decided to see how my friends at a small japanese grocer were doing.  As luck would have it, I perused through their small selection of teas, seeing the usual.  But Hark!  A new sencha!

I'm willing to try whatever I can.

First off, this stuff is higher quality than what I would usually see in the japanese markets, but it still might fit in as 'everyday sencha' on most online tea shops.
As all fukamushi sencha goes, it has lots of small broken leaf.  The leaves have a decent shine to them, with an aroma of tropical fruit and an underlying toasty note.

For this review, I did things a little different - I changed the temperature of the water for almost every infusion.  I got the idea by imagining that all infusions could brew somewhat identically over time.  It's just an idea, and it didn't really make that much of a difference other than the smoothness of the tea overall seemed to be improved somewhat over other sessions that I'd had with this tea.

water temp - 150 | 4.7 grams |  45s, flash, 3s, 7s, 12s
It has a few "sticks" in it.  uh-oh.

The flavors in the first two cups were similar in their bitterness and intense flavor profiles.  The very light roasted flavors came through which really wasn't a surprise to me. It also had a "bland" taste underneath the initial flavors.  I didn't pay too much for this tea, thank heavens.
The First Infusion

Infusions three and four were much milder with a more noticeable sweetness and overall balance of flavor .  Infusion five was slightly sweet and vegetal, with a minty note that i've seen in at least one other sencha, now that I think about it.
Cup Five was much darker

In conclusion, this stuff isn't really worth your time unless you are absolutely impoverished and can't get anything else.  There are hints of quality at first, but they fade very quickly into mediocrity.  See you next time!

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