Sunday, February 3, 2008

Makurazaki Saemidori

Tea: Makurazaki Saemidori 7400
Vendor: Lupicia USA
Price: $11.00 /50g
Source: Kagoshima, Japan

Saemidori is a breed particular breed of tea, which is referred to by some as having a "Natural Gyokuro" taste to it. It is apparently a difficult breed to grow and requires high maintenance.

Like the fuka-midori this tea had a lot of smaller particles which caused the brewed tea to have a very cloudy appearance. The color of the brewed tea, albeit cloudy, had a very radiant shade of bright green to it. The cloudiness lent it a much brighter color than many other green teas due to more reflective content.

This was a very subtle tea all around. The scent of the tea is very light and grassy smelling, but pleasant quite pleasant. Everything about this tea seemed to be very delicate.

The flavor starts off very light with a medium grassy flavor. It then builds up a small amuont of astringency. It has almost no bitterness to it, so it is more akin to drinking gyokuro than it is a sencha. If I didn't know that this was a sencha I would have guessed it was a gyokuro based on the subtleness of the taste and lack of bitterness.

Rating: 8/10

Conclusion: This was a very pleasant tea experience, but the flavor of the tea is almost too delicate to be easily and casually enjoyed. Considering the price of this tea if you are looking to try out something akin to a Gyokuro, but don't want to spend the full amount on a quality Gyokuro this might be a good middle ground for you.


Brent said...

Just found your blog-- it's great to have another Californian in the tea blogosphere! I liked this post very much, you have good style.

A note about saemidori– from what I have read, saemidori is a varietal of tea plant commonly used to make gyokuro. I tend to like senchas made with gyokuro varietals, as they are usually less intense, fuller, and sweeter.

That said, I'm not sure I would say all sencha made with traditional gyokuro varietals tastes like gyokuro– this one may have reminded you of it, but I think "natural gyokuro flavor" and subtlety + sweetness are different things.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm being too critical, I really did like the post!


Brent said...

I just reread my comment. Sorry if it seemed like I was doubting the validity of your observations about this tea- that was not my intent at all. If you tasted gyokuro, I trust your senses. I was just trying to say that I don't think it is necessarily a trend.

Humble apologies,

Eric said...

I'm glad to hear you enjoy my blog. Hopefully you will continue to enjoy it. I agree that I probably should have put a bit more of a description in respect to the natural Gyokuro comment. I made the comment after having only begun to read into the whole nature of the Japanese varietals. It is some really good stuff though. I'll edit the post when I get a bit more time to read into it work on it. :)