Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sayama Shincha 2007

Tea: Sayama Shincha 2007 - 6570
Vendor: Lupicia USA
Location: Saitama, Japan
Vendor Description: A Shincha from Sayama in Saitama with, sublte sweetness and deep flavor.

This is actually my first chance to try out a Shincha. For those who don't know the term Shincha refers to the tea from the first harvest of the year. It is actually a small subset of the first harvest.

I was actually rather suprised when I first opened the package, the tea was a lot more fine than I had expected. I was expecting something consisting more of large thin needles like a fine sencha. Instead the package contained very small particles, which when brewed formed an almost paste like substance. The only real downside of this was a fairly significant amount of material made it into my tasting cup.

The color of the tea is a bit murky, probably from the smaller particles, but an enchanting shade of green. It is not quite as brilliant of a green as some gyokuros produce, but rather a darker shade of green with hues of yellow. This is a rather difficult color to attempt to describe, but I keep finding myself gazing into this cup staring at the tea.

The tea itself is quite remarkable. At the initial onset it is not particularly strong, but rather a very delicate sweetness with a sense of grassiness. It is a very mild flavor, but not weak. There is no strong bite like there is with some senchas, but a sense of the bitterness develops in your mouth over time. It has a low level of astringency with each sip, but does build up over time with the drinking of a cup. This tea is rather remarkable and makes me think about the taste as I drink it more and more.

I normally don't run multiple extractions on green teas, normally the second extraction tastes very similar to the first, but normally not as good. In this case though I decided to try making another extraction. This one was a very unique exception. The second extraction for this tea had a very strong vegetal taste. I almost like the second extraction more than the first.

Rating: 10/10

Conclusion: If you are able to get yourself some of this tea I would highly highly suggest it. I noticed that it is not for sale on Lupicia's website, and I ended up getting my pouch from one of the actual stores. Granted due to availability this wouldn't be well suited for daily drinking, but it would serve well as a tea for special occasions, while sitting out at night just relaxing and enjoying the company of a friend and your tea.

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