Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ei Ayatsuyu

Tea: Ei Asatsuyu 7402
Vendor: Lupicia USA
Price: $11.00 / 50g (with tin)
Source: Ei, Kagoshima, Japan
Vendor Description: Tea produced in Ei, Kagoshima Pref. has a unique sweet flavor and bright water color. Also referred to as "Natural Gyokuro", it has very little astringency, which makes it easy to drink.

When I first opened up this tea, it looked to be another very small particle tea. And it was. The liquor generated by the tea was very murky in color which was at least partly due to the high particulate content of the tea. Interestingly the description suggests a bright water color, but I only noticed it being very dark in color in comparison to most other green teas I've had as of late.
Actually tasting this tea though was very close to the suggested description. Like gyokuro it does have almost no bite, and it did have a light sense of astringency. The flavor was very short lived though, with the taste occurring very quickly and ending just as fast. There is a sense of bitterness though that is not found in gyokuro, that develops slowly over time and tapers off with the taste.

Rating: 5/10

Conclusion: This tea is unique in that it doesn't classify well as a sencha, and is not very similar to a gyokuro as well. It lies somewhere in the middle of two in terms of taste and qualities. The flavor though lacks any truly outstanding qualities.

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