Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sakura Sencha

Tea: Sakura Sencha
Vendor: Wegman's Food Markets
Price: $4.87 / 2oz.
Vendor Description: This refined and gentle green tea is a marriage of premium Kagoshima Sencha and dried cherry blossoms ("sakura"); it's like sipping springtime itself. Smooth, light-bodied and mellow liquor with a distinctive fruits-and-flowers taste from the cherry blossoms.

This was another tea that I had gotten from Wegman's Food Markets. When I thought I would get some they told me that the sakura was primarily a visual thing, similar to the pellets in Champagne Rose, but it turns out that they were wrong. Don't get me wrong though, this tea is very visually appealing, the sakura petals give a nice pink contrast to the regular spectrum of green/yellow/brown natural colors of sencha.

When you brew the tea, if you look closely in it you will notice small pieces of the sakura petals floating about, but it is much more noticeable when you look at the actual leaves / petals themselves. There are whole sakura petals strewn about in the leaves. The liquor itself has a very sweet aroma.

When tasting the tea the first thing that you notice is a certain sweetness on the onset. It is not a vegetal sweetness like a gyokuro, nor is it a sugary sweetness. It is somewhat unique in its own right. This then leads up to a typical sencha flavor, and then has a tiny bit of astringency when finished. The taste is very sweet in general, and very unique as well. I don't really know how to describe it, but it is a delicate flavor that is easy to overlook if you are not looking for it.

Rating: 7/10

Conclusion: While the sencha portion of the flavor isn't particularly spectacular, the sakura portion is unique and interesting. Considering the relatively low price of this tea I would say that it is a good tea to have around, although I wouldn't give it a special occasion rating. It's worth a try, not much more than that though.


Salsero said...

That's a spectacular photo. My experience with sencha is rather limited, but those are the biggest sencha leaves I have ever seen. Did you brew it in the tall mug looking thing? Is that an infuser cup or what?

Thanks for an interesting and attractive post.

Eric said...

Heh, thanks. I don't think my photography skills are very good, but I do like how the leaves in that photo came out. I was disappointed I put the tea in the shadow since you can't see the nuances of it as well. The leaves really aren't that big, the lid they are sitting on is only about 2" wide. They are pretty normal sized sencha leaves.