Friday, July 25, 2008


Tea: Sencha
Vendor: Sugimoto USA
Price: $16.00 / 80 g.
Source: Shizuoka, Japan
Vendor Description: Sen cha "Experience" mainly consists of young baby leaves reaped in spring. During winter,tea plants absorb abundant nutrition from rich mountain soil, so spring shoots have deep body and flavor in a cup. Experience the strong sweetness and rich flavor.

Leaf: The leaf has a very matte color to it, and consists of primarily small pieces. I found this rather surprising considering most teas I find that I enjoy have larger pieces and a shinier glossy appearance to it. The leaf consists of a very apparently blend of different shades of green though. It was apparent that lots of work and effort had gone into making this blend.

1st Infusion: The first infusion had a slightly murky color to a yellow green color to it. The flavor was amazingly strong and sweet. It was like a very impressive yutaka midori. There was a very light bitterness to the flavor which was a nice counterpoint to the sweetness, but not overpowering. Similarly there was a very light astringency to the tea as well, a nice counterpoint to the sweetness as well. This tea has a very good clean feeling to it.

2nd Infusion: This infusion had an even darker color to it, it as almost a murky dark brown-green color. This time it had a medium sense of bitterness, but yet retained the strong sweetness of the first infusion.

Rating: 10/10

Conslusion: I was rather curious about the teas from Sugimoto after I had heard that their genmaicha had won the best flavored/blended tea category at the World Tea Expo this year. I had never heard of them previously and so I looked them up. Much to my surprise they have an offering of only 3 teas. This Sencha was the first that I tried, and it is absolutely superb. I have also tried this tea as a cold brewed iced tea, and the sweetness was amazing in that as well. I really enjoyed this one.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Uji Sencha Miyabi Shincha - Day 1

Tea: Uji Sencha Miyabi Shincha
Vendor: O-cha
Price: $27.95 / 100g
Source: Uji, Japan
Vendor Description: From the 2008 harvest and currently in "shincha" form, a very special sencha from Uji, near Kyoto, this tea is very aromatic and is of the highest quality. From the moment you open the package, that special aroma lets you know you're in for a treat. Deep green in color, "Miyabi" is even higher quality than a previous great Uji sencha we used to carry, and we're sure you will love this tea. We originally found this wonderful tea on a product scouting mission in Japan and brought some back to offer our customers. It's been popular ever since.
Challenge: We urge you to compare this sencha against any of the others available on the internet for that nice grassy aroma and taste. Try some today!

Brewing Notes: As shincha can be very bold, brew this green tea for only about 1.5 minutes and at a perhaps even lower temperature than you would normally.

Leaf: The leaf has a very clear and clean smelling vegetal aroma to it.

1st Infusion Parameters: 4.86g, 6oz, 170 F, 60s

1st Infusion: This infusion had a very clear green color to it. The initial flavor at the front of the tongue was very sweet. This flavor was very short lived though and it had no aftertaste or astringency. The flavor was very soft with a hint of grassiness to it.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 10s, 175 F

2nd Infusion: This time the tea produced a murkier color, it was much more vibrantly green. The initial taste was very different. The flavor was not as upfront, but rather was a softer and grassier flavor. It felt richer and smoother, with a light sense of astringency on the back end. Where the first infusion was tasted primarily on the tip of the tongue, this infusion had almost no flavor there. There was much more flavor on the back of the tongue for this infusion.

3rd Infusion Parameters: 180F, 30s

3rd Infusion: This time the tea was clearer, but yet retained a radiant green color to it. The flavor was lighter, and yet was very sweet. There was a medium sense of astringency with the tea this time around.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Green Forest Fruits

Tea: Green Forest Fruits
Vendor: Dragonwater Tea
Price: $6.95 / 40z.
Source: Japan
Vendor Description: Green Forest Fruits Tea. Japanese green Sencha tea flavored with strawberry, raspberry, and rhubarb.

Leaf: The leaf has a very strong and sweet aroma to it. The aroma reminded me of the Paradise Green tea from Lupicia. The leaf appeared to contain an assortment of dried fruits / berries / flowers. It looks like a blend of green and black tea.

1st Infusion: The tea itself has a red colored infusion like a black tea, although the color is much lighter than a black tea normally is. The tea is very fruity in flavor. It is very floral and sweet. There is a very heavy floral aroma to it and it is very astringent.

2nd Infusion: This infusion had a much fruitier flavor, but developed a bit of a bitterness to it. The tea is still very astringent, and it had hints of a soapy flavor to it.

Rating: 3/10

Conclusion: The flavor for this tea was very hard to find, and generally weak. The tea itself was rather unimpressive, and did not much live up to it's name. If you're looking for a flavored tea that has a big mixture of fruits and flavors out there, there are many other options.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fukamushi Sencha Matsuri

Tea: Fukamushi Sencha Matsuri - 8003
Vendor: Lupicia USA
Price: $7.00 / 50g.
Source: Japan
Vendor Description: The steaming process of this Sencha is 3 times longer than usual, producing the distinct, mellow, full-bodied taste. Especially recommended as iced tea.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea is very small and very powdery. There are a few large leaf pieces, but the majority of the tea has been reduced to small pieces.

1st Infusion: The tea has a very murky green color to it. It produces as thick and heavy aroma. It is not a very overpowering aroma, but very noticeable, which is rare for a sencha. The flavor is very sweet and smooth. It has a very palatable thickness to it which matches the aroma. There is no astringency or bitterness, just the thick and heavy flavor.

2nd Infusion: The second infusion also had a very murky green color to it. It had the same aroma as the first infusion, and the same thick flavor. There was no bitterness or astringency to it, which was somewhat surprising since second infusions normally garner a bit of one of those two.

Rating: 7/10

Conclusion: While I had this tea originally when I first tried out a Lupicia tea, I was unimpressed by it. Now that I have more experience with trying different senchas, this tea seems more unique than I had originally thought. The flavor was surprisingly thick and rich, and the leaf shape did not detract from the tea at all. It still lacks any amazing qualities though, but lacks any major flaws. It is a fairly decent tea all around.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Return of regular posting coming soon

I should be posting more regularly soon. I apologize for the break, but IRL matters took precedence as well as moving into a new apartment. I have lots of tea to try out and plenty to write about. Look forward to it!