Friday, September 19, 2008

Sencha Zuiko - Round 2

Tea: Sencha Zuiko
Vendor: Den's Tea
Price: $19.50 / 2oz
Source: Honyama, Shizuoka, Japan
Vendor Description: Sencha Zuiko is a top-tier Sencha grown at a high elevation under the most meticulous and pampered conditions. Its shiny dark needle-shaped green tea leaves brew into a yellowish liquid that provides a strong, thick full-bodied cup with the subtle flavor of fresh green vegetables. Den’s Sencha Zuiko offers green tea drinkers a mind-blowing experience.

About this tea: I wasn't really satisfied with the first review of the Zuiko that I did. I felt like something was wrong with how Den's top tier sencha turned out. So I felt that this warranted another review, this time I dropped the temperature from the standard 180F to 140F. With very different results.

1st Infusion: The tea had a very light and sweet aroma to it. The color was a pale light murky yellow. The taste of this tea was very creamy. It was very rich and full bodied in flavor. If I didn't know otherwise I would think that I was drinking a gyokuro.

2nd Infusion: The aroma was light and had a certain zing to it. The color was more yellow in color this time. The flavor was very crisp and very distinctively a sencha this time. It was clean and had only a light sense of bitterness.

Rating: 9/10

Conclusion: This time around the Zuiko was much better. The first infusion felt like it could be a gyokuro if I didn't think this was a sencha. The second infusion was a very good example of a solid high end sencha. There wasn't anything terribly bold or distinctive about this tea though. The two infusions were drastically different in taste, but each was very good in their own right. I would have liked the sencha side to be more distinctive though.


Salsero said...

Interesting. I like "mind blowing" in a sencha! I have also been playing around with lower temps for some senchas that I haven't been so happy with at my usual 160° and often finding I like them a lot better.

Do you think there might be a useful generalization about which senchas perform better at ultra low temps?

Eric said...

I have a feeling that there may be such a generalization, but I don't know what it is yet. I keep finding some senchas that I am trying recently are much more temperature sensitive than others. I hope to figure out if there is at some point.