Friday, January 23, 2009

Chiran Kanayamidori

Tea: Chiran Kanayamidori
Vendor: Wegmans Food Markets / Ito-en
Price: $87.99 /lb /$16.50/ 3 oz
Source: Kagoshima, Japan
Vendor Description: Harvested in Kagoshima prefecture, Chiran Kanayamidori bears a flavorful, verdant liquor with succulent notes of leafy greens. An excellent accompaniment to flavorful dishes.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea was mostly smaller particles and had a few longer needles to it. Based on the appearance I would say that this is most likely a fukamushi sencha. The green color was a bit muddled, almost bordering on shades of brown at times and didn't have much of a shine to it.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5oz, 180F, 60s

1st Infusion: The tea was yellow green in color and very murky. This was a very characteristic fukamushi tea. The aroma was light and snappy. The flavor led off with a sharp bitter flavor on the tip of the tongue and transitioned to a long lingering smooth aftertaste. It finished with a light sense of astringency. The bitter flavor was very short lived and dropped down quickly into the tapering flavor.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 180F, 30s

2nd Infusion: This infusion had a darker murky green hue. The up front flavor was again very sharp and snappy. This time it felt like the flavor consisted mostly of a bitterness and tapered into a lingering fukamushi flavor, although the dropoff was not as fast as the first infusion. The flavor felt muddled and a bit confused, like a blend of two teas trying to display at the same time. There was a medium sense of astringency to the power in this tea. The flavor of the tea overall felt a bit light.

Rating: 3/10

Conclusion: This tea seemed to be a bit subpar for a Chiran sencha. This flavor was dominated by the fact that it was a fukamushi and little other than that. It produced an appealing looking cup of tea, but the flavor itself was quite snappy and sharp. If looking for a fukamushi from Chiran/Kagoshima, I would suggest sticking to a yutakamidori instead.

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