Sunday, January 18, 2009


Tea: Takaragi
Vendor: Koyama-en
Price: $20.00 / 100g (not directly from Koyama-en), 1155 Yen / 100g directly.
Source: Japan

About This Tea: Koyama-en is primarily a producer of matcha in Japan. This was actually the first sencha that I have tried from them, and wasn't expecting terribly much considering that it was in the middle of the quality line and not their primary product.

Leaf: The leaf is lightly glossy with a deep green color. The color is dark enough that this may almost pass for a gyokuro based on appearance of the leaf alone. There is not much aroma to it, but it has a nice balance between larger needles and smaller bits of dust. This is a chumushi steamed sencha.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5 oz, 1 min, 185F

1st Infusion: The tea had a light pale yellow green color to it with a light murkiness. The aroma was light and tart, with a certain sense of snappiness to it. The flavor was very smooth. It started out very light and developed a sweetness midway. It had traces of a light nuttiness to it, and just a light sense of bitterness to give a nice clean feeling.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 30s, 185F

2nd Infusion: This infusion had a yellower murkier color to it. The flavor was richer and paired with an increased bitterness. There was a light sense of astringency this time, but also a light grassiness.

Rating: 9/10

Conclusion: This is a very good chumushi sencha. The flavors were nicely in balance and developed nicely between the two infusions. The leaf is quite appealing and the price was very reasonable for 100g of tea. The only downside of this tea is it's availability. Currently I only know of one vendor in the US to get this tea, and they don't have an online presence. The only other option is to go through a very manual process to get this tea delivered directly from Koyama-en.

No comments: