Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Serene Forest

Tea: Serene Forest - 8006
Vendor: Lupicia USA
Price: $9.00 / 50g
Source: Yame, Japan
Vendor Description: Blend of tea grown under cover to block sunlight from Yame, Fukuoka Pref. It has slightly less astringency and stronger sweetness, a characteristic of Yame tea.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea is a dark green chumushi. There is a little bit of stem in the mix, but aside from that a very typical looking sencha.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5 oz, 185F, 45s

1st Infusion: This tea has a rich sweet aroma. Instantly it reminds me of what makes Yame Gyokuro so special to me. The initial color of the tea is a bright green brilliance, which reminds me of the radiance of a shincha. It is lightly murky, nowhere near as much as a fukamushi though. Slightly after pouring the color changed into a yellow green hue. The flavor is rich and bold with a light astringency. It is a very strong and bold sencha flavor, similar to a fukamushi, but with the depth of an asamushi. There is a bold grassy/marine flavor to this tea, which again reminds me of a Yame Gyokuro.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 15s, 185F, 5oz

2nd Infusion: This infusion was a murky green hue. There was a lot of sediment in this cup, it reminded me much more of a fukamushi this time around. The flavor was lighter and clearer with just a hint of bitterness. The bitterness was paired with al ight sense of astringency which left me with a nice clean feeling aftertaste. The flavor was rich and bold.

Rating: 9/10

Conclusion: By the description of this tea it sounds like it is a kabusecha. In retrospect to the taste I can see where this is noticeable, without having said that though I probably would not have noticed at all and just chalked this up as a very interesting sencha. It is unfortunately a bit on the pricey side, but it also is in a very rare class of tea. Yame Senchas are not very commonplace from what I have seen, only a small handful of vendors even offering one. It shares a lot of characteristics with it's much more famous Gyokuro brother and I found myself very much enjoying this tea. As I continue to try more Yame Senchas though I wonder how this one will compare to those. An enjoyable and unique experience though.

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