Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tanegashima Kuritawase 2008

Tea: Tanegashima Kuritawase 2008 - 6411
Vendor: Lupicia USA
Source: Japan
Vendor Description: The first flush green tea from Tanegashima island have a refreshing aftertaste

Leaf: The leaf for this tea is a very well formed Asamushi. The needles are long and thin with a minimal amount of dust. Some of the leaves are almost an inch long and there is very little stem in the mix as well.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5oz, 170F, 45s

1st Infusion: This tea produced a pale yellow green color. Considering that this is an asamushi there is a fairly green hue to it. There was a ligth nutty aroma to it. There was a rich umami flavor to this tea, it is almost like a gyokuro in texture. There is a typical light bitterness in the aftertaste. The flavor is very crisp and pleasant. There is not much of a shincha radiance to this tea though.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 10s, 185F

2nd Infusion: This infusion had a more intense green color. The aroma is very light and uplifiting. The flavor has light and fruity notes. This fruitiness is followed by a light bitterness. There are hints of the thickness from the first infusion, but nowhere near the same as the first infusion. There are also grassy notes in the aftertaste that compete with the sencha kick.

Rating: 9/10

Conclusion: This is a very enjoyable asamushi. This is one of the shincha offerings from Lupicia and I did not open until well past the initial few months when shincha is freshest. Even with a few months of aging under it's belt it still shows a very pleasant flavor and some very complex characteristics. I look forward to trying it again this year.

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