Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Uji Kabuse

Tea: Uji Kabuse
Vendor: Wegman's Food Markets / Ito-en
Price: $87.99 /lb
Source: Uji, Japan
Vendor Description: Like the famed gyokuro, the tea known as kabuse-cha is shade grown--but for a shorter amount of time. This process creates a tea with the freshness of sencha and the richness of gyokuro. This particular tea comes from the famed Uji region outside of Kyoto. Enjoy its deep, mildly sweet flavor and vibrant green color.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea has a very chumushi like appearance. There is a large amount of dust to this tea along with medium sized needles. It is not so small to be a fukamushi, it also doesn't move with in a very fluid motion. The leaf is very dark green and has a lightly grassy aroma.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5 oz, 185F, 60s

1st Infusion: This tea has a rather thick aroma to it, it reminds me of a gyokuro slightly. The flavor is somewhat what I would expect of a kabuse, there are hints of gyokuro flavor to it. It exhibits gyokuro style grassiness, but the front of the tea is light like a sencha. The hue is a brilliant yellow color and it has a thick gyokuro aftertaste. It feels like it is more of a sencha than a gyokuro.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 15s, 185F

2nd Infusion: This infusion is a little bit cloudier than the first infusion. The tea is slightly greener in color, and it is almost aromaless. There are small hints of gyokuro aroma to it though. The taste is lighter and clearer than the first infusion. It feels like a very lighthearted gyokuro with the flavor of a gyokuro, but the lightness of a sencha. There is a just noticeable bitterness to it and it leaves a very light and clean feeling. It finishes with a light sense of astringency.

Rating: 8/10

Conclusion: This tea is very interesting as it straddles the traits of a gyokuro and a sencha rather well. Adjusting parameters I could see it as being very easy to produce one flavor more than another. It was enjoyable and tasty, but it's price is a bit prohibitive.


Dan said...

where did you get loose uji kabuse at wegmans? I shop regularly at wegmans and have never seen this. I usually order it directly from ito en, but would rather not pay shipping.

Eric said...

The Pittsford Wegmans has a tea bar. Not many do, but this one offered the uji kabuse.