Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Temomi Shincha 2009

Tea: Temomi Shincha 2009
Vendor: Sugimoto USA (SA)
Price: $15.00 / 10g
Vendor Description: Temomi Shincha is a very special tea for very special occasions. It is made only by hands starting from picking fresh leaves in the tea field to kenading the leaves for the final process. Whole procedure takes approximately 8 hours. On April 19th 2009, 1.8kg (4lb.) of Temomi Shincha was made by 8 Temomi artisans in Shizuoka Japan. By following the enclosed instructions you can experience the same taste and flavor which the ancients enjoyed several hundred years ago. Just like espresso, it is to enjoy a shot of intense and rich green tea.

About This Tea: This tea is a very special offering. It's the first time that this tea is available to the US. It is quite impressively hand crafted in very exclusive small batches. This item was available for preorder only. It is a unique experince in the world of tea and is something that I think any true lover of green tea should enjoy.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea has nothing but beautufl long and graceful needles to it. They are all whole leaves, around an inch in length or so. There is a light marine aroma to it and the leaves are lightly shiny.

1st Infusion Parameters: 10g, 100F, 2.5oz, 2 min

1st Infusion: This tea produces a clear yellow hue. There is a rich thick aroma to it, and it packs a flavor to match. The flavor is bold and rich, with a crisp sharpness from the intensity. It has a very strong power to it and a long lasting aftertaste. The power is almost overwhelming yet not offputing like any other leaf would be.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 130F, 1 min, 2.5 oz

2nd Infusion: This time around it was slightly greener in hue, but the tea was crystal clear. The flavor was crisper. It seems to center around the core of the intense snap of the flavor. The aroma is fresh, light and calming. The flavor is light up front to start, but it escalates into an intense central flavor. The center is intense, but not as much as the first infusion. The edges of the flavor have lightened up a bit.

3rd Infusion Parameters: 130F, 1 min

3rd Infusion: This time the flavor was brighter yellow than before. It has some of the radiance of a shincha, but not quite as much as some of the more traditional senchas. The flavor is exhibiting the same light frontal flavor, and then jumps right back into that strong center again. It feels much cleaner and sharper this time around. There is a tiny bit of bitterness to heighten the sharpness of the flavor and a tinge of astringency on the back end. Still this tea is pushing the thoughts of richness and intensity to me.

4th Infusion Parameters: 160F, 1 min

4th Infusion: This time the flavor was more up front. The initial flavor is very crisp, it reminds me of an asamushi sencha like the Hosen from Ippodo. The color is becoming more and more radiant. The flavor is still very intense, but it is almost like a whole different tea this time around. This infusion surpasses regular sencha first and second infusions still. There is a light and clean well defined central flavor here.

5th Infusion Parameters: 160F, 1:30

5th Infusion: The color is slightly lighter at this point. The flavor is lightening up to match. It is still very crisp and well focused, and it interestingly is exhibiting a more bodied feel to it. It finishes with a light sense of astringency.

6th Infusion Parameters: 185F, 2:00

6th Infusion: At this point the tea has a light yellow hue. The flavor feels to have fully shifted to the front now. There is a little bit of biterness that is not from the intensity, it is a delicate yet bolder flavor that finishes with a light sense of astringency.

Used Leaf: Even the used leaf for this tea is gorgeous. The instructions suggest enjoying them as a salad. What I opted to do was after the 6th infusion I added them to some cold water for a 1L cold water infusion. Even after 6 infusions it provided a very unique iced tea. It had a light yet refreshing flavor that was almost reminiscent of a Long Jing in flavor.

Rating: 10/10

Conclusion: As with the last time I tried Temomi from Sugimoto, it was amazing. It has no real comparison within the regular offerings of any other vendor. The parallel to espresso with this tea works on many levels. It shares the same intensity. Neither are something you should drink in great quantities. It's something to be savored and enjoyed. The thought that this is a special occasion tea cannot be truer, it should be something to hearld the beginning of spring and kept in the moment. Unfortunately if you missed the boat on this one, you missed out. Until next year I guess.

2 comments:

Jonk said...

Howdy.

May I ask what kind of a brewing vessel you used to prepare this tea?

Eric said...

Tokoname Kyusu. My kyusu is about 5-6 oz filled so it was partially filled.