Let me start by imparting this wisdom: If you are going to try to prepare this the traditional way for New Year’s with umeboshi and kombu in it, you will definitely be getting some aroma from the kombu and a good bit of salty vinegar flavor from the umeboshi. I could not taste the tea much when I prepared a cup this way, so in short, if you want to do the ritual for fun, go for it. If you want to really appreciate the tea, don’t add anything!
Alright, onto the real review. The first thing that really struck me about this sencha was the incredibly creamy aroma of the dry leaves once added to a warm gaiwan. The aroma of the tea itself is vegetal with hints of ocean. Through the first three steepings of this tea the flavor was pretty consistent, with the first taste being that of cream, then transitioning into the more hearty brothy flavor, very vegetal with hints of seaweed. Finally, it finishes with a mineral or ocean note. On the third and fourth steepings, however, there was a sweetness that emerged in the middle note which was very pleasant.
I brewed in a glass gaiwan using 2g of leaf per 100ml of water, 176F/80C with the following steep times: 1’00, 0’30, 0’40, 1’00. Just a tip: It’s really fun to watch this tea brew in glass! Very green and very pretty!
Overall, this tea was pleasant. It’s cloudy spring green liquor seems to glow and really enhances the “Spring” vibe of this tea. As for flavor, it was not outstanding or terribly unique as a green tea, but on the other side of that coin it has a reliable flavor, making it easy to enjoy.