Origin: Obubu Tea, Kyoto, Japan
Harvest: Summer 2014
So I received a new houhin from O-Cha and decided to break it in with this Sencha. I haven’t been that impressed with many of the Japanese teas I’ve had this year even though Senchas are probably my favorite kind of tea, so I was a little cautious about this tea even though it is from Obubu Tea being sold by What-Cha.
Dry Leaves: I think this is a machine harvested, judging by some of the smaller tea leaves. This isn’t as uniform tea as I like for Sencha, there are quite a few bits that would not stand out from Long Jings, while others are tightly coiled and sill there are some smaller fragments. I wasn’t too impressed by the leaves, but they had a lovely green bean aroma and a nice spectrum of colors. There were more yellows and blues in my sample packet.
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Vegetal and Camphor
Flavor: Sweet Grass, Seaweed and Spinach
Tasting Notes: The first steeping was bitterer then I expected, although I did not find it entirely unpleasant, at first I thought I used more tea leaves then I should have, but in subsequent infusions the tea started to shine. Besides the bitterness this first infusion felt very much like a run of the mill Sencha.
Brewing Time: One and a half Minutes
Flavor: Wet Grass, Vegetal, Hay, Citrus and Savory Bitterness
Tasting Notes: While it wasn’t as bitter as the previous infusion, it still had some bitterness, although it became much more pleasant. I was quite surprised, while I wasn’t that shocked to find a Japanese tea with some initial bitterness, I was amazed by how quick it became pleasant. Otherwise it started to develop a sweet finish.
I was quite fond of this infusion even though I liked the previous, this time it had a nice balance.
Brewing Time: Two Minutes
Flavor: Grass, Savory Bitterness, Buttery and Sweet
Tasting Notes: It became much more simple than the previous infusions, and not as nuanced, although it was still quite pleasant. Even though the flavors were not as complex or as crisp as previous infusions, this was my favorite of the three infusions.
Overall I was impressed with this it was rather enjoyable for a summer tea. And at $8.80 for 50g (at the time of writing this) it is well worth the price. I am not sure if I would recommend this tea unless someone was familiar with Japanese greens. I haven’t had many summer senchas that start out as strong as this one then become sweeter in subsequent infusions which was a rather interesting transition for a sencha. While it may not be a daily drinker for everyone, it certainly s for me I can easily see myself buying more of this as my morning tea. I got about five infusions out of this tea although I might stop at four the next time.