Among the Japanese teas that I got this year is this sencha – the most expensive among the crowd in Yuuki-cha’s line-up. There are a lot of things to like about it, but the most memorable aspect is probably the texture of the first infusion, which is the softest I’ve ever experienced in any tea. I don’t think I ever described the mouthfeel of some tea as fluffy, but it kind of fits here.
Anyway, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The fragrance is generally not a crucial part of sencha appreciation, but it definitely plays its role. Here, we have a fairly standard range of aromas, but more complex than average. Dry leaves smell of toasted bread and sweet grass initially and of green peas, twigs and bread dough in a preheated pot. During the session I picked up further notes of freshly cut grass and egg whites, as well as a distinct candy-like scent in the empty cha hai – maybe the most unusual part of the bouquet.
As I mentioned already, the first infusion has a super soft and smooth texture, at the same time being buttery thick. The profile is a mix of bitter and umami flavours, the most prominent among them are broth, sugar snap peas, moss, and decaying wood.
Second steep is a bit more balanced in its flavour profile, but also less interesting. There are notes of chicken broth, sweet grass, and rapini. The aftertaste is cooling, mineral and very sweet with notes of rock sugar and white pepper. I also quickly notice the cha qi, which is very invigorating as I would hope from a high-end sencha.
Third infusion is very refreshing with a touch of bitterness and sourness – quite a bit like lemon zest actually. More vegetal flavours also appear at this stage. The next steep is then more on the sweet and fruity side with a hint of cloves.
I wouldn’t be necessarily say that it’s the best sencha I’ve had, but it’s up there and I am certainly glad to have ordered it.
Flavors: Bitter, Bread, Broccoli, Broth, Butter, Candy, Chicken Soup, Cloves, Decayed Wood, Freshly Cut Grass, Garden Peas, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Moss, Peas, Peppercorn, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass, Umami, Vegetal, Yeast