drank Sencha Zuiko by Den's Tea
1940 tasting notes

Now that I’m back to taking green tea to work with me every morning, I have a bunch of sample packets that are poised to be sipped down this next week. To ease my burden of recording sipdowns on days when I’m too rushed to do them, I opened a larger packet today. This.

The tea in the packet smells like kale chips! A salty/savory note on the one hand with a sweet green note on the other. Mixed together, I get kale chips! The dry leaves are long and spear-like, not dusty fine like a lot of sencha leaves.

Steeped, the aroma is savory and nutty. Strangely, the nut I get is closest to peanut, and there’s that hint of sweetness that makes it an almost peanut-brittle smell. It’s pale gold in color and clear.

The flavor has a hint of nuttiness, but mostly what I taste is a vegetal flavor with a slightly bitter finish. The closest I can come to naming the vegetable is spinach. I find this pretty un-grassy as Japanese green teas go. I have never been entirely sure I understood what was meant by the word umami, but I think it’s this.

I’m looking forward to drinking it again (next time not on the heels of eating orange flavored chewable vitamin C pills; who knows what that did to my taste buds).

Flavors: Kale, Peanut, Spinach, Umami

165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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