April 2021 harvest.

Rich, heady florals and thick sweetness with a balanced astringency once I dialed in on this leaf’s character. It can be very finnicky, bitter and unbalanced, especially so when following TDJ’s parameters.

What transformed this tea for me was using 4g:400mL brewed in a glass vessel with water 160F or lower for a minute or two. It reminds me of oolong with its floral intensity, creamy-milky and fruity notes (like Froot Loops cereal), sugarcane-like sweetness and extended retronasal action of the aftertaste. It is equally a green tea, though, with pronounced but well integrated astringent vegetal-whitebean-grass taste. Mild, minty cooling.

It took a minute, but I’m now rather happy with this sencha and hope that others can be, too.

Oh, there’s some ghee here, too. Not your typical buttery note. GHEE. It’s sticky in my olfactories. But that note also seems unnatural, though inoffensive — if not strangely palatable — like a flavored milk oolong. I like it.

Addendum: Recommended for those who fancy a big floral bouquet and can find some pleasure in experimentation. The fruity nuances this tea has to offer are a treat. They will materialize with some coaxing and linger with the affection of a crazed lover. Intense tea. Mellow is not a quality that has ever come to mind. While I’m unlikely to seek out this sencha again, I do appreciate the exercise in patience that allowed me to finally get to know this tea.

Also, while the tea is still fresh a year after harvest, I can see it devolving quickly into pure parfum. I will work to drink this down before other green teas in my cupboard that are known practitioners of longevity.

Flavors: Beans, Brisk, Butter, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Green Wood, Lavender, Lily, Lime, Macadamia, Milk, Mint, Peach, Perfume, Pineapple, Plumeria, Raspberry, Rich, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 4 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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