O-Cha’s Chiran Sencha (which I’m drinking here in Shincha form) is a deep steamed Fukamushi tea that’s made of fresh leaves from the Yutaka Midori bush. It’s an easy brewer that tastes great extra-strong, but for this review I did a “proper” brew of 4g to 4oz water in my tiny Banko houhin.
First (155*/ 90 secs): Bold aroma — I just love how fragrant and flavorful this tea is from the get-go! I taste a tiny bit of bitterness up front, but it finishes so sweet and softly, it’s hardly even noticeable until the cup cools. Even better is it’s slightly fruity, mostly umami aftertaste that really comes out nicely at lower temperatures.
Second (175*/ 60 secs): What a beautiful cup! The second infusion of this sencha is a deep, enchanting jade that is a joy to behold. The taste holds up great, too — mellow, vegetal, and a more astringent than the first cup. Oddly enough, I taste less bitterness and more fruity notes this time around. Hmm!
Third (185*/ 90 secs): I used a little less water for this infusion, and the higher temperature/low water ratio seems to have brought the bitterness out. Still, even though it’s a thicker brew than the other cups, it still has good flavor for a third steeping. I love how much “good stuff” you can extract from a nice Fukamushi!
Fourth (Boiled/ Until I got thirsty): Surprisingly good! I went ahead and iced this one (as I usually do with my last infusion), and stayed very “green” despite being watered down. I think I’d really enjoy a liter of this iced.
In summation, O-Cha’s Chiran sencha is a killer tea for the price. Not only does it have a great balance of vegetal flavors, a building bitterness, and a hint of sweetness that comes out nicely at lower temperatures, but it holds up well to stronger brewing ratios (2:1) and multiple infusions. Would definitely buy again!