I’m quite excited for my package from Yunomi – my first decently sized order from them. I have very little experience with Japanese Green tea, but I got a cool starter set from Den’s Tea (just a kyusu really), and figured I’d give some shincha a try this year! So I have about 10-15 different shinchas to try, and this is the first one I randomly pulled out of the box.
I tried two different brewing methods – the one I’ve been using for the few sencha I’ve tried, and then the “Warm water” method recommended on Yunomi’s site. My method is 160 degrees with steep times of 1m, 30s (raise temp to 170), 30-45s, (raise temp to 180 – sometimes), 60s.
The other method was 160 degrees, steep times of 2m (raise temp to 180), 20s, (raise temp to 190), 45s, (raise temp to 212), 60s. This seemed weird to me, especially with the really long first brew and the high temps at the end (granted, the site said to use “hotter” temps on subsequent steeps, only being as specific as 180-212F).
I’m afraid that, as I have little experience with this sort of tea, my reviews may all be similar – It will probably take me time to differentiate the flavors I’m tasting in these teas, just as it did with the puerh tea I’ve been drinking more of. So far though, it seems that Japanese greens as a category (vs. sheng puerh) is a bit more homogenous when it comes to flavor – they all have a decent bit of grassiness, mainly.
So! Onto this tea specifically. As foreshadowed above, both methods produced a nice and yellow-green liquid with strong grassy notes. I believe I preferred the “warm water” method, as the tea had a thicker texture and a more bracing bitterness. It seemed that the first couple steeps in both methods had some bitter notes, but with the longer first steep, the thicker and richer texture seemed almost to mellow out the bitterness. Having trouble discerning much besides grass. In the second or third steep on warmer method, I think I detected some fruitiness in the aftertaste, but that was about it.
I think I’m going to be looking at this shincha box as a crash course in Japanese Greens. I may not get “full enjoyment” out of this tea, like I might if I had more experience with this sub-type of tea, but it will be a good learning experience, and can help inform me on what I like in the future.
Anybody with more expertise than me – how different is this shincha going to be from other senchas and whatnot that are harvested later in the season/year? Thanks!
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Grass, Thick