78

Overcast and cool September Sunday calls for some sencha.

May 2022 harvest
First experience with this tea that’s over a year old by now. I picked it up at some point in Spring of 2023.

Dry leaf smells like kudzu, black grapes, paper, buttery raspberry scones (anybody familiar with Sconehenge?), anise and lamb fat. Warmed leaf is more intense with dominant aromas of spinach souffle and raspberry cream.

The dry and warmed leaf aromas catch my attention much more than the taste of the tea. Brewed with Thés du Japon’s suggested parameters, the tea is watery, drying and tannic with a distinct bitterness – perhaps it is showing its age. I do get fruity notes like green grapes and kiwifruit. Also some wheatgrass and light, dewy sweetness. Slight refreshing character, like cypress in the fog.

I’ll give this tea a few more tries. If it’s simply past its prime, compost it is.

Flavors: Anise, Apricot, Beans, Bitter, Blueberry, Cream, Drying, Egg, Evergreen, Grape Skin, Grapes, Green, Kiwi, Paper, Pastries, Peach, Raspberry, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Tannic, Watery, Wheatgrass, White Grapes

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 70 ML
derk

More leaf and water, say 5g to 110mL, 175F for a minute produces a much more concentrated flavor though still bitter. Lower temperature with same leaf:water does not bring out any of the desired fruity notes. Instead, it is flat and kind of vegetal. I will also try hotter water.

derk

Such varied results with this leaf. Been doing work steeps with cooled water from the dispenser and the expression is different every time.

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Comments

derk

More leaf and water, say 5g to 110mL, 175F for a minute produces a much more concentrated flavor though still bitter. Lower temperature with same leaf:water does not bring out any of the desired fruity notes. Instead, it is flat and kind of vegetal. I will also try hotter water.

derk

Such varied results with this leaf. Been doing work steeps with cooled water from the dispenser and the expression is different every time.

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Bio

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 Georgia, 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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Location

California, USA

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