Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Camellia Sinensis
This is the most rustic tasting Sencha in our catalogue and it comes from Mister Iwata, of the Nara region, who is a small-scale organic producer who does everything himself, from cultivation to final transformation. He picked the leaves in early spring, choosing to avoid the harsh selection process that Sencha teas usually go through. The result is a visually irregular tea of surprising complexity: mild, bright, and thirst-quenching. As for the aromatics, there are vegetal (lamb’s lettuce and spinach), sweet (wheatgrass) and oily (nuts and cashews) notes with a lovely lingering floral (lily) finish.
This is a most intriguing Sencha, unlike any other that I’ve tried (at least that I can recall!)
First of all, it requires a longer steeping time than with typical Japanese Sencha teas (which are usually somewhere in between 30 seconds and one and a half minutes) to achieve full flavor (this one requires a minimum of three minutes, and my most recent infusion I steeped for four minutes). The first time I attempted to steep it, I steeped it for a minute and a half, and it tasted a bit like hot water with very little green tea flavor. So, do yourself a favor and steep this one a little longer than you might with another Japanese Sencha – your diligence will be rewarded!
Because the flavor is very pleasant. It has a very pleasant vegetative essence – one of the most pleasant I’ve ever encountered! It has a mild buttery taste with a flavor that is somewhere between crisp butter lettuce and steamed spinach. It is a light-bodied tea with a vibrant, refreshing flavor. Just like the product description suggests, I even get a slight bittersweet wheatgrass taste from this – but it is ever so slight – and a floral finish that charms the palate.
There is an invigorating astringency to this tea that I’d categorize as medium. The astringency isn’t drying though, it comes off as more citrus-y tart to me than drying or cleansing. This is a green tea that would take very nicely to an addition of thinly sliced citrus fruit, if you happen to have some on hand!
I really enjoyed this truly different Sencha. If you enjoy Japanese Sencha teas, this is one I’d recommend for a little variety – it is wonderful!