Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Mellow Monk
A brightly herbaceous guricha-style sencha, with a gentle sweetness with fruity highlights — apples, melon, and white wine grapes — as well as citrus notes and a hint of jasmine. [Note that this is not jasmine green tea; the hint of jasmine is naturally present in the tea.] Made from yabukita tea plants grown in the rolling hills of Kuma County, tended and crafted into tea by artisan Kazuo Watanabe.
Learn more about this tea here.
The dry leaf of this tea looks and smells like a Japanese Sencha. Deep, dark forest green leaves that look a bit more like bits of freshly cut grass than leaves (only these leaves are much darker than any grass I’ve ever seen!) The aroma is grassy with notes of fruit.
Oh wow! This is a remarkable Japanese Sencha! Sweet! The fruity notes as suggested in the above notes are there! I’m tasting notes of apple, melon and grape! A faint note of citrus toward the tail – faint but it really brightens the cup. This is not as “buttery” as many Sencha teas I’ve tried, instead, this is more of a crisp, sweet tea with fruit notes that are interwoven with notes of vegetation.
Often with Japanese Sencha teas, I notice a bittersweet type of note and there is a gentle balance between the sweetness and that savory bitterness. I’m not getting that here though. There are some savory qualities to this, particulary with the vegetal notes, but there is absolutely no bitterness. Just sweet flavors with a slight hint of tartness from that citrus note at the tail.
As I continue to sip, I pick up on the hints of sweet jasmine too. They are much more delicate than the fruit notes and I think that my palate needed to become acclimated to the fruit flavors I was experiencing before it would let me explore some of the other layers of this tea.
Even though this tea focuses strongly on the sweet flavors and not so much on it’s savory elements, I’m finding this tea to be very satisfying and well-rounded. It’s very smooth from start to finish. As the citrus notes approach the palate, I notice a slight astringency.
Subsequent infusions proved to be a little more vegetal than fruit-like, but, I could still taste those fruit notes. The floral notes emerged a little more. The second and third infusions are definitely worth the effort with this tea! I found these cups to be more soothing and rejuvenating.
A really enjoyable tea! If you’re looking for top-notch Japanese teas, Mellow Monk is a great source, I highly recommend checking them out.