Friday, May 27, 2011

Taste Test: Fuji Sencha(?) green tea from It's About Tea

I've never had much luck with Japanese green tea, to be perfectly honest. Either the ones I buy are no good, or I just haven't figured out the brewing yet. Whatever the reason, I haven't had a great experience with any of the three Japanese greens I have. Let's see if that'll change, shall we?

Today's tea is something called "Fuji" from my local tea shop. I'm guessing it's a sencha, but no information is forthcoming besides the shop's listing it as a "Japan green tea". Anybody who reads this who is familiar with "Fuji" is free to correct me. Publicly, if needed.

Dry Leaf

The dry leaf is actually quite attractive, save from being somewhat chopped up. Nice dark green colour, and a pleasant odor of mowed grass and fresh herbs. Which herbs? I mostly got rosemary and sage notes, maybe a bit of parsley if I really snorked.

Brew and Wet Leaf

I used water that was a bit hotter than I've been using for Japanese greens before, just to see what would happen. This turns out to be a mistake, but not a fatal one.

The first brew gives a dark yellow liquor, sporting a rather thin mouthfeel that I didn't at all enjoy. There are grassy notes, but overall it's just a big cup of bitter.

The second brew (with cooler water) yielded better results, though it still wasn't great. A really big sour note, that came on suddenly and then faded just as fast, really perked up my tastebuds, though it still didn't taste good.

The third infusion, with even cooler water, was a complete surprise. It was so sweet that I almost jumped. It was as if someone had dumped a big load of brown sugar right in the tea. I wouldn't call it cloying, per se, but the sweetness definitely overpowered any other note that may have been there.

I didn't risk a fourth infusion, but maybe I should have...that sweetness was intriguing. I think I've learned my lesson about water temperature and sencha, though. I probably should have known it all along.

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