drank Maruyama by Maiko
280 tasting notes

I had a lot of trouble getting a sense of this tea—specifically, deciding whether and how much I like it. But now that I’ve gone through all 100g, I think I can finally review. Part of my problem was that others who have reviewed this tea really seemed to enjoy it, so I had certain expectations.

It took quite a while to find the right brewing parameters (for my own liking at least). I tried first for a typical sencha – 160 for 1.5 minutes — it produced an extremely strong vegetal soup and aroma (what I imagined to be from nitrogen-blasted plants). While I like umami in tea, this was far too powerful to enjoy.

I actually I just realized the problem though—it was out of balance. Perhaps if there had been more sweetness, marine, pine, lemon, bitterness, or even a sense of astringency all working together, it would have balanced out the over-cooked veggie taste this seemed to have. But that just seemed to take over. Unlike other senchas that get more bitter with hotter temps, this tea seems to get more veggie.

However, I did finally try brewing this lower, at 150 for 1 minute. There still was a sense of drinking tea that came from a plant that was heavily fertilized (as I said before ‘nitrogen-blasted’), but there was more balance and subtle flavors that were enjoyable.

In the end, I would say I enjoyed this tea and didn’t have to force myself to drink it, but I won’t buy it again. I’m sure that’s just my own personal preference.

150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Tea: Japanese greens
Dessert: Creme Brulee
Books: Heaven – Randy Alcorn
Anything by J.R.R. Tolkien
Movie: Field of Dreams
Person: Jesus Christ

But who am I to give you recommendations?
You’ll have to see for yourself!

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