Tsuru No Maru Japan

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Recent Tasting Notes


Happy National Virtual Vacation Day! Since I’ve always longed to go to Japan (I have studied the language and culture since I was around 12ish?) I pulled this Japanese Sencha sampler out to have today!

I had two samples of this tea from different tea festivals, one from the 2018 San Francisco International Tea Festival, and another from 2019 Tea Fest PDX in Portland, Oregon. Though the packaging says “Kagayaki” on it, the info provided claims this is actually different than their “Kagayaki No. 10 Sencha.” I believe the employee I spoke to at the festivals indicated it was a special/proprietary blend they were taste-testing and not currently on the market.

I used both teabags in 500ml of 175F water, steeped for 2 minutes, and then dumped into my work thermos (which, despite furious scrubbing with soap and water last night, still had some “Easter Egg Nests” aroma on it, which probably isn’t coming off until I zap it in Mandala Tea Soak. Meh. So this may be a chocolately sencha, but there was simply no time to do the Mandala Tea Soak before work…)

Brewed at 8:30 am, it is now 10:30 am and I’m finally getting to sit down at my desk and drink it! I remember loving this sencha when I sampled it at the booth, and the aroma I’m getting from the steeped tea is definitely on the side of sencha that sits with me — I enjoy the sweeter, buttery-vegetable types, rather than the really marine/seaweedy types, and this smells like pure butter-soaked veggies.

Nice flavor, smooth with no astringency. There is a sweet grassiness, a vegetal taste giving me garden pea, green beans, and spinach, a smooth butteriness, and a slight umami seaweed note mixed with earthy minerals left in the aftertaste. I still really love this sencha!

Despite Tsuru no Maru’s website saying that their “Kagayaki” tea would be available fall of 2019, there is still nothing on their website regarding ordering… a shame.

Flavors: Butter, Garden Peas, Grass, Green Beans, Mineral, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Short backstory to this tea:

Steepster members Todd and Mastress Alita met with me at the San Francisco Tea Festival last year (last year!). We took home samples of this sencha. When I decided to brew it at home, an explosion of rotten canned cat food occurred, ruining the sachet that was sitting on the counter and creating quite the foul atmosphere.

Nearly one year later (one year later!), Mastress Alita, recalling the mishap, sent me a new sample that she acquired at the Portland Tea Fest. Thank you! <3

Brewed according to the directions: Let 3oz of boiling water cool for 3min, steep for 60s.
Smooth and thick with sweet vegetal asparagus and secondary notes of bitter almond, sugar cookie, anise and earth.

I don’t have much experience with sencha but I really enjoyed this tea. It’s not grassy like other sencha I’ve had and has a much more substantial body that gets thicker in subsequent, hotter infusions. No astringency. Nice, light lingering bitterness and a returning sweetness deep in the throat. Six 3oz infusions from one sachet.

Flavors: Almond, Anise, Asparagus, Bitter, Cookie, Earth, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal

1 min, 0 sec 3 OZ / 88 ML
Mastress Alita

Those flavor notes sound much nicer than cat food.


Agreed. I think the rotten cat food might have nixed this tea for me permanently.


I loved it too, hope it’s available soon.

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I got a sample of this at the SF Tea Festival. They don’t sell it or even mention it on their website.

It’s very light and smooth, not bitter at all that I can tell. It’s earthy and vegetal, and I can taste a bit of asparagus. It’s pretty much the perfect sencha. I would like more of this!

If you’re listening, Tsuru no Maru: Make more please. もっとください!

Flavors: Asparagus, Earth, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Mastress Alita

This sencha makes me do the Saboriman Kantarou face.


It’s really that good.


I wish a can of rotten cat food didn’t explode all over my teabag (or me or my kitchen) as I was preparing hot water to brew this. If Tsuru No Maru offer it for sale, I will buy some. Have either of you received an email update?

Mastress Alita

I have not! I would be willing to break hiatus to buy this one, too…


I haven’t either. Wow, that is a senchastrophe.

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I got this sample from a vend at the PDX Tea Fest this year. I prepared this following the instructions. I boiled three ounces of water and let it sit for about 3 minutes before steeping the tea for a little longer than 30 seconds. Even though my sample was very small I found this to be a very good Sencha.

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Smooth

0 min, 45 sec 3 OZ / 88 ML

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