I purchased this at the Toronto Tea Festival on Feb 2, 2014. I was unable to taste a brewed sample, but the dry leaves smelled wonderful.
Packaging: Unlike most loose-leaf teas I’ve seen, this tea came in a vacuum-sealed foil pack, so the leaves were initially packed in quite tight. You cut open the top with some scissors, and after it’s open, it’s got one of those pliable metal bars so you can reseal it. The front of the package has some Japanese characters on it, so I believe this vendor just buys directly from a particular tea farm/importer and then applies their own label once it’s been received. I’m not saying this to be negative – the tea is of VERY high quality. I paid $12 for a 50g package, but it typically sells for $15.
Leaf: The leaves look thin and deep green, almost like grass clippings. Dry, the smell is highly vegetal – it smells strongly of fresh-cut hay. Sweet and almost floral, even. Wet, the smell stays exactly the same (floral and hay-like), although the leaves don’t expand/unfurl much.
Liquor: This tea needs only 1-2 minutes to steep. Once steeped, the liquor is a pale green-yellow, like tender plant shoots. The taste of the liquor stays very true to the scent of the leaves – fresh, green, and floral, with only a hint of the astringent taste I find in other green teas.
Overall, this is a lovely and light green tea.