94

I’m not ready to head to bed yet, so here is another of my tea reviews from 2020. I’m pretty sure this was my first Fukamushi sencha, like ever. I do not remember trying one prior to trying this one. Though this was supposed to be the budget offering of the two Fukamushi senchas What-Cha started carrying, I was very impressed by the quality of this tea.

I settled on a multi-step Western brewing process to prepare this tea. I started off by measuring out 3 grams of loose leaf material and steeping it in approximately 8 fluid ounces of 167 F water for 30 seconds. This infusion was followed by a 15 second infusion in 172 F water, a 45 second infusion in 177 F water, a 1 minute 15 second infusion in 182 F water, and a 3 minute infusion in 187 F water.

Prior to the first infusion, the dry leaf material produced aromas of grass, zucchini, pine, baked bread, and asparagus. After infusion, the leaf material (now more soggy leaf gunk than anything else), produced aromas of seaweed, spinach, peas, toasted rice, and vegetable broth. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented clear notes of peas, grass, zucchini, sweet corn, butter, toasted rice, chestnut, asparagus, vegetable broth, pine, and seaweed that were balanced by subtler impressions of baked bread, hay, and green apple. The second infusion introduced aromas of butter, chestnut, and summer squash. Summer squash notes came out in the mouth along with some very subtle hints of pear. The third infusion added lemon zest and green apple aromas with mineral notes and hints of both lemon zest and green apple in the mouth. The fourth infusion added a subtle green olive scent with hints of green olive also present in the tea liquor in addition to the presence of sea salt. The final infusion saw the nose turn salty and generally heavy with a mineral presence overall. The tea liquor was basically just bright green water by this point, but I did detect a mineral presence, some saltiness, and some light grassy, vegetal notes.

This was such a fun and enjoyable offering, even if all the shredded leaf material ended up turning into a mass of what appeared to be radioactive green goo in the bottom of one of my nylon brew baskets that required seriously heavy scrubbing to remove. I loved the intensely colored tea liquor and the approachable, pleasant, and complementary aroma and flavor profiles this tea displayed. Though the higher end Fukamushi sencha carried by What-Cha was more refined, this was still a tremendous offering for what it was. I actually enjoyed the two almost equally, but this tea struck me as offering more bang for the buck.

Flavors: Asparagus, Baked Bread, Broth, Butter, Chestnut, Grass, Green Apple, Hay, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Olives, Pear, Peas, Pine, Salt, Seaweed, Squash, Toasted Rice, Vegetal, Zucchini

Preparation
0 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

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KY

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