85
drank Sencha Superior by Rishi Tea
583 tasting notes

Man I was ready to write off this tea because it had been so dismal but today I casually steeped the last few grams at work and it was unexpectedly good. It’s amusing – and a little perplexing – how the most meticulous gongfu setup at home, right down to precise weight and water temperature, sometimes gives inferior results compared to just winging it at the office. On a side note, please ignore the brewing directions on the package. Any sencha steeped for 3 minutes will be terribly bitter.

Anyway, the first steep was lip smacking good. Wonderfully sweet throughout and balanced umami. Notes of spinach and fresh grass transitioning to a crisp lingering grape-like sweetness. Easily better than the pricier shinchas I’ve had this year. But subsequent steeps are a reminder of why this is a budget tea. The second steep had a generic sencha flavor and almost all of the flavor was washed out in the third infusion leaving behind a sulfur like taste.

So yeah, pretty good for a one and done kind of tea.

Flavors: Grapes, Sweet, Warm Grass, Umami

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 OZ / 200 ML

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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