81

Figured its about time I reviewed this tea now that I’ve consumed more than a third of the 100g pouch. I don’t know if it’s just me or what but I’ve found the 2019 crop of sencha to be lacking. None of the teas from the three usually reliable vendors I ordered from – Yuuki-Cha, O-Cha, and Thes Du Japon – blew me away. This one ranks near the bottom of the Japanese greens I tried this year which is disappointing because I’ve had amazing Saemidori tea from O-Cha before.

Although described as a medium steamed tea, the leaf is quite broken and powdery which leaves a lot of sediment in the cup. Dry leaf has a subtle scent of umami and grass. The color of the liquor is a vibrant lime green. I brewed this tea using a wide range of temperatures from 145 – 180 F. At lower temperatures, I get a gentle wheatgrass like taste mingled with umami. At higher temperatures, the tea has a more assertive brothy vegetative flavor but also bitterness due to how quickly the broken leaf infuses. Notes of artichoke, spinach, and grass. Overall, more savory than sweet and without much depth of flavor. Good for about 3 steeps unless you increase leaf quantity which also also leads to increased bitterness. Cold brew was not terribly impressive.

Flavors: Broth, Grass, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 180 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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