Sencha Special Grade Yamato (TJ16)

Tea type
Green Tea
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Artichoke, Earth, Grass, Hay, Nutty, Seaweed, Soybean, Spicy, Fruity, Metallic, Mineral, Orange, Peach, Roasted, Sweet, Vegetal, Butter, Spinach, Zucchini
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Edit tea info Last updated by Pamela Dean
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 18 oz / 541 ml

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18 Tasting Notes View all

From Upton Tea Imports

A superior grade of Sencha, with a brighter flavor and smoother aftertaste. Also known as our “Sencha Yamato”. Highly recommended.

About Upton Tea Imports View company

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18 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

Tastes like spinach veering into seaweed territory. More seaweed as it cools. It’s not bitter and I think it is of good quality – it’s just not my thing. (I don’t like sushi and don’t like seaweed at all!) I think this is going into the Traveling Teabox!!!!!! I think I may make some Earl Grey to get this taste out of my mouth!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

Are we measuring TTB excitement by amount of !s used? You must be pretty excited with those six. :p


Partially excitement about the teabox, partially how much I would like this tea in a box going somewhere else than my tea cabinet! :) :) :) and partially because I chronically abuse the exclamation point (!!!!!) It’s a good tea, just not at all my preference. If I had a tea that I thought was poor quality, I’d put it in my compost bin and wouldn’t inflict it on anyone!


I do hope people aren’t afraid of adding stuff they don’t like to the box. Chances are someone down the line will like it. Otherwise it would just go to waste.


Oh yes – I just meant that I wasn’t giving away junk :) It’s good stuff… for the seaweed inclined :) :) :)


Hee, yeah. After all I added the white cucumber that Ricky sent me. I know there are others who like that (or are curious to try it), so it’s going back across the water again. :)


So, you didn’t like it?


:P~ ~
(That is me spitting out the seaweed I mean tea!)

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259 tasting notes

I have taken to sampling green teas and I like this. I don’t think that green tea will ever be a favorite of mine, but I like to have it occasionally. I ordered some samplers from Upton Tea Imports—-they have earned my eternal gratitude by providing 15 g. samples for just a little bit of money. The tea is bright, vegetal, flavorful. It is not an exuberant green that tastes like rolling around in a spinach field or in a huge vat of freshly mown grass. It’s restraint is a virtue, however.

Curious, I looked up the meaning of Yamoto and the ever-reliable (:-)) Wikipedia informs me that: “The term was semantically extended to mean “Japan” or “Japanese” in general, and carries many of the same connotations as Americana does for the United States.”

While I think I like this tea better than the other reviewers, I also doubt that I will select it as a “go-to” green tea. I’m still seeking that one green tea that I will cherish above all others and want to keep in stock.

SECOND STEEP: The second steep was very well-behaved; was neither too weak nor too strong. It seemed to have blossomed a bit more towards a slight floral note. Very aromatic.

2 min, 30 sec
Jim Marks

Finding a Japanese style green that appeals to any given person’s palate is a completely subjective adventure. Some people love those “shredded kale” kinds of varieties and some people hate them. Anyone who can’t cope with any vegetal element at all should be drinking Chinese green, not Japanese (imho).

I think green, like oolong, is far too big of a spectrum to have just one “go to”. White and black teas this is not too difficult to do. But green and oolong can be radically different from each other, and “great” for completely different non-contradictory reasons.


I really do agree with you, Jim Marks. I have got some other greens that I like and I have enough samples to try out quite a few. I gather that the shelf life is no more than 3 months, so it does require a bit of a balancing act to have not too much nor too little.

Jim Marks

Yeah, that’s the kind of thing when I miss living close enough to the TeaG retail shop to just go in and get “to go” cups of various things until I found what I liked.

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1113 tasting notes

Mmmm, sencha! I like this pretty well but I think I prefer the sencha from Den’s tea. I will have no problem finishing the sample of this I ordered though! :)

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6768 tasting notes

I grabbed a sample portion from the Traveling Tea Box only because I haven’t tried this specific kind before.

It’s not memorable…it does taste like dark leafy green spinach…I couldn’t drink it alone so I am pairing it with my lunch which happens to be Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna. It fits well and brings out the cheesy and sauce flavor of the Lasagna more – LOL – Honestly, I doubt I would try the Sencha Special Grade from Upton again…sorry…

But I am grateful to have tried it…rather than to never have tried it at all, I suppose. :)


That was the only tea I’ve ever rated a “1” – ugghh!!


I wondered about that…lol…my lunch is what made me finish the cup! LOL

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183 tasting notes

Smell is what I expect from a sencha, with buttery, seaweedy notes. Taste leans towards the buttery tasting side, with a pretty smooth, clean mouthfeel. This is one of the better senchas I have had thus far, but then again I’ve never really tried a Japanese green tea that I didn’t like. I wish I had some of my other favorite senchas on hand so I could do a direct comparison.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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76 tasting notes

I’m on a green tea kick and this sencha hits the spot. Thanks Stephanie for this. Everything you’ve sent so far has been great.

This tea is very savory with a sweet finish. Not recommended for anyone who isn’t a serious green fan.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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189 tasting notes

A rating of 1, really? maybe best not to give a numerical rating to teas you don’t like altogether, because it can skew the ratings for a tea, like this sencha which IS grassy and wonderfully evocative of the ocean environment it hails from. I’ve had many cups of this sencha and, for those who like this type of tea it is one you can really sink your teeth into. Keep the water below 190 and steep for 2.5 minutes max and you’ll avoid any bitterness.

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2036 tasting notes

There are no fewer than three entries for this tea, and yet I’m not entirely sure the sample I’ve just cracked open is in fact any of them. It’s got the same number, but it’s called Japanese Sencha Special Grade. I’m loathe to create yet another entry, so I’ll park mine here.

Continuing with the project to taste green teas I haven’t tasted before on weekends, this one is a juicy, grass/hay smelling one in the tin. It’s been a while since I’ve had sencha (at least a month, I think) and the smell is very appealing. It has an earthy quality to it, but also a slightly spicy quality.

The tea is a light-medium golden yellow, with some particulate matter in the liquor. But the floaters are much finer than in some senchas. They hang suspended in the water, in a way that is actually pretty interesting to look at — it’s sort of calming to look at and wonder how that’s happening.

The steeped tea’s aroma is also what I’d describe as juicy, as it it’s taste. I don’t get an overly vegetal flavor or aroma — to the extent there’s any vegetalness to it, I get artichoke rather than spinach. But I also get a vaguely nutty scent, a bit like sunflower seeds.

It’s also not what I’d describe as overly grassy, which is often the distinguishing factor for me between Japanese green teas and Chinese green teas. I tend to think of Japanese greens as grassy and Chinese greens as vegetal. This one is defying the norm.

It does have a seaweed, edamame/soy quality to it too, which I associate with Japanese greens.

I don’t find it bitter. It has just the right amount of down turn in the finish.

I find it more complex than some other senchas and so more enjoyable.

Flavors: Artichoke, Earth, Grass, Hay, Nutty, Seaweed, Soybean, Spicy

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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141 tasting notes

I kinda think by the end of all my Upton samples ill be responsible for creating just like half their database, but anyways its been a while since I had a Japanese green and I don’t think I’ve ever had one this good,

It’s very different from the Chinese teas I’ve grown accustomed to, more of the characteristic minerals I’ve heard much about, and vegetal but more importantly its very very sweet, and a little fruity, peach and orange

Theres a hint of metallics, and its quite roasty, but perhaps the best part is the mouthfeel: its thick and silky, with no astringency, its very comforting

The vegetal sweetness sort of fades around the fifth or sixth steep gongfu(90ml gaiwan) and unfortunately it gives way seemingly only to the metallic and mineral flavours, which is a bit uncomfortable but it isnt really bad, i still drank many steeps happily

Flavors: Fruity, Metallic, Mineral, Orange, Peach, Roasted, Sweet, Vegetal

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1 tasting notes

This tea has a nice soft, brothy mouth feel to it with buttery characteristics paired with spinach notes. It brews a light yellow color, instead of a neon green like most Japanese greens, which I found quite interesting. Still good quality regardless.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 30 OZ / 887 ML

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