Loose Leaf Tea: Oishi Sencha Green Tea
Tea Company: GreenTeaLovers.com
Tea Company Description: This became an instant favorite with us. It has a distinctive fresh, light, green taste without being overly grassy. We’ve found it very difficult to prepare a poor tasting cup of our newest and finest sencha. Its a rare sencha picked in limited quantities from two type of Kanaya Midori bushes and is said to have superior flavor, taste, color and aroma. An early-April, first crop sencha harvested from leaves in the Kagoshima and Shizuoka regions. The growing climate produces a deep rich aroma and taste and a bright green tea color. The first crop of the four annual harvests is considered best when tea leaves are younger and softer. Produced under ISO 14001 Certified Environmental Management Standards.
Brewing Instruction: This tea is best enjoyed by pouring 176F/80C water over the leaves (2 teaspoons per cup) for 40 seconds (longer=stronger). Don’t remove the leaves. Can be infused repeatedly 2-3 times using higher temperatures & shorter infusions until flavor is exhausted.
Ingredients: Premium green tea
Country of Origin: Japan
Region: Shizuoka & Kagoshima Prefecture
Altitude: 500 – 1500 ft. above sea level
Dry Leaf Assessment: The color of the leaves is a deep green with a nice shine. As most steamed teas, Oishi Sencha leaves are very fragile. Therefore, the shape of the leaves is not consistent needle-like, but is somewhat shattered. This could happened during the transportation of the tea. The smell is pleasant, fresh green (if one can define smell by describing the color) with well pronounced roasted seaweed note.
Infused Leaf Assessment: The infused tea leaves are bright green color, silky to touch, even slightly mushy due to dry leaves being crushed. Wet leaves have a distinctive vegetal aroma with pronounced sorrel note. ( If someone is not familiar with this plant, then it could be best compare to spinach).
Liquor: This is a typical shincha season tea with a vivid emerald-golden color infusion and wonderful fresh fragrance. The infusion is cloudy with a moderate amount of leaf particles. Since Sencha Ichiban Oishi was collected in April – the first flush of the year, this product has an excellent balance of astringency, bitterness and sweetness. The infusion is strong, sharp, rich and smooth at the same time with a pleasantly sweet pickering aftertaste. Steeping longer with hotter water makes this tea astringent and bitter. On another hand, quick brew with cooler water makes this Sencha mellow and delicately sweet which is appreciated by tea drinkers with different preferences.
Recommendation: If you would like to receive a well balanced harmonious infusion, use the recommended instruction by the seller. Boiled water cooled down to 176F/80C is ideal for brewing Sencha. To ensure a proper result use a minimum two heaping teaspoons per cup. The best technique I would recommend is to pour water in teacup before adding to teapot, it will pre-warm your teacup and will chill the water faster to proper temperature. Another valuable tip from Loose Leaf Tea Review – do not disturb the leaves while steeping, otherwise it will bring out excessive bitterness. No steeping is required when brewing second or third time because the leaves are unfurled. For lovers of Japanese teas, this tea is well worthy to try!
Score: 87– Very Good