Posts Tagged ‘Sencha’

So, my review was a long time coming as my wife so eloquently put it in the previous article – Tea Emperor’s own review post will come soon after mine.

MAKERS OF THE TEA Small tea plantation in Japan under private ownership. Can tea get any more real? Not much!

INSTRUCTIONS Instruction manuals (and asking the way if lost) are for women and engineers. They are helpful if one has no idea about the topic, but useless if one doesn’t know how to read. Luckily I can read and I am rather new to tea. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I drink several big mugs of the damn thing every day, but ceremony and gong fu are far beyond the reach of my skills. Good thing that they include all the necessary guides on their website too, check them here.

COVER LETTER They had included a very comforting cover letter, which told about the teas in question. Sample bags were stabled on to the paper so it was impossible to mix them up and therefore accidentally review a wrong product. Simple and effective not to mention beautiful.

THE TEA Now you know that supportive items were fine, but how about the tea itself?

1st steep for half a minute Refreshing and light taste with sweet aftertaste. Just my kind of a cup of tea that’s what this is, but then again I am from Finland and the strongest spice that we use here is black pepper. We like our food mild and vodka strong and cold. We drink coffee here tea, however, is a drink for old women… Anyway I liked my first cup.

2nd steep for about ten seconds Much stronger and pit over the top for me. I liked the aftertaste though and had high hopes for the third steep. 3rd steep for half a minute again This one already had lost its luster and was easily downed as a refreshing drink. 4th steep for one minute

Frustratingly bland and got quickly thrown away, but the left over green tea salad was fantastic!

A few week ago we received two samples from Obubu Tea, a tea brand produced by local farmers from Kyoto region. Last weekend we started to try one of the samples: Sencha of the Wind.

Following the clear instruction coming along with the sample, we brew it for altogether three steeping, respectively with 20, 10, 30 seconds. As Tea Emperor and I come from different cultural background and have different habits in tea drinking, it makes sense to write our reviews separately in two posts, with some basic introduction of our own background.

As a person growing up in Taiwan, tea culture is not unfamiliar to me. Although not a tea expert nor have I been especially keen drinker for Kung-Fu Tea, I have been used to drinking tea along with lunch or dinner in restaurants or in art tea houses. The most common tea served in Chinese restaurants are for example Oolong, Pu-er, Jasmin or Tei Kuan In.

My first-time experience with real Japanese Sencha was back 2 years ago when I visited Kyoto. There I have had unforgettable experience with the locally produced Sencha and Macha. I simply fell in love with those teas and brought some loose tea leaves of Sencha (Sencha Gold, from UjinoTSUYU, 宇治の露) as well as combination of Sencha and Macha (from Santory, 伊右衛門) , and bags of Macha powders with me back to Finland.

Now residing in Finland I have been having slight problems of finding quality Sencha or Macha tea around, therefore it was a really pleasant surprise for me to find Obubu Tea from Twitter and found that it is possible to get delicate Sencha loose tea and Macha powders directly from farmers in Kyoto region! Personally I have always liked the idea of how the Internet can empower local small players and help them to reach the world. Therefore the existence of Obubu Tea already made me delighted before even tasting their tea.

Now comes my experience with Sencha of the Wind.

The first steeping came with very fresh and mild flavour with pleasant fragrance from tea leaves. Compared to the Sencha Gold which I bought from Uji (near Kyoto), Sencha of the Wind is sweeter, lighter and milder. The second steeping was my favorite, as it brought further out the taste of tea leaves, stronger yet without any bitter after-taste. The third steeping was lighter than the 2nd yet remain its freshness. The instruction recommended 3 steeping altogether, and indeed after the fourth steeping the tea was already too light for me. I don’t know how the name of the tea initially came from but all in all the drinking experience was exactly like breeze of the wind in the spring, sweet, gentle, smooth and pleasant.

After drinking the tea we proceeded to eat the brewed tea leaves with soya sauce. It was amazingly tasty! Interestingly, although being a first-time “tea leaves eater”,  the taste seemed so natural to me, reminding me some fresh side dishes of Japanese cuisines. I ended up finishing all the Sencha leaves as I really loved the flavour of tea leaves dipped in soya sauce. I guess my high appreciation of eating those delicate Sencha tea leaves probably came from my own culinary and cultural background: I often eat tofu, noodles, Japanese sea algae, sushi, and cooked pork stripes with soya sauce, just to name a few. In my experience, as long as the ingredients are fresh with high quality, dipping with soya sauce is often one of the best ways to draw out their original flavour. Those brewed Sencha tea leaves tasted really tender and delicate, honestly I can be easily addicted to this “tea salad”!

That’s from me for now. Tea Emperor’s own review post will come soon after mine.

More info about Obubu Tea can be found from here

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