Sunday, 12 August 2007

Tenbu Sencha

Tenbu Sencha

Source – 6g sample from TChing

Water – Brita Max filtered tap water

Temp – boiled then left to cool until lower than normal for green , +/- gyokoro temp

Vessel – 7oz gaiwan – filter – faircup

Dry leaf – mix of normal sized sencha leaves and some very small particles, could spell trouble for the filter. Colour is mix of classic sencha green with some leaves looking darker and more akin to gyokoro.

Aroma – more depth than I've ever detected in a sencha before. I usually expect clean freshness, and a newly cut lawn type fragrance from sencha but this has something far more hearty although I'm not exactly sure what it is yet.

1st infusion 60s – longer than I'm used to steeping. The liquor appears lighter than expected for the time it spent in the gaiwan, maybe I'm used to using too much tea. It has good clarity and the mystery aroma is still eluding me, I now have my nose in the gaiwan. Tasting the infusion is again not what I expected. Far more mellow and subtle, not the fresh almost mint like slap in the face I associate with sencha. This tea, although obviously Japanese, seems to have a little of the subtleties associated with Chinese green.

2nd 15s – The liquor is darker this time and closer to what I expected first time around. The clarity is not so good and this is probably explained by me having a small struggle with the filter and my tea digger to get the brew though quicker. The aroma from the gaiwan is fading into typical sencha, I may have to wait until the next session to explore this further – thanks for the 6gram packs! By the end of the 2nd infusion I'm sweating, I'm sure it usually takes far longer normally. The taste is more intense immediately and still has the delicate after taste of the first infusion.

3rd – 15s – Similar appearance to the 2nd. The tastes seemed to have mingled, the upfront more typical sencha taste has joined forces with the subtle character predominant in the 1st infusion to create a nice rounded cuppa.

4th 30s – very similar to the 3rd taste wise although it does taste a lot more like a 4th infusion gyokoro at this stage than a 4th infusion sencha.

Spent leaf – Japanese greens are never of much interest to myself at this point. It does confirm the observation of the dry leaf, some large, some very fine, some light, some dark.

Conclusion – Aside from the fact that analysing my drinking had made me realise I should really invest in a proper teapot for this stuff, I really enjoyed this tea. As far as green tea goes I have been drinking gyokoro, long jing and liu an gua pian over the past few weeks. I was a little surprised to find a more of those kinds of tea hiding in here than the return to sencha 'only fresher' I was expecting.

Thanks to tching not only for the free samples but also for helping to keep my mind open to brewing variations and not have internal cries of 'heresy' when 60s is suggested in the future.

Link to the rest of the TChing tasting notes.

No comments: