This tea was kindly sent by Mike of Karatsu pots, along with two of his beautiful teacups. One of these got unfortunately damaged on its way around the world, so I glued it up the best I was able to and will probably use it as a small vase on my tea tray, or just as a very nice decoration.
Tea was made by Tokunaga Seicha, producer from Ureshino,
Dry leaves are quite small, curled, dark green, glossy and overall seem to be of very high quality. Smell is very vivid; deep, sweet, intensively nutty and a bit roasted – typical for good, fresh Tamaryokucha.
This tea is prepared in a small kyusu and drank from cup made by Mike, as it goes perfectly with character of this tea.
Fist infusion is yellow in color, being brewed according to Mike’s instructions with water far below the boiling point and longer infusion time. I generally prefer to prepare Japanese teas like this, as this method gets out that milky, creamy taste I adore so much.
Taste of this infusion is very deep, intensive and with noble tones of almond and something like forest fruit.
Second infusion is poured off immediately, as its color is already deep green and opaque. This brew is surprisingly very different from previous one, with distinct umami taste, more typical for Gyokuro - making this tea even more interesting.
Third infusion is also dark green in color and fruity in taste, though the creamy tones are less vivid and the aftertaste and general feeling of this brew is somehow lighter, though more refreshing.
Fourth infusion is prepared with freshly boiled water and left in a teapot for quite a long time. It also is the last infusion, as the tea already got out all of its charm.
Overall, this was a very pleasant tea, quite unique even for a Japanese green tea - in a positive way. I will probably seek more teas from Ureshino and Kyushu in general from now on, as they are great alternative to teas from Uji and Shizuoka, being really markedly different in character.
Thanks once again for your kindness and an opportunity to try this tea, Mike.