This is the second of two samples kindly sent by Peter Stanik of Pu-erh.sk some time ago – I talked about Kabuse Daitsuin, the first one, in the previous post.
So, just a quick reminder – these teas come from Ohira tea estate located in Shizuoka and are grown in what can be considered a mountainous area – elevation of 500-1000 meters.
Ohira's Sencha has shorter, presumably middle-steamed leaves, lot of them broken, but overall quite attractive, shiny and dark-green. Their smell is sweet, fresh and slightly roasted.
The first infusion is light green in color and just as light on tongue; its soft, clear taste comprises tones of roasted nuts, almonds, creamy sweetness and milkiness. This tea is far less fruity than most Senchas from Shizuoka, instead providing an interesting combination of warm, nut-like notes and light, soft character – in a way, it almost reminded me of some higher-grade Kamairicha. Its aftertaste is quite warm, sweet and very refined. This is something that Sencha Ohira shares with its Kabuse counterpart – this unusual, refined lightness and purity, that, in my opinion, might be a result of its high-mountain origin. Interestingly, it keeps this lightness even with higher dosage of leaves and longer brewing time. A big positive in my eyes, especially with Japanese teas, which are often very easy to overbrew.
The second infusion is again light green in color, while its taste is now slightly sharper and slightly fruitier – tones of almonds, milk and plums. Though still very soft and fine, this brew also gains on the typical Sencha green freshness, while it loses a bit of the former roasted tone. Its aftertaste is now more vivid; still warm and sweet, but less creamy and more fruity.
The third infusion is light green, completely transparent and has a taste profile similar to the second brew. While quite sharp, it maintains the lightness, purity and some of the former creamy sweetness, though it now showcases more of the fruity tones – again, plums. These are accompanied by slightly spicy nuances, as well as a hint of woodiness. The aftertaste is medium-long, mouthfilling and less sweet than before, dominated by fruity sharpness.
The last, fourth brew is sharp and simple. Green color, spices, woodiness. Warm, humble finish.