Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2010 Kanbayashi Sencha Premium

After a week of cold rain and weather that seemed almost like Winter was already on the way, this is one of those days reminding me that there still is a lot to love about Fall. It's sunny and windy, with this constant breeze being chilly in a positive way, molding the idyllic autumnal atmosphere.

This tea is the first of two samples kindly sent by Calogero of which arrived to my place at the beginning of this month. Both of these are Sencha produced by Kanbayashi and originating in Uji, Kyoto.

Among two Kanbayashi Senchas in Ochaya's current offering, this is the higher grade, labeled “Premium”.

The package reveals very nicely processed, medium-long uniform needles, dark-green in color with typical plastic-like shine and soft, deep smell full of sweetness, nuts and ripe fruit.

The first infusion is light green in color, its taste is complex, buttery and creamy with quite warm character and tones of almonds, pears and milk, among others. Typically for high-grade Sencha, this taste is humble in its complexity and deepness; with countless notes, yet creating a perfect harmony with no tone being vivider than the others.

The second infusion, brewed in a bit warmer water for just few seconds, has more yellowish color and once again reveals buttery, warm character, now sharper and more fruity, mouth-filling and juicy with strong umami and long-lasting, intense aftertaste.

The third infusion is yellowish-green and opaque in color, more woodsy than previous infusions, piquant and strong, still warm in body with dominant tones now being slight dryness, pears and hint of pleasant spiciness. Its aftertaste is longest and most intensive of all brews.

The fourth infusion brings out mainly harsh, sour notes with dry woodsiness dominating the taste, which now lacks the remarkable sweetness found in previous infusions and indicates that this is the last brew.

After the session, this tea left my mind clear, aligned and concentrated – just as good teas tend to do.

Thanks for an opportunity to try it, Calogero.

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