Friday, November 09, 2007

2007 Fukamushi Sencha "Super Premium"

Class: Green
Origin: Uji, Japan
Year: 2007
Vendor: Hibiki-an (Product page)
Price: $15.00 (40g)

Hibiki-an Fukamushi SenchaIt's been a while since I posted any notes about sencha, so here goes. I just got this tea today, so I don't have a lot of experience with it, but I liked it enough the first time around to write about it.

The dry leaf is, well, fukamushi. It doesn't look pretty. This is just a result of the deeper steaming, though, so it's nothing to worry about. The aroma is a bit grassy, vegetal, and "marine." Mmmm!

I brewed this with more leaf than I would normally, on Chip's recommendation. I used 5.7g leaf (There wasn't much thought involved in picking this number, by the way, it's just what looked good at the time) and 200mL of 165-170°F water, and steeped for 60s, 30s, 50s, and 90s.

The liquor brews to be a lovely emerald color, even without the help of the cloudiness, which sets in starting with the second infusion. The flavor is sweet and candy-like, though frankly it was a bit weak considering the amount of leaf I used&mdash perhaps a higher temperature would help that. There is a touch of astringency, but that is likely a result of my own brewing and not the tea's fault. The second infusion especially had a rich umami goodness, which made the tea feel quite robust in the mouth. One of the things I like about this tea is that it is more "active" than other senchas, in that it leaves a coolness in the throat and a pleasant oily sensation on the tongue. This does happen in some other senchas, but not usually this much.

By the fourth infusion, it started to get a bit watery. If you bumped up the temperature this tea could probably keep going, but I doubt it would be much longer. Anyway, I very much recommend trying this tea. It's not an everyday drinker at the price of 15 clams for 40g, but it's a nice treat.

[Also, I just added a new wallpaper of that fine-lookin' kyūsu to the Wallpapers section. Enjoy!]

4 comments:

Bamboo Forest said...

Scruff, the tea looks so beautiful in those cups. Wow, you got that selection from Hibiki, I've never had it, but it has to be excellent.

Brittiny said...

Great review, Brent! I love Sencha so I think that this particular tea is going to be added to my Christmas list.
-sits in awe at the deep green color-

David said...

I'm a big fukamushi fan, and I'm torn between vendors. I stumbled on Hibiki-an about 3 weeks back and now that you've posted this review, I'm almost swayed in their favor.

How would you rate this fukamushi in comparison to the one you reviewed from O-Cha?

I'm also looking at zencha.net. They look to have an interesting selection as well.

Brent said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

David, I'm not sure I feel right comparing this to the myou-kou (O-Cha's fukamushi), since I haven't had it for about a year. If I had to guess though, I'd say this is better, perhaps a bit "cleaner" tasting.

Also, I have tried zencha.net's sencha "Takumi," from Yame. It wasn't fukamushi, but it was quite good, and I would recommend it.

All three of these vendors (O-Cha, Hibiki-an, and Zencha.net) are top quality, in my opinion, so whichever you choose should work out well.

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