Yes, I have been bad. No posts in 3 weeks! There are a number (three, actually; how appropriate and cliché!) of reasons:
1. Spring break.
2. I've been drinking mostly sencha, which I find hard to write about (unlike this guy).
3. Hell, I'm just lazy.
Anyway, in an attempt to appease you, here are two mini-reviews of two (enough with the numbers already!) senchas I've been enjoying lately.
2007 Shizuoka Sencha "Hatsumi"
Origin: Shizuoka prefecture, Japan
Vendor: O-Cha.com (Product page)
Price: $24.95 (100g)
Great stuff. Bold, sweet, round flavor, and light on grassiness and astringency. If you like O-Cha's Yukata Midori, you will like this too. I would say it definitely has a stronger flavor than the Yukata Midori and its color is almost as rich, though it is not quite as sweet and lacks a certain something I can't put my finger on.
2007 Sencha Chiran Yukatamidori
Origin: Kagoshima prefecture, Japan
Vendor: Lupicia (Product page)
Price: $7.00 (50g)
Though not as good as O-Cha's Hatsumi, I think this is a great performer for its price. Like the Hatsumi and Yukata Midori from O-Cha, this is a mellow sencha. It is not devoid of grassiness, but it is certainly downplayed in favor of the sweet "greenness" that I find so difficult to describe any better. (I should mention that when I say "mellow," I do not mean "light.") This is a full-bodied tea with good flavor, and would be a great daily sencha.
If you happen to have a Lupicia store nearby (there are not many, unfortunately), check it out. I visited the one in San Jose, CA, and was quite impressed. Not only did they have a huge selection of teas (mostly Japanese greens), but they also had helpful, friendly workers— a breath of fresh air, per se, for one who has sore memories of hubris-filled Teavana "teaologists."
Well, that's all, folks. Stay tuned though, especially you tea-newbies. I have something very special lined up that you won't want to miss!