Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Ureshino" Tamaryokucha from Lupicia

Class: Green
Origin: Saga prefecture, Japan
Year: 2009 (I think, not 100% sure)
Vendor: Lupicia (Product page)
Price: $10.00 (50g)

This post brought to you by Polaroid! (Okay, not really, but my SX-70 was feeling awfully neglected.)

This is a tamaryokucha, a.k.a. guricha, from the Saga prefecture of Japan. The most surprising thing? I actually like it. It was purely by accident that I bought this, as on the store shelf it was not clearly marked as a tamaryokucha. I had thought that this kind of tea, processed a bit differently than normal sencha, was just a boring inferior version of sencha; apparently I was wrong. Now, I'm not going to say that this is my new favorite Japanese green, but it was certainly good!

Dry leaf
Under normal circumstances I would not leave the borders on my scans of Polaroids, as it seems cliche and really in-your-face about being a Polaroid. I left them on this time for for exactly this reason, but with different intentions— I don't want any first-time visitors to think all my photos are this crappy! :D

You can tell that this is a tamaryokucha by the slightly curly leaves (compared to regular sencha needles) that are not at all visible in the above photo. Trust me on this. :P Not all of them are that curly though, so I wonder if this is only a "semi" tamaryokucha. The leaf smells nice and fresh, with a cute tartness.

I should have used the exposure compensation knob on my camera, as both of these are horribly overexposed. Meh, whatever, it's not like the details of the photos are that important anyway.

The liquor is surprisingly green, which is only visible in the photo due to extensive and probably unethical digital color manipulation. All the non-Polaroid photos I've seen of various tamaryokucha brews show a distinctly yellow-with-greenish-tinge color, while this is far closer to a green-with-yellow color. The flavor is smoother and less astringent than most sencha when brewed at around 160-165F, though it is also relatively light in flavor. It is subtly sweet, and I think it makes a good casual summer tea.

I have learned two valuable lessons today. First, tamaryokucha isn't all bad. Second, Polaroids are terrible for documenting my tasting notes.

Thanks for slogging through this lame post. Here's a cute puppy photo for your efforts (taken with the Yashica 12 I mentioned in the previous post).

Tucker playing

1 comment:

Jason Witt said...

Yes, the Polaroids aren't as good as the other photos on your blog. I'm impressed with the care many tea bloggers (including yourself) take to give people an impression of the fine teas. It's certainly a quality experience.

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