Sen Cha Fukamushi from Sugimoto America

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where To Buy:  Sugimoto America

Product Description:

This is our signature Sen Cha. Our Sen Cha is “Fukamushi.” refers to the deeper (longer) steaming process after the harvest. This extra steaming time results in fine leaves, and the taste is richer and more full-bodied than regular Sen Cha. Depending on steeping conditions, it has a bit of sweetness and outstanding fragrance.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I am finding myself just as excited to learn about the theme that Steepster has selected for the latest Steepster Select box as I am to receive the tea itself!  This month, Steepster chose “Steep for Japan” as their theme.

Here’s some more information on this theme:

To say Japan has had a difficult year would be an understatement.  This past March, the island nation experienced one of the most powerful earthquakes since the beginning of modern record-keeping.  The quake and resulting tsunami have devastated the country, and while tea production was largely unaffected, the damage to Japan’s infrastructure has severely impacted thousands of Japanese people and businesses. 

As rebuilding continues, we’d like to introduce you to a few classics from a country synonymous with green tea, as our own small way of supporting the cause. 

All proceeds for this box will be donated to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, which assists organizations providing aid and emergency services to the victims.  For more info visit

This Sen Cha Fukamushi is the first of the three teas that I’m tasting from December’s box, and I’m loving it!

The aroma of the dry leaf is incredible… very fragrant.  Sweet and floral.  I don’t get much of a grassy smell from the dry leaf at all, which is really unusual for a Sen Cha.  At least, in my experience, it is.  Normally, I can smell a strong vegetative sort of quality, but, not here.  Interesting.

The brewed tea does have a vegetative aroma, smelling faintly of steamed vegetables – something mild like spinach, perhaps?  I still detect notes of flower and that sweetness that I noted in the dry leaf, but, with the brewed tea it has become more of a unified fragrance that is a little sweet, a little savory and a little flowery.

The flavor is quite unlike any Sen Cha that I can recall tasting.  It is remarkably light in color, but the flavor and texture is quite another story.  The texture reminds me a bit of a light broth.  The flavor is full and sweet, with a savory tone that hits the palate by about mid-sip.  This savoriness is difficult to describe, because it’s not quite bitter, it is not quite briny and it is not quite sour … but it is a little of all three, and it arrives just in time to rescue the palate from what might otherwise be a sip too sweet – delivering a sense of balance.  Very nice!

I’m finding this Sen Cha very enjoyable – a rich, smooth, satisfying green tea with very little astringency.  Take the leaves for a second infusion – it’s just as lovely as the first!  Another excellent choice from Steepster Select!

Fukamushi-Sencha Yame from Den’s Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Den’s Tea

Product Description:

It is our best quality Fukamushi-Sencha and is also unique in that it is from a special species, Yutakamidori. Den’s favorite Fukamushi-Sencha.

Taster’s Review:

The aroma of the dry leaf is quite grassy, and when you look at the dry leaf, you might think that you’ve a bunch of blades of green grass rather than tea leaves.  The leaves have a very slender cut to them, and they look like blades of bright green – and I mean vividly green! – grass.  And that’s almost the color liquor it produces too.  A very bright, jade green.  Beautiful!

And although I’ve never actually brewed blades of grass before, I don’t think that it would taste like this.  Yes, there are some grassy tones to this tea, but it is so much more complex than that.  It has a wonderful texture to it, and the flavor is a savory, broth-like taste.  It isn’t as sweet as some Sencha teas tend to be, this one has more of a savory note to it.  And while it does have a creamy texture to it, it doesn’t taste creamy or buttery.  It tastes nutty and toasty, like freshly roasted chestnuts.

There are hints of sweetness along with a distinct sour tone that leans to the aforementioned savory side.  It has a very comforting effect that reminds me of the feeling I would get if I were eating chicken soup.  This doesn’t taste like chicken soup, of course, but you know that feeling?  That warm, home-y, comforting sense of well-being that you get when you have a cup of homemade chicken soup?  That’s what I feel right now as I sip this.  It is very soothing, very relaxing, and quite delicious.

This is a tea that I’d like to keep on hand for when I might be feeling under the weather, or any time that I want to experience that satisfying feeling of something so comforting and delicious.