Fukamushi cha 3 from Sakao Enterprise

chaTea Type:
Green Tea

Where To Buy:
Sakao Enterprise

Product Description:

Tea from Shizuoka – Stronger and darker taste with a combination of sweetness and bitterness.

The flavour is stronger and darker than other types of Sencha and the leaves are broken into small pieces because of its heavy steaming process. However, it has a combined taste of both bitterness and sweetness.

Tasters Review:

Fukamushi cha 3 from Sakao Enterprise is more involved than I thought it would be and that’s surely something I like about it and appreciate!  Sure it looks like and plumps up like a Sencha would but the combination of sweet and bitter is what really does it for me!  This is a stronger flavor and I like that as well!  The sweet is almost like a floral and grassy sweet combo.  The bitterness is that of bitter greens, really.  The first thing that popped into my head for comparisons-sake would be mustard greens.

I would say it’s a tad more sweet than bitter which overall creates a flavor of its own that really makes this a wonderful tasting Sencha.  The heavy steaming process and smaller cut of the leaves did NOT go unnoticed!  Two thumbs up on this one!

Shizuoka Shincha Green Tea from Green Tea Lovers

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Green Tea Lovers

Product Description:

LIMITED EDITION ONCE A YEAR TEA. Shincha is a first crop, young bud sencha. This shincha is grown in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan’s premier tea growing region. Over half of the yearly production of Japanese tea comes from Shizuoka. The shincha leaves are hand picked and hand rolled into long and extremely fine needles. This tea has a soft taste like fresh spring green tea. The aroma is noticeably sweet and reminds one of wild orchid. Shincha’s key characteristic is its refreshing and invigorating scent of new leaves. Another feature of shincha is it’s less bitter/astringent taste. Shincha has a higher content of amino acids (L-Theanine) and vitamin C, giving it full-bodied flavor and sweetness. L-theanine is linked to increased alpha brain wave production and is considered a natural antidepressant and stress reliever. Japanese studies link consumption of L-theanine with strengthening the immune system. L-theanine is often added to energy drinks and is known to give a 6-hour sustainable energy boost.

Taster’s Review:

This is an excellent Shincha!

The aroma is surprising, I expected it to have a strong vegetal smell, but it does not.  Instead, it is sweet and nutty, with a fragrant floral note.  If I didn’t know I was smelling a green tea (which is quite obvious from the appearance, of course, but, let’s say if I were blindfolded), I wouldn’t have immediately guessed that this was a green tea by smelling it.

The flavor is equally as surprising.  There is a hint of vegetative flavor to the flavor, but, only a hint.  Not nearly what you might expect from a green tea.  Instead, this is sweet and nutty, just like the aroma.  The floral tones are there too, as well as a creamy note – a slight creaminess that I wouldn’t categorize as “buttery,” but more of a soft, mild, fresh cream kind of taste and texture.

This is really a remarkable Shincha, one that inspires a sense of calm and relaxation.  Sure, it will also provide an energy boost, but, in a gentle sort of way, making it a great tea for the afternoon.  It will help you de-stress while you quietly recharge your battery!

Premium Sencha Powder from Shizuoka Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Shizuoka Tea

Product Description:

Premium Sencha powder is popularly known in Japan as “Sushi Green Tea” because it is commonly served in better quality sushi restaurants. In the Japanese language it is called “hunmatsu” powder. Premium Sencha powder delivers the true taste of premium quality loose leaf tea leaves and is a product of 100% Shizuoka green tea. It is best mixed with hot or warm water as the sushi restaurants do. Premium Sencha powder is ideal for use at home, work or on-the-go. It is packed in a re-sealable foil package to maintain freshness.

Taster’s Review:

This tea looks like a typical Matcha.  But it isn’t Matcha.  And even though it isn’t Matcha, I have categorized it as such, because powdered Sencha is often called “Ghetto Matcha,” and it is quite similar to Matcha in many ways, although there are also significant differences – none the least of which is price.  Powdered Sencha is much more reasonably priced than a typical Matcha.

The main difference between this and Matcha is that this tea is made from Japanese Sencha leaves that have been finely ground, while most Matcha tea is made from Japanese Tencha leaves (also finely ground).  So while this may look like a Matcha, the taste is a little different.

I did, however, prepare it as I would Matcha – using my bamboo whisk (which is called a chasen) and my Matcha bowl (which is called a chawan).  It whisked up frothy, just as a high quality Matcha would, although it is a little duller in color. It blends with hot water quickly and smoothly.

I really like this.  The flavor is lightly sweet with strong vegetative tones and a sharp bitter note that hits at about mid-sip.  The bitterness does not linger, however, and is soon washed over by the sweetness of this tea.  The contrast between sweet and bitter is a little more apparent with this Powdered Sencha versus a typical Matcha tea.

This powdered Sencha can also be added to a bottle of chilled water and shaken for a refreshing iced tea.  My favorite way to use powdered Sencha, though, is to mix into Smoothies – delicious!

Genmai Matcha from Shizuoka Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Shizuoka Tea

Product Description:

Genmai Matcha is a very tasty combination of Sencha, Genmai (toasted brown rice) and Matcha (high-quality tea leaf powder). The Genmai gives the Sencha tea a wholesome, nut-like flavor. The Matcha gives it a deep green color and very pleasing aroma.  This combination makes Genmai Matcha one of our best selling teas.

Taster’s Review:

I really enjoy Genmaicha teas, and I also enjoy Matcha, so when these two are brought together in one blend – well, you know that old commercial about two great tastes that taste great together?  Yeah, the commercial is about a candy bar, but it works here too.

I steeped this Genmai Matcha in my gaiwan.  I don’t usually steep Genmaicha in my gaiwan, but I don’t know why!  I think I may start though, because, I am finding it to be the perfect vessel for this tea. 

The flavor is sweet, nutty and toasty.  There are hints of bitterness from the Matcha which enhance the overall profile of the tea – this tea seems to please the whole palate with its complex collection of flavors.

The Matcha coats the palate softly with a delicious, almost powder-like feel.  There is a pleasant level of vegetative taste to this cup.  It doesn’t taste too grassy.  The toasted taste of the Genmaicha gives the cup a more “roasted vegetable” flavor rather than a grassy tone.

This is a very energizing cup, it is a great choice to sip later in the day to help offset that sluggish sort of feeling!  It not only excites the palate but invigorates the body and helps to clear the mind!  What a splendid tea!

Shizuoka Black Tea from Den’s Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  This tea is currently not available, contact Den’s Tea for more information.

Product Description:

As you may know, 99% of the current tea production in Japan is green tea. However, about 130 years ago Japan tried to produce and export black tea as a government policy.
Tea scholar, Mr. Tada (1829-1896), was sent to China and India to acquire black tea manufacturing skills in 1875.
Upon his return, he established a tea farm at Mariko in Shizuoka and since then, Mariko has been a mecca for Japanese black tea. However, black tea never did become a major industry in Japan as some peopled had hoped.

One tea farmer in Mariko, Mr. Matsumura, has been manufacturing black tea since the 1950’s as well as growing high quality green tea. Our parent company, Shirakata-Denshiro Shoten, has done business with Mr. Matsumura for a long time. Mr. Matsumura even created the manufacturing machine for black tea and is considered the father of modern black tea production in Shizuoka. His tea is made with the tea species “Beni Fuki”. The cup is mild with very little bitterness and is highly aromatic. Its flavor is different from the black teas made in major Asian and African producing countries.

Taster’s Review:

I love this tea – and yet, I am disappointed!

Not by the tea itself, but by the fact that this tea is not currently available for purchase.  This is one that I wouldn’t mind keeping on hand. I could see myself happily drinking it every day.

This tea has a wonderfully complex character.  A deep, rich, fruity quality approaches the palate first, with hints of a bitter tone toward the middle of the sip.  This is not an off-putting bitter, though, it is quite pleasant!  This tea als has a scrumptious sweet note that is making it irresistible.  I want to keep sipping it just so that I can experience that sweetness.

This tea has a toothsome quality to it as well that is somewhat bake-y … like a lightly sweet pastry.  The malty note in this tea further accentuates that pastry kind of taste.   There is a drying astringency in the finish, not a strong astringency, but just enough to give the palate a sense of having been gently patted dry, readying it for the next sip.

Yes, I really enjoyed this cup, and I hope that Den’s Tea decides to start offering it.  It’s really rather wonderful!