Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Yunomi.us
The Morita family’s quality sencha is a result of 10 generations of tea farming. This Sayama region green tea is can be steeped to be very astringent with a touch of umami (savoriness) using hot water, or with a great balance between astringency (shibumi) and umami savoriness using warm water.
Learn more about this tea here.
Yes! Green tea season is here! It is in this blogger’s personal preference to drink tea by the seasons. I often find myself craving one specific type of tea throughout a single time frame. And it makes perfect since too, I like higher oxidized teas that require hotter water in the winter, and lower or non-oxidized teas in the spring and summer for their fresh vegetal notes and their lower brewing temperature. With the weather turning warmer I have not even thought about boiling my water for a shou or a black tea, and have turned instead to Japanese greens, Taiwanese jade oolongs and sheng. The Morita family’s Sayama Sencha from Yunomi fits the bill quite nicely.
I love the smell of sencha tea every time I open a package and dive in. It just smells so buttery and fresh… like hot off the bamboo steamer steamed edamame, salty and so hot that it burns my tongue. Except that I use cooler water than I would for steaming the legume… but, I digress.
This tea lays all it’s cards on the table when I pour out the steeped leaves into my yunomi tea cup. The smell is fresh and intense. It’s so vegetal and marine-like, I can almost picture myself sitting on the beach while downing each sip.
Morita Tea Garden’s is a great Japanese green that hits all the right notes. I have yet to be disappointed by any of the farmers’ teas and offerings at Yunomi, and really, anything you choose will surely be a hit. I’d drink this all day everyday if I could! But then all of my other teas would get lonely.
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Maeda-en
This is the creme de la creme of our Shin-cha selections. Our best baby leaves are harvested in the under the bright spring-time sun, then deep steamed to create this rich and hearty brew.
For each Hatsumono, or New Crop that one eats/drinks, it is said that one’s lifespan is extended for another 75 days. Shin-cha is also the harbinger of spring, and is a tea merchant’s treasured tradition.
I pre-ordered this in early spring, 2010 (or perhaps even late winter!) and when I received it, I tucked it away in my tea drawer and kept it there. As I write this, it is the first time I tried this delightful tea.
It came in such a pretty package! The box was beautiful, and the tin was even prettier. I just… didn’t want to open it! How silly of me to postpone trying this tea! Just like in people – the true beauty is within!
The tea leaves are cut very small and are vivid green. When I poured hot water (165° F) over them the top of the water in my brewing device had a tiny bit of froth at the top that reminded me of Matcha!
The flavor is sublime! It has a creaminess to it that is a little buttery, but not as buttery as some green teas I’ve tried. It’s almost like butter and cream. The vegetative quality is a little grassy and a little bit like vegetables, and when combined with the creamy taste it is quite a luscious experience.
And like the description suggests, this is really quite hearty for a green tea. It has a sort of thickness to it that I would liken to Matcha, but without the “chalkiness” of Matcha. The mouthfeel is velvet-y smooth and there is a very light astringency in the finish that is a nice contrast to the creamy-soft mouthfeel.
From what I can see of the Maeda-en website, the spring 2010 harvest of this outstanding tea has sold out. So, I recommend that you keep your eyes peeled for the 2011 harvest, and pre-order it when the opportunity presents itself. You won’t be disappointed!