At last, some fresh Japanese teas are starting to show up in the shops. This tea is gorgeous! The smell of the dry leaf is pungent and rich, just sticking my nose down into the bag and smelling it makes me realize how every year I always seem to forget just how good Japanese teas can be. This stuff smells so freakin good! The leaf is very long and spindly and a very dark, earthy green color. (Click on the pics and see for yourself) I already know what this teas gonna taste like just by smelling the leaf. This tea is without a doubt the best Shincha Ive seen in several years. I mean their always good but this Shincha smells far more pungent than I remember it smelling before. When brewing Shincha or Sencha I,m pretty heavy handed with the quantity of leaf, I use 7 &1/2 gms for I,m guessing maybe a 12 oz capacity kyusu and give it a full two minute infusion. This is my theory on brewing Sencha. I think the best flavors are extracted in the first infusion, no matter how brief you keep that infusion time the best flavors to be had are in the first pot. The second pot I brew very briefly, pour the water in and right back out. Knowing the second pot is not gonna be as good as the first. With Sencha I don't think it,s possible to get two consecutive infusions that taste identical to each other so I put all my eggs in one basket (the first pot) and just be happy with that. Honyama teas are from the Shizuoka prefecture grown near the Abe river, an area known for the pristine water sources and misty climate. The flavor is just what I expected, rich with that veggie protein flavor, full mouth feel and the aroma permeates into my nose, I can still smell it even though I finished my tea 15 minutes ago. This tea is a Chumushi style tea.(mid steamed) Fukamushi (deep steamed) teas, while I like them are not the cream of the crop. And there is also the Asamushi style (light steamed) Really high quality Sencha would never be subjected to a fukamushi style process because the deep steamed method is used on teas that are a little lacking in inherent flavor. It,s just a way of coaxing the most they can get from it. I know Ive said this before but the aroma of good Sencha always reminds me of popcorn, while it,s popping. Seeing how I bought this at my local tea shop there really is no point in going into prices and all that, meaning you don't have access to it anyways. But get out there and get your orders placed, you,ll find something just as good or maybe better. Shincha is only here for a very brief time, so order soon.
P.S. I accidentally posted two pics of dry leaf but I liked both pics so decided to leave em both.