I just received my first Rishi order yesterday, which naturally included their fukamushi.
I must say that despite the fact that it is a 2006 harvest, I was still very impressed with it. Very unique in all respects.
I opened my little 30 gram bag of aged fukamushi from the land of kago. The leaf is not like any kago I have had before, amazingly uniform particles for fuka. This has obvioulsly been sifted to remove the larger leaf particles normally found in fuka. The result is a nice uniform looking product.
For "aged" fuka, the dry leaf has nice aroma in addition to its nice appearance.
I read the directions and think they are nutz...150* for 1.5 minutes. I decide I will compromise and use 160*, still pretty low for me. At this temp, of course I preheat everything. (I always preheat my kyusu, unless I want to experiment...not this time though) I preheat the kyusu and put the dry leaf in. Immediately a unique aroma greets my nose... kind of corny and sweet and grassy I think. Very robust considering the age and the small partical content of the dry leaf. I am pleasantly surprised. This is already a very pleasant and different sencha.
They also say 1.5 minutes... I am thinking that is long for fuka, but I use 5 grams per 200 ml for the prescribed time.
The brewed aroma is also remarkably sweet, different, corny yet with something else there...
The taste of the 1st steep is again sweet, different and corny...still trying to figure what the other flavor is.
2nd steep is perhaps as green as any sencha I have had to date. But I am surprised by how the flavor profile has diminished, perhaps the result of the long steep of fine particals, or the older age of the leaf... Still good but not too great. Hmmm...perhaps the uniformity of the leaf has something to do with this.
3rd is ok also...going for my 4th.
My 1st impression is that this is a confirmation of my love for kago leaf. This is so different from any other sencha I have had to date... I will look for this as a 2007 harvest in a couple months. I think this one is 6 bucks per 30 grams... so it would be a fairly reasonably priced addition to my sencha menu.
Generally speaking...the expiration date...which I hate the use of with tea... is june 2008. I still prefer knowledge of the harvest, how the tea has been handled... The expiration date is a requirement here in the USA... But I still want to know harvest info more readily. I like to see it posted on a site, this way, there is more accountability. If their supplier happened to see false info about harvest on their site... well, it would be hard to cover their butt. An email sent in response to a request for this info could easily contain false info intentionally. That would have very limited damage if found to be false... and how could it be discovered. Not that Rishi would email false info...