Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

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Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby beachape » Apr 6th, '12, 06:10

Hello,

In anticipation of shincha season, I am developing a game plan for which teas to try this year. I am looking for both a fuka/chumushi, and an asamushi with a preference for more of a grassy/ fresh vegetal flavor profile and less of the toasted/roasted flavor. Prefer vendors that are easy to order/deliver to the states. Some teas that I've tried recently to guide suggestions:

O-cha 2011 harvest: Yutaka Midori (this was very good, but was heavy on the umami, a little toasted tasted for my preference), Sencha Miyabi (this one didn't do much for me, kind of unidimensional and not very flavorful). Certainly open to more O-cha suggestions

I've tried the Supreme line from Hibiki-an, and was thinking about maybe trying their "Premium" grade fuka and asamushi sencha, and/or the Farmer's shincha. Anyone who's tried these have comments? I know they get mixed reviews here, but I was reasonably satisfied with their lower grade "supreme" stuff a few years back, especially remember liking the fuka supreme.

Thanks for the help!

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Re: Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby Stentor » Apr 6th, '12, 06:31

Can you elaborate on what you mean by toasty/roasted flavor?
I don't think I have ever had a sencha that I would describe as having these characteristics.

In any event, I think that O-Cha's Kirameki could be just what you are looking for.
Also check out Maiko for this kind of sencha. I can recommend their Maruyama and Hachijuhachiya.
I guess I'd generally go with asamushi sencha from Uji.

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Re: Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby beachape » Apr 6th, '12, 08:22

The toasted/roasted flavor I mean is the flavor of hojicha. Some sencha that I've tried has a very profound hojicha flavor, both the dry tea and the brew. I guess the flavor is somewhere in the range of toast (toasted bread)/crackers, distinct from the umami flavor. While a good flavor in its own, I am looking for more of a "fresh" or vegetal flavor, in the range of fresh cut grass which in my limited experience is in opposition to the toasted flavor. I don't believe that I've had a tea or food that tastes both very fresh vegetal/grassy AND very toasted at the same time. I could be totally wrong though. I remember reading that some lower quality/old sencha is roasted/baked to give it more flavor, but I've experienced this flavor to a lesser degree in higher quality teas like O-cha's yutaka midori (only tried 2011 harvest, so i'm not sure if this is a consistent flavor characteristic).

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Re: Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby exmechanistic » Apr 6th, '12, 10:12

I got some of Hibiki-an's Farmer's Shincha last year and enjoyed it. I remember it being quite grassy but it's been almost a year since I had it.

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Re: Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby iannon » Apr 6th, '12, 13:28

Stentor wrote:Can you elaborate on what you mean by toasty/roasted flavor?
I don't think I have ever had a sencha that I would describe as having these characteristics.

In any event, I think that O-Cha's Kirameki could be just what you are looking for.
Also check out Maiko for this kind of sencha. I can recommend their Maruyama and Hachijuhachiya.
I guess I'd generally go with asamushi sencha from Uji.


+1 to the Uji Asa..or Asa in general. I think you should explore that side of the steaming spectrum perhaps more. I particularly like the Maiko Kinari when it comes out..its a Shincha only offering

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Re: Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby Peacock » Apr 6th, '12, 13:44

If you want something really grassy then try O-Cha's Otsuusan karigane sencha. It's a blend of sencha and gyokuro stems and it's mildly sweet and grassy.

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Re: Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby teaisme » Apr 6th, '12, 16:38

beachape wrote:Hello,

preference for more of a grassy/ fresh vegetal flavor profile


it's not a sencha, and it may be slightly roasty (though I wouldn't call it such), but the grassy summer veggie is prominent by far

I highly recommend you try this at least once, completely unique and delicious for this time of year (really it's gentle nature is good for winter too) at $5 for 50g you will not regret it. I am very happy to see it back in stock :wink:

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Re: Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby beachape » Apr 7th, '12, 21:03

Thanks for the recommendations! Anyone had the hibiki-an premium grade of the sencha or fukamushi sencha? How does you enjoy it? Is the fuka an improvement over the supreme grade (seeing as it is a completely different tea, as the supreme/superior grade is mixed with gyokuro leaves)? Thanks!

Last edited by beachape on Apr 7th, '12, 21:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby Noahnoir » Apr 12th, '12, 10:52

Peacock wrote:If you want something really grassy then try O-Cha's Otsuusan karigane sencha. It's a blend of sencha and gyokuro stems and it's mildly sweet and grassy.


Oh i had this one once, and i loved it... its one of the tastiest greens i've ever drunk... for sure the taste is totally unique, but i believe a grassy note i didn't find in there, or maybe my memory playing tricks on me...:)

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Re: Sencha Recommendations: Grassy not Toasty

Postby JRS22 » Apr 12th, '12, 19:50

Noahnoir wrote:
Peacock wrote:If you want something really grassy then try O-Cha's Otsuusan karigane sencha. It's a blend of sencha and gyokuro stems and it's mildly sweet and grassy.


Oh i had this one once, and i loved it... its one of the tastiest greens i've ever drunk... for sure the taste is totally unique, but i believe a grassy note i didn't find in there, or maybe my memory playing tricks on me...:)


It's become my favorite green, and while I do love a grassy green I would describe Otsuusan as more savory than grassy.

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