Sazen Tea

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

User avatar
Mar 17th 15 12:25 pm
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 26th 15 2:51 pm
Location: Europe

Sazen Tea

by KaiRong » Mar 17th 15 12:25 pm

Hi everybody,

Does anybody have any experience with this Kyoto-based tea brand? The local tearoom here started to distribute their teas (based on the price available on the home page, with a quite high margin). Anyway, I tried their Ise Gyokuro and Chiran Fukamushi. There is quite a big difference in quality between the two...
This Ise Gyokuro is quite a nasty one. The package says I should add 5 g of leaf to 150-200 ml of 60 Celsius degree water for a minute, but it's definitely not okay for a gyokuro, where I tend to use 8 g to 150 ml, 55-65 Celsius and 1,5 to 2 minutes. However, this tea has no gyokuro flavor even if I use these amounts. I tried hotter water with a 1-minute brewing, but tea became bitter as it was expected... So far I only have one time when I could brew it with a result more-or-less gyokuroish, when I put 12 grams of tea to the kyusu. The flavor became lingering for four brewing, and it was quite a pleasent one. I know that this gyokuro is not a premium one, the 50 g package is around 900 yen in the webshop (however, 16 USD in the retail shop), but I've never had this much of frustration and agony with a gyokuro before. I don't know whether I messed up something or this is what the tea can provide and I should treat them as it is. Any ideas?

Their Chiran Fukamushi was quite good, really delicious and it tastes like a decent Chiran Fukamushi.

May 3rd 15 3:55 am
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2nd 15 1:43 pm

Re: Sazen Tea

by Misako » May 3rd 15 3:55 am

There are no any rules in Japan how many days and what kind of shading method can specify the name of gyokuro or kabusecha exactly.
The name of tea is always come from the tea farmers or from the blending expert. Recommend to rely on your personal experience and taste :wink:
Last edited by Misako on Jul 12th 15 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
May 3rd 15 4:14 am
Posts: 401
Joined: Nov 9th 08 1:46 am
Location: NYC

Re: Sazen Tea

by chingwa » May 3rd 15 4:14 am

Gyokuro is one of those things where you really do get what you pay for, and in general a lower price point is not going to give you a very satisfying experience, unfortunately. I have not personally tried Sazen teas... but I've had enough experience with lower end Gyokuro to turn me off of it altogether. I'd expect to pay around $20-$30 / 50g for a decent Gyokuro.

User avatar
May 3rd 15 6:51 pm
Posts: 20891
Joined: Apr 23rd 06 12:52 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Sazen Tea

by Chip » May 3rd 15 6:51 pm

Calling a kabusecha, gyokuro, is misleading already confused consumers, IMHO. Call it what it is and use the most appropriate, specific name possible.

I have been told that a lot of kabusecha is being sold as gyokuro, and why is that? Because gyokuro is "precious" and can be sold at higher price points as a result.

Nothing is more infuriating as when about to try a new gyokuro that I just purchased ... and sitting at the tea table, confused when a gyokuro fails to respond to proper brewing and gives poor results... then realizing a vendor pulled a fast one.

But yeah, as chingwa also mentioned, cheap gyokuro is almost always realllly bad!

User avatar
May 4th 15 9:03 am
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 26th 15 2:51 pm
Location: Europe

Re: Sazen Tea

by KaiRong » May 4th 15 9:03 am

Thanks for the replies.
Yeah, I guess I learnt my lessons. I brought a lot of good gyokuros from my trip to Japan some weeks ago, so now I have good Koyamaen/Ippodo gyokuros with me that simply can't disappoint anybody. The problem is that in my city we lack shops that sell Japanese teas (there is only one tearoom), so I first tried teas sold by this shop, but realized that I have to order to grab some good tea. Matcha is another issue, the highest quality available here is Koyamaen's Yugen... I will try o-cha for my next supplies.

Jun 4th 15 2:20 pm
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 3rd 15 11:10 am
Location: Hungary

Re: Sazen Tea

by Jooji » Jun 4th 15 2:20 pm

I've been a customer of them ever since they operated their 1st little shop in Budapest. Actually that and Marumoto Teahouse were prior to Sazen Tea.
Honestly it's the only place here where you can taste wide selection of authentic Japanese teas and the culture behind it. For me, it's like a rare gem.
I prefer their milder teas like houjicha and mugicha, also their rosecha, kyobancha and koucha are favorites of mine. The typical Japanese greens like sencha, gyokuro and matcha are not my cup of tea.
Oh and their tea sweets are also superb.
It's been many years, and i only had positive experiences with them.

User avatar
Jul 9th 15 10:59 am
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 26th 15 2:51 pm
Location: Europe

Re: Sazen Tea

by KaiRong » Jul 9th 15 10:59 am

@Jooji

There was a much better Japanese tea room in Budapest called Hanami. That was authentic to the core, as they only kept real tea and no fancy smoothies, lattes, etc. Marumoto has. I also like Marumoto, because the tea room is a very nice, ideal place for meeting friends or have a date. They also have some nice tea utensils. However as a shop it is not a good one: their teas are quite overpriced compared to the quality they offer and the supply is also disappointing as they keep mainly low grade teas (they started to stock up some mid-grade as well in the last couple of months).

Oct 26th 21 8:33 am
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 19th 19 2:13 pm
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Sazen Tea

by mutroke » Oct 26th 21 8:33 am

I ordered 3 times from Sazen, first 2 times were perfect, but last time i asked them to send as "sample" as they usually do, but they did a terrible job and then i could not get the package from Fedex, while Sazen put the blame on me, they lied and acted as if they are too busy for a little guy like me, very rude attitude. The women dealing with customer support are Hungarian, so it is not a Japanese shopping experience.
This is a shame because they have a huge selection of matcha, tea and accessories, great prices, but evil customer support if they do a mistake, you are on your own.
If you have no problems with them it's fine, but after this bitter experience i will prefer to order from real japanese people. I used to recommend them, but not anymore.