Saturday, March 3, 2012

Having a Green Morning!

                                                              Yama Moto Yama

                        Ocha-Zanmai Fukamushi Sencha

        Its another morning and another great tea to start the day off ! Normally, I would have a cuppa  or two whether it would be Assam or English Breakfast, but this particular morning has no need for rush or momentum as its my day off! The best way to wake up after slaving away on a 13 hour grind is to gradually wake up while in a relaxed state of mind than something to perk me up and pay later in the day. A certain fact when bursts of energy wasted in the morning with nothing to do won't help later in the day, but a slow fade that only gets worsened if one were to perk up again. A heaping teaspoon of  Fukamushi sencha from Yamamotoyama would not hurt a bit!
         Brewing this tea is a piece of cake and literally simple! No need to constantly check the temperature or worry about what kind of water, the tea itself is highly versatile and can brew for extended periods (albeit very bitter!) and can stand up to a raging boil or the standard hot water from a water cooler ( 160-175 degrees). The leaves are of BOP quality (Broken Orange Pekoe) with some dust and fannings, and has an aroma of freshly mown grass with a  hint woodiness thats reminiscent of Chinese green teas . It also has a lovely dark emerald green color of fresh  plucked leaves that leaves the impression of liveliness and youth to a drinker expecting a brisk and light liquor.

        The first brew for 45 seconds  yields a brisk but bitter tea with notes of grass, vegetables, and a lingering woody flavor behind it all that is quite warm and friendly to have sip. The drawbacks however is the amount of astringency and bitterness on the first draw of the liquid and astringency afterwords, but the aromas of grass, vegetables makes it a pleasant tea but quite contradicts the flavors due to the bitterness and astringency. A second brew for 60 seconds or longer, with multiple infusions  afterwords as  much mute of a flavor with as much tannic qualities. There were some dust in the bottom of the cup in the first of multiple infusions that maybe be responsible for the bitterness and astringency but has not gotten in my way in enjoying this tea!
The leaves after the brew showcases much of the finer qualities of broken orange pekoe, composed of larger leaves that account for the longer needle like strands found in the bag. There are finer pieces of leaves that suggest it is also a mixture of CTC tea leaves with different shades of green, but mixed in with fresh emerald leaves. This may account for the general strength and somewhat aged feel of the tea, and having a bit of dust and fannings contribute to a bitter tasting and astringent tea, but for everyday enjoyment and precise quality control can help ensure future batches well received!

        Versatility: 71; goes well when iced which seems to mellow out the rigid bitterness and astringency, and hot for some hearty tea! When it comes to blending however that limits this tea from going any further, its bitterness and astringency may conflict with lighter or any other teas that has a balanced bitterness and astringency.
        Tastes: 73; quite an ordinary and have to say...a bit below standards for a Japanese green. Japanese greens are bitter and astringent but never too bold and importantly conflicting when it comes to the flavor it wants representing.  It has however a bold vegetal and grassy tastes with a not of wood that goes well to whoever seeks in the pureness of Japanese greens available in the common market.

        Palate:  A medium bodied tea packing with bold flavors of grass and vegetables with hints of wood. Brisk and slightly bitter and astringent on the first brew and incredibly astringent and bitter on multiple brews, becomes tannic in later brews.

       Drinker Friendliness: 72; a well around good tea to have with friends but be careful to those whose tastes have not yet acquired for vegetables and grassiness in their teas. I have to say, this tea may get tiresome when drunk on a day to day basis because of its high astringency and bitterness uncharacteristic of Japanese greens. A warm and hearty tea but with some rough edges.
                                                                 Final Word
       Not much to say but a good tea all around and quite aggressive for a green tea. It has the usual vegetal and grassy characteristics of Japanese greens  but the over astringency and bitterness just conflicts with the flavors in the tea. Quite a tea to be used in some circumstances, and friendly enough to be drunk but something to remember later on....lets just say there are many fishes in the ocean!

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