Yunomu.us had send me this sencha. I’ve been warned about its full-bodied astringency on their site, so started with lower temperature to receive less caffeine, as suggested here and on many other resources.
Grown uncovered on west-facing slopes, the leaves take in the strong early summer sun and warm breezes before they are harvested in early July. The soil of the tea fields is composed of granite that has eroded after many millennia.
Leaves are dark blueish green, narrow and long as needles with a strong smell of seaweed. Small amount of leaves are brighter beige.
1st steep at 70°C for 30 sec.: Aroma of chestnuts when I pour the water. [No bubbles… What does that mean?] Taste of chestnuts at first with some astringency underlay, but really hard to find bitterness beneath thick mouthwatering lingering taste of sweetness. With few more sips sweetness fades away, and some sourness enters. Last sips are more astringent. This is strange, The tea changes in the cup. The cup had no visible tea particles and dry leaves almost had no dust or powder.
2nd steep at 70°C for 30 sec.: Leaves had partially opened and filling in the kyusu space. Taste now is very astringent and a bit sour. Now lingering sweetness lays deep beneath the main astringency accent. I probably had to make this steep really fast, because on second steep all remaining liquids had accumulated astringency from my previous steep. It’s still tasty, but not to untrained person, who had never drank matcha. 🙂 It is very important to get rid of all the liquid after steep to avoid further brewing of tea between steeps.
3rd steep at 63°C for 30 sec.: again really astringent with sourness undertone and less body.
4th steep at 52°C for 30 sec.: astringency started to fade away, sourness with sweetness reappears. Leaves are now fully open and look natural and green.
Personally I don’t like super astringent sencha and seek sweetness in it. Leaves looked great I’ve never seen such long leaves in senchas. First steep early sips were really delicious and astonishing. So as the site advices, this tea is better for a perfect food pairing with sushi and other salty cuisines.
The sweet sourness still lingering in my mouth long time.
There is another method to expel caffeine, we can steep 1st time very fast with high temperature water. The caffeine will go. But I fear its “tasty taste” will also be gone. Maybe I should try to brew first steep at about 50°C really fast. And then to brew with even less temp and faster.
I’d need to try more interesting senchas from yunomi.us. They have really beautiful estate teas, you’ll never find on other sites, i.e. this sencha leaves look just amazing. And their gyokuro sample was also of a great quality.